Hannah Gaylord passed away peacefully in her sleep at her son’s home on the 27th of April, 2021. Known by many of her friends as “Pudgey,” Hannah was born in Dover, NJ where she spent her early childhood with her mother Hannah (Stanlick) and father Harold Robinson. Some of her fondest memories of childhood came while living with her maternal grandmother Edith (Perkins) Stanlick and her step-grandfather Henry Masker. After the untimely passing of her maternal grandparents when she was 10, Hannah went to live in Birchwood Village, NJ with Don and Lillian Arthur, known to most everyone (family and friends alike) as Uncle Don and Aunt Lil. Though they never legally adopted her, Don and Lil raised Hannah and her children as if they were their own. The Arthurs and Birchwood Village were the first stable home life that she knew, and would shape Hannah’s conception of family as being something so much more than biological kin. As an adult, she brought many of her extended family members into her own home for as long as they needed to find their way, and often times invited complete strangers in for a home-cooked meal. An example of this is when she worked at Robin’s Sandwich Shop in Dover where she met two young men from the local Joe Kubert School of Art who had no way home to their families for Thanksgiving. Without missing a beat, Hannah invited them both home for dinner so they didn’t have to be alone for the holidays. Everyone who knows her, has a similar story of her boundless and unbridled love for her fellow people (and dogs…and even though she always professed a dislike for them, her heart fell in love with one cat too).
Hannah is survived by her three sons: Thom and his wife Virginia of Cedar Knolls, Donald and his wife Alison Bell of Lexington, VA, and Michael and his wife Colleen of Charlottesville, VA. She is also survived by her grand-daughter Cori and Husband Zak Olver—Thom’s daughter; her grandsons Danny and Shayne Gaylord—Colleen and Michael’s boys; and her twin grandchildren James and Schuyler—Alison and Donald’s children. Last, but certainly not least (though certainly the tiniest) Hannah is survived by her great-grand-daughter Lily Marie Olver; and her great-grand-son Braiden Gaylord, Shayne’s son. Hannah is pre-deceased by all four of her parents and her two sisters: Tina Marie (Scudder) Palmer and Maryellen Minahan. The family would like to make special note of thanks and love to Martin Minahan, or Uncle Marty. His love and devotion to our mom’s sister Maryellen through the course of her illness with Huntington’s disease was heroic and made a profound influence on the men we are today. Huntington’s disease is congenital and also caused the deaths of our mother’s father and grandfather. Uncle Marty also has devoted his life to the care for his own children through their illnesses with Huntington’s. If love truly exists, and we believe it does, Uncle Marty is one of its truest examples.
Hannah raised her three boys in the St. Mary’s section of Wharton, NJ, living there from the mid-1960s until the mid-1990s. She had too many friends to name and was involved in many activities, including the Wharton Little-League as team mom for the American Legion team that her then-husband Glenn coached. She was an active member of the PTA at Duffy Elementary and Mackinnon Middle Schools. She shouldered her civic duty as an election volunteer at St. Mary’s area voting locations during her entire time in Wharton. Also during this time, she worked part-time at the Wharton Pharmacy, Dover General Hospital, and the already-mentioned Robin’s Sandwich Shop while full-time parenting her three boys. As if all this weren’t enough, Hannah also provided childcare every year—all summer long—for the children of friends and neighbors. By our best recollection, one summer she cared for seven children (including one infant) in addition to her own three boys. It’s easy to see her energy was as boundless as her love, and she shared them both freely with everyone she met.
After her sons left the household and with the dissolution of her marriage to Glenn, she began a whole new life starting at the age of 47. She moved to Mt. Bethel, PA where she lived in the Evergreen Village Retirement Community, where she regularly cared for her elderly neighbors. She became a certified social worker, and worked at the Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital, where she retired after almost 20 years of service. While there she was a tireless advocate for young men and women, helping them successfully reenter society after their time in the hospital. This work was entirely consistent with her life’s calling of love and service to others.
Hannah raised her boys in the Catholic Faith of her parents Don and Lillian Arthur at the St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Wharton. Journeying herself through several Christian denominations, she eventually found her true Spiritual home at the Portland Baptist Church in Portland, PA. There she found salvation in her lord, Jesus Christ, which comforted her with righteous living, good works, and proper social concern. We, her family, are eternally grateful for the care and concern shown Hannah by the Pastor and congregation of Portland Baptist Church. While we lived at sometimes great distances, they enabled Hannah to continue to live HER life, as SHE chose to live it until the very end. She only moved into her son Thom’s house at the very end for palliative care, having relied on her Church and neighbors to maintain her own home.