Francis R. Hanlon

Francis R. Hanlon, 90, passed away on Friday, July 17, 2020 at Saratoga Hospital after a short illness. He was born on June 12, 1930 in Cohoes to Robert and Margaret O’Keefe Hanlon.

Fran, as his family and friends began to call him, attended St. Agnes Grammar School in Cohoes. For his High School education his parents and he selected Christian Brothers Academy in Albany. He truly enjoyed his four years at the Academy, and he, in later years, loving talking about his educational experience there. Francis was impressed by the teaching of one of his English teachers, and that influenced him to want to teach English, too. He received a B.A. Degree from St. Bernard’s College and a MA from Siena College.

In 1966 he began teaching High School English and Journalism for the Greater Amsterdam School District. It was also there that he met his future wife Elizabeth Boser, who was also an English teacher. They were married on October 9, 1971.

After retirement, Fran participated in the speaker’s bureau for the Epilepsy Association and for the United Way. He was also one of the founding members of the Ballston Spa Education Foundation.

In addition to his wife Elizabeth, Francis is survived by a cousin John O’Keefe (Martha) of Heathsville, Virginia; sister in law Marjorie Butler of Olean, NY, and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents Robert and Margaret Hanlon.

Relatives and friends are invited to call on Sunday, July 19 from 2pm to 4pm at Armer Funeral Home, Inc. 39 East High Street, Ballston Spa. Facemasks and social distancing will be required per CDC guidelines.

Funeral services will be private with burial in the family plot in Allegany Cemetery, Allegany, NY.

Memorial contributions in memory of Francis may be made to the charity of your choice.

Guest Book

Linda Ranado

I worked with Fran for many years and was always impressed by his dedication and the pleasure he took in teaching. Enjoyed his humor and "tales" as well. May he rest in peace. Condolences to Liz.

Tom and Kathy DiMezza

Dear Elizabeth and family,
Our deepest condolences and most heartfelt sympathy goes out to you and your family at this time of sorrow. I always remember Francis as being one of the nicest teachers in the district. He always had a smile for everyone he came in contact with. He most certainly will be missed by everyone who knew him. God Bless all of you and may God be with you during this most sorrowful time.

Marcy Norton

Dear Mrs. Hanlon,

I was so sorry to hear of Fran's passing. He was my English teacher in my senior year at AHS but more importantly, he was my first journalism teacher. He inspired me to pursue journalism in college and I went on to spend 25 years as professional journalist. I was always thankful for the solid base of knowledge his class provided to me. In addition to being a fine teacher, he was a kind man who I admired greatly. He always spoke of you with great love. Over the past 20 years or so, we kept in touch via email. He offered supportive words in times of crisis for me. I regret never coming to visit you both in person.

You are both in my prayers at this sad time.

Marcy Norton

Ronald Gray- Malta, NY

Mrs. Hanlon,
I am so sorry to learn of Mr. Hanlon's passing, he was such a wonderful man and teacher..... I remember the days of Theodore Roosevelt Junior High School so well. As a matter of fact I am one of your former students, I had you in the days when you were Miss Boser, and I was in eighth grade! May your faith and family be of great comfort to you during this difficult time. God Bless you!

Elizabeth (Betsy Papura) Craig

Dear Liz,
My heart is with you. I enjoyed getting to know Mr. Hanlon even better after graduating from AHS. Our friendship will always hold a special place in my heart.
I am honored with the love and support that you both gave me when my parents passed.
Please accept my love and support at this time.
Love you,
Elizabeth Craig

Michael Spooner

Mrs. Hanlon.

I am so saddened to hear of Mr. Hanlon's passing. He was one of, if not my favorite teacher while I was in high school. Our first meeting was actually very funny. I had bounced around in two different grade schools, and had lost touch with a few friends. I had Mr. Hanlon's class as my 7th period in the fall of 1983, in the front corner room on the southern side of the building. I was seated directly across the isle from a friend that I had lost contact with, and he and I were chatting away while Mr. Hanlon paced up and down each isle. When he came to my desk, he turned and faced me saying "Ancient Chinese saying. He who talks during my class, gets head bounced off of desk". Of course, being the young punk that I was, I replied "go for it". He stood back, looked at me, and smiled that smile of his and said "I like you!".

From that day forward, I discovered how friendly, sweet, generous, and helpful he truly was. He was probably one of the biggest treasures that our school had to offer, and I was honored to call him a friend.

I had him only as a freshman, but I came to see him as often as I could during my years in high school, to simply visit with him, ask his opinion, or to ask for his assistance. He was always willing to make time for me, and many other fellow students, which speaks volumes of his character, and how much he cared for his students. I came back to visit him, and Ms. Cooke both while I was in college, and once after I had graduated from college, but sadly, we lost touch shortly after that visit.

Please accept my most sincere condolences. I hope the story of our meeting will make you smile at one of many great memories of your wonderful husband.

Kathy Nickson

I was sad to learn of Fran’s passing. His love of teaching is what I’ll remember most. Liz, please accept my condolences at this sad time.
Kathy Nickson

James Harley Jr.

Dear Mrs. Hanlon,

Your husband was one of the nicest men I have ever met in my life he guided me through some really hard decisions I had to make as a young man and I really enjoyed his advice and compassion I have thought about him many times over the years. You were a very lucky to have him as a part of your life.

Jim Harley

Kelly Burrell Roberts

Dear Mrs. Hanlon,

Mr. Hanlon was my English teacher from 1980-1984 during the notorious Honors English experiment at Amsterdam High School. Over the last 3-4 decades I have thought of him many times and I'm sorry to learn of his earthly departure as I wish I had written to thank him for instilling in me a love of grammar and writing.

Mr. Hanlon was friendly and always smiling though I would never describe him as nice. I have heard his words come out of my mouth when helping my children with writing, "nice is a naughty word." (I think he enjoyed that Christmas carol wordplay.) “Nice” can mean anything, so it doesn't really add information. Instead he encouraged us to use descriptive words like kind or friendly or pretty... Facing us, sitting on his desk at the front of the class, swinging his legs, he clearly got a kick out of teaching.

Fortunately, I was well-prepared for the rigors of Fran’s Honors English class by his wife, my seventh grade English teacher, you. The first and last time I copied someone's work did not go unnoticed. I wasn't able to complete my assignment so I "borrowed" from my (still) best friend, Cynci Hawkins (now Petersen). I'm thankful that you took me aside and firmly yet kindly taught me the importance of not "borrowing" another person's work. That plagiarism history and our inseperableness may have shadowed our high school English careers a smidgeon as Mr. Hanlon once suggested that Cynci's work wasn't her own, when indeed, it was. I know she's forgiven him (and math was her strength and passion all along, anyway).

My deepest condolences to you, Mrs. Hanlon. Though Mr. Hanlon loved teaching, and I felt he loved us students too, we knew you were the love of his life. May memories of your kind, intelligent, and gentle husband who impacted the lives and influenced the writing of so many, bring you peace as you grieve.

With love,

Kelly Burrell Roberts

Patricia Burrell Eaton

Dear Liz,
So sorry to hear of Fran’s passing. He was a special teacher. I’ll always remember him for doing “extra” little things.

All our best.

Michael J. Sheridan

Mr. Hanlon was my 8th grade English at Theodore Roosevelt Jr. High, and I remember him to be a warm, engaging individual, with a passion for education that was evident every day, in his commitment to his students. So very sorry to hear of his passing, and praying for God's comfort and encouragement to his family, during this difficult season.

Jeffrey Kozlowski

I'm very sorry for your loss. Mr. Hanlon was a favorite teacher way back in 1986. ❤️