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William's Story

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North Andover — William K. (Kelley) Hannan, 97, formerly of Wellesley and Dedham, Mass., and Buffalo, N.Y., passed away on June 20, 2014.

He was the son of Charles E. and Lucile Hannan of Council Bluffs, Iowa. He leaves behind his daughter, Alison Hannan Vaill (Lucy) of Andover, Mass., and his son, William Kelley Hannan, Jr. (Wick) of Langhorne, Pa. His daughter, Sarah Wells Hannan, of York, Pa., died in 2013. He had five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Kelley lived a fruitful and fascinating life with a very productive career in the optical instruments field while nurturing a passion for model ship building. He received a degree in Engineering from Iowa State College in 1939, and worked in various assignments for The American Optical Company and Warner Lambert Company, including serving on their boards of directors. Under Kelley’s guidance, American Optical developed and manufactured the direct current (DC) heart defibrillator, and invented the demand pacemaker—both quite revolutionary for their time.

Kelley was very involved in community activities including being a Trustee of the Erie County Savings Bank, a Director of Goodwill Industries, a member of the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce, a Director of Marine Midland Bank, and a Director of the Erie County, New York, YMCA.

Following his retirement, Kelley remained very active, including counseling and mentoring students from Babson College, acting as Treasurer of St. Andrews Episcopal Church, and Treasurer of the Dedham Country and Polo Club. Kelley’s main passion was the building of ancient and historic sailing ships in model form. He became a member the Boston club of ship builders and the national organization called the “Nautical Research Guild." In 1986, he won the top model shipbuilding award at the USS Constitution Museum in Boston.

ARRANGEMENTS: A memorial service will be held on Sept. 27, 2014 at 11:30 a.m. in St. Andrews Church in Wellesley, Mass. For online condolences, please visit our website at www.contefuneralhomes.com.
Published on  August 7, 2014
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