Skip to main content

Anonymous (not verified)

February 21, 2020

Obituary from the Ithaca NY Journal

Valerie J. Hanna died in the World Trade Center disaster on September 11, 2001. She was born on September 6, 1944 in Philadelphia, PA. She is predeceased by her father, Parker D. Hanna, JR. in 1990 and her son, Joel Robertson in 1993.
Valerie Hanna graduated as valedictorian of her high school class from Holland Patent, NY in 1962. She attended Michigan State University, Fairleigh-Dickinson and received her master 's degree from Fairleigh-Dickinson University. She worked for Marsh McLennan as a Senior Vice President of Technology, working there for over 7 years.
Ms. Hanna married Glenn Hughes in July of 1972.
Valerie Hanna was a caring and giving person, who, along with her own three children, provided a home to 17 foster children, all the while working her way through college and graduate school and rising up the corporate ladder. She was an inspiration and encouraging influence on many people in her life, including her children, foster children, grandchildren, family members and co-workers. She was a problem solver with a scientific, keen and inquisitive mind. an avid reader who looked for solutions to environmental issues and global conflict and was fascinated by scientific research of outer space. In addition, Valerie loved the farm that she and her husband, Glenn Hughes bought in Dryden, NY. She loved gardening planting trees, vegetables and especially flowers. She delighted in their flocks of chickens, turkeys, geese and ducks and their brown llama and goat. It was her dream to buy her own mini-farm and she achieved it two years ago. Valerie loved to travel and had visited Japan, Australia, Chile and many European countries.
Valerie Hanna was the beloved daughter of Joan Haviland and husband Richard Haviland of Lansing, NY. Her stepmother, Mary T. Hanna of Walla Walla Washington was of great importance to her. She leaves behind her husband Glenn Hughes who lives in Dryden, NY; her daughter Lydia Robertson and granddaughter Charlotte of New York City; her daughter Denene Ray of Charlotte, North Carolina and husband Jeff Ray and their two children Emma & Jenni; foster son Victor Arencibia; sister: Barbara Hanna and her husband Edward Ball of Banning, California and daughters Judy Sheldon, Caroline Sheldon, and her son Michael Hanna of New York City. In addition, her brother, Sherman Hanna and his wife Suzanne Lindamood and their daughter, Emily Hanna of Columbus, Ohio survive her. Her sister, Kathleen Hanna of Queensbury, NY and husband, Brian Lee and their two children, Jessamyn and Benjamin Lee, also survives her. Also several cousins, aunts and uncles, foster children and close friends.
A Memorial service will be conducted at the First Unitarian Church of Ithaca on 306 N. Aurora Street at 1pm on Sunday September 30, 2001. The family suggests donations in Valerie Hanna's name to some of her favorite charities: The Red Cross, National Public Radio, Planned Parenthood, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Texas.

Posted by Margaret Gatty

Add new Guest Book entry

Restricted HTML

  • You can align images (data-align="center"), but also videos, blockquotes, and so on.
  • You can caption images (data-caption="Text"), but also videos, blockquotes, and so on.

Guestbook comments are held until moderator approval.

In addition to this Guestbook post, if you are a family or friend of this victim, we welcome you to contribute photographs, documents, or stories to this Living Memorial page. To do so, complete this submission form . Your content will be reviewed by our team, and a staff member will reach out to you at your convenience.

In Remembrance
Place of Residence:
Freeville, NY
Location on 9/11:
Marsh & McLennan | Senior Vice President for Technology
Hobbies and Special Interests:
taking care of kids

Just 10 minutes before the first plane struck the World Trade Center, Valerie Joan Hanna called Glenn Hughes, her husband of 29 years, to remind him "to take care of the animals," he recalls. That would be Ramses the goat, Quito the llama and the flock of assorted ducks, chickens and turkeys they had been assembling on their 23-acre farm in Dryden, N.Y., near Ithaca.

The couple moved there from Brooklyn two years ago because "she couldn't take the city anymore," he said. She remembered growing up at her family's farm upstate, and, at 57, dreamed of retiring to the region.

And so, Ms. Hanna had kept her job at Marsh & McLennan, where she was a senior vice president for information technology, while she looked for comparable work in Ithaca. Each weekend she returned to the farm, the animals, the vegetables and the herb garden. The phone call to look after the animals was the last her husband heard from her. The farm "isn't for the both of us anymore," Mr. Hughes said. "I don't know what to do. Life doesn't make any sense."