Payette native and lifelong resident Robert John “Bob” Hanigan passed away early Sunday, February 24, 2019. He died peacefully in his sleep at his home – just exactly the way he’d prayed it would happen.
The first son of John T. and Dorothy Carstens Hanigan, Bob was born August 9, 1924, at what served then as the local hospital, Mrs. Blanchard’s maternity home on Center Avenue in Payette. Brother Dick and then sister Donna completed their family. Bob grew up in Payette and in 1941 at age 16, graduated from Payette High School.
Bob attended the University of Portland for two years before his education was interrupted by World War II in 1943 and he joined the US Navy. He entered flight school and earned his wings. When the war ended in 1945, he returned to what he fondly called “Portland U” to finish his studies, graduating magna cum laude in 1947 with a degree in English.
After graduation Bob joined his father at Hanigan Chevrolet in Payette. Quite the eligible bachelor, he eventually courted Jill Connolly and they were married on May 31, 1952, at Holy Family Catholic Church. The young couple bought a big house on 6th street and filled it with their eight children – Mary, Susie, Christy, Liz, Annie, Mike, Kevin, & Katie. Bob was so proud of his family, always wanting to show pictures of his wife and kids to people he met. Bob & Jill were married 66+ years and had a marriage full of fun and laughter. It was a marriage based on faith and fidelity – a wonderful model of a commitment to one another that family and friends have long admired. They were best friends and traveling companions on the journey of life.
Bob was active in community life. He was a 75-year member of the American Legion and 72-year member of the Ontario Elks Lodge. He devoted much time and energy to the local Community Concert association and the holiday assistance program, Help Them to Hope. Bob made it a point to know people’s names and their stories. He was possibly the friendliest person you would ever know. For years he walked around his neighborhood with his iconic cap and cane, and was delighted at every opportunity to strike up a conversation with someone along the way. He was a rich source of local lore (and IOH – known in the family as “Insignificant Oral History”).
The Catholic faith Dad practiced on a daily basis was a big part of his life. He never missed Sunday Mass, often attended daily Mass, suggested the Rosary on any car ride longer than 15 minutes, played organ at times, and made his tone-deaf kids sing along from the choir loft. He led a good and faithful life, with integrity and kindness.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents Jack & Dot Hanigan, his brother Dick Hanigan, sister Donna Hanigan Estes, and grandson Peter Clore. Bob is survived by his wife Jill, his eight children and their spouses: Mary Hanigan & Rich Lane, Susie & Dave Eckes, Christy & Cliff Clore, Liz & Denny Lane, Annie & John Schommer, Mike & Kim Hanigan, Kevin & Anne Hanigan, and Katie & Steve Moser. He loved his 22 grandchildren: Brady & Colin Lane; Andrew, Kevin & Shannon Eckes; George, Sarah & John Clore; Justin, Conor, Brighid, Michael, & Angel Lane; Mary Schommer; Sadie, Spencer, Annalise, & Alex Hanigan; Sophie, Jack & Grace Hanigan; & Megan Moser. He will be missed by his 11 great-grandkids, many nieces & nephews, and innumerable friends & relatives. Our family is honored by the many heartfelt expressions of love and support that have come from near and far. Clearly, everyone loved Bob Hanigan. We sure did, and we’re glad that so many people share that love and admiration.
Bob & Jill were lifelong members of the local Catholic churches, originally Holy Family and now Corpus Christi, and would ask that any memorials be offered to either the Corpus Christi Parish Center Building Fund or the Treasure Valley Community Concert Association.
Vigil & Rosary will be Friday, March 1, 2019, at 7 p.m. Funeral Mass will be Saturday, March 2, 2019, at 11 a.m. Both at Corpus Christi Catholic Church, 900 N.W. 7th St., Fruitland, ID 83619. There will be a Celebration of Life luncheon immediately after the service at Four Rivers Cultural Center, 676 S.W. 5th Ave., Ontario, Oregon.
Arrangements are under the direction of Bowman Funeral Parlor, Garden City. Condolences to the family can be made at www.bowmanfuneral.com. Bowman Funeral 208-853-3131