Mary Hanner Obituary (1947 – 2022) – Niskayuna, NY

Hanner, Mary Elizabeth “Mary Beth” PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN NISKAYUNA Mary Elizabeth “Mary Beth” Hanner, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN, 75, died peacefully at home on July 16, 2022. Mary Beth was born May 4, 1947, to George Hanner and Mary McHale. She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Michael Cooley. Mary Beth is survived by her sister, Barbara Hanner Malerba (James) of Wellington, Fla.; and her brother, Edward Hanner of Colonie. She is also survived by three cousins, Patricia Fealey, Jean Sommers, and Mary Ann Bryant; in addition to many nieces and nephews, especially Daniel Malerba and Maria Cooley. Mary Beth graduated from St. Peter’s Hospital School of Nursing in 1968, where she met two of her closest, lifelong friends, Margaret Frazier Plodzik and Kathleen Flanagan Zagata. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Boston College in 1970, a Master of Public Health in Community Health Nursing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Ph.D. in Nursing from the University of Texas in 1986. She was a registered professional nurse. Mary Beth was a public health nurse, a research assistant and from 1973 to 1990, she was a nursing professor at Russell Sage College in Troy, teaching and mentoring many of the nurses of the Capital District. In 1990, she joined Excelsior College as dean of the School of Nursing. In 2002, she was promoted to vice president for Health Services and in 2007, became the vice president for Outcomes Assessment and Institutional Research. Mary Beth assumed the role of Provost and chief academic officer in 2011. She retired in 2016 and received the Excelsior College President’s Medal. She was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society, the Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society, received the 1989 Award for Excellence in Nursing Education from the New York State Nurses Association and the 1991 Nurse Leader Award from Delta Pi Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society. In 2007, she was named a fellow of the Academy of Nursing Education in the National league for Nursing’s inaugural group (ANEF). In 2012, she received a prestigious nursing fellowship from the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN) in recognition of her contributions to outcome assessments. Mary Beth was a Trustee Emeritus for LaSalle School for Boys, Albany, and served on the Board of Directors/Governors of Albany Memorial and Samaritan Hospitals, Eddy Home Care/Eddy Visiting Nurse Association, Child’s Hospital and Samaritan Service Corporation, and the Advisory Board of St. Peter’s Hospice of Rensselaer County. Mary Beth was a leader and a mentor in the fields of nursing and education. She loved to travel, garden, read and spend time with friends. She will be truly missed by her family, her friends, and the nursing and education community she touched so deeply. Visitation will be held on Friday, July 22, from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. at New Comer Cremations & Funerals, 181 Troy Schenectady Rd. Watervliet. A prayer service will begin at 6 p.m. at the funeral home. A memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, July 23, at 10 a.m. at The George E. Hanner Center For Excellence and LaSallian Mission at LaSalle School, 391 Western Avenue, Albany. All friends and family are welcome to attend. Seating and parking are limited. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mary Beth’s memory to Living Resources, 300 Washington Ave. Ext., Albany, NY 12203. The agency has cared for and supported her brother Eddie for over 30 years. To leave a special message for the family online please visit

Published by Albany Times Union on Jul. 19, 2022.

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