Edward Vincent Hannigan

December 13, 1945 - August 3, 2010

If I were still to live, the office of infirmarian [caregiver] is the one which would please me most.
I would not ask for it, but if it came direct by obedience I should think myself highly privileged.
It seems to me that I would discharge its duties with a tender love, thinking always of our Saviour saying:
"I was sick and you visited me".
The infirmary bell should be for you as heavenly music.
You ought purposely to pass along beneath the windows of the sick to give them facility in calling you and asking your services.
Ought you not to consider yourself like a little slave whom everyone has a right to command?
If you could but see the Angels who from the height of Heaven watch you battling in the arena!
They await the end of the combat to cover you with flowers and wreaths.
The good God does not disdain these combats, unknown and therefore all the more meritorious.
"The patient man is better than the valiant, and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh cities".

By our little acts of charity practiced in the shade we convert souls far away, we help missionaries, we win for them abundant alms; and by that means build actual dwellings spiritual and material for our Eucharistic Lord.

St. Therese of the Child Jesus
The Little Flower of Jesus
Carmelite of the Monastery of Lisieux, 1873-1897

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to
establish the Dr. Edward V. Hannigan Professorship in Gynecologic
Oncology. Memorial donations can be sent to:

The University of Texas Medical Branch
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Attention: Mr. Doug Butler
301 University Boulevard
Route 0587
Galveston, TX 77555

checks can be made out to: UTMB, Dr. E.V. Hannigan Professorship Fund

Edward was a great husband, father, brother, son, "chief", friend, doctor, teacher and colleague.
If you would like to share a funny or touching story or anecdote, please send it to:



The Hannigans
24 Cross St.
Hopkinton, MA 01748

The family will be collecting stories and make them available below, as well in a simple bound collection.

A pillowcase embroidered with white and purple lilies hangs on the wall of Dr. Edward Hannigan.s office. The lilies frame the words of Psalm 134: .Come Bless the Lord. All you Servants of the Lord Who Stand in the Night in the House of the Lord. ..The pillowcase was a gift from one of Hannigan.s patients, Elisabeth Fae Cox, a homeless woman who lived under the Trinity River Bridge. She died of cervical cancer.
Hannigan is a gynecologic oncologist . a specialist who treats cancers of women.s reproductive systems. He is also the medical director of the largest of the state.s safety net programs to prevent breast and cervical cancer.

from... State program combats breast, cervical cancer

Dr. Hannigan, A Pro-Life Hero

I was Dr. Hannigan.s nurse at the Cancer Center specialty clinic at Renaissance. He was scheduled to come to the valley twice a month for clinic and surgeries. He had high demand of referrals from valley doctors. He treated patients with ovarian, endometrial, cervical and vaginal tumors and lesions. He treated most cases with surgery and referred patients to chemo and radiation specialist after surgery, if needed. Dr. Hannigan had excellent bedside manners with a good sense of humor and a heart of gold. Our office feels honored to have worked along with such a loving and caring doctor. He will be greatly missed by his patients and staff.
Aurelia Rios

About 20 years ago I gave Ed a silk tie that had baseball game ticket stubbs as a pattern on it.He wrote me a letter in ink from his fountain pen telling me about all the games,all the players,all the historical neuonces the tickets stubbs represented. Very typical Ed and his ink fountain pen.
Betty Edwards

Edward made me feel so special when he showed me his gardening book one day. I had experimented with batiking fabric briefly one time and had covered a few blank books with the fabric. He had to remind me that I had given him one of those books which he used to record his gardening experiences. I am so honored that Edward allowed me to add entries to his gardening book this past summer when I used his garden in Dayton to plant a few things.
I sure miss him.
Gay Wehrman

Dave and I been asked so many times during our 21 year friendship with Mary and Ed, "How did you meet?" Since we are from Friendswood, not related or professionally connected it puzzled most people. I love this story.
It was June of 1989. We were at Hobby Airport to see our oldest son, Matt, off to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis.
No one seemed to be ready to leave even as the boarding was finished and the door was closed.
I was standing alone at the window watching the plane as it took off. I heard this man next to me say, "God bless their souls." I turned to him and said, "My son is on that plane." He said, "Mine is too." That man was Ed Hannigan. He and Mary were at the airport to see their oldest, Casey, off to the Naval Academy.
Introductions followed with us and our spouses, as well as a priceless friendship that brought many wonderful,irreplaceable treasures of memories. I don't have to ask God to bless his soul. I know he has. And, we were truly blessed for knowing Edward.
Dave and Jill Finney

I had been outside working in the yard and I stepped on a rusty piece of metal and that night I noticed that it was very red and there was a streak going up my leg. I called Ed (our free medical advisor) and ask him if I should see a doctor ASAP, He said -- "How far is the streak going up your leg?" I replied that it was halfway up my calf, Ed responded that when it gets to your knee give me a call.
What a gentle soul he was.
Sylvia Kampe

Story #1

After Hurricane Alicia, my friend, Sylvia, and I went over to Mary and Ed's house to visit, as we had heard that it had been substantially damaged. We found Mary in their bedroom cleaning and Ed was assigned to the boys room to do the same. All of a sudden Ed appears at the door of the bedroom where we were, shirtless as their was no AC. He was holding a piece of paper with some hand written instructions on it that he had found on the floor. He said this was a keeper that his boys might need. The instructions, hand written, were entitled "How to Make a Home-Made Bomb". Ed absolutely loved it - so proud of the research his boys had been doing.

Story #2

One summer Saturday I had been outside by the pool for the afternoon. When I came in I noticed a bump between my eyes that had not been there earlier. I called Ed, told him about the bump between my eyes, and asked if I could run over so he could have a look at it. He said OK I could come if I wanted to, but he was pretty sure the bump was my nose.

Story #3

On numerous occasions I called the Hannigan residence and had this conversation with Ed.

EJ: Hi Ed this is EJ. Is Mary home?
Ed: No
EJ: Do you know when she will be home?
Ed: No
EJ: Do you know where I can reach her? (before cell phones)
Ed: No
EJ: Ed, when was the last time you saw Mary?
Ed: Well, what day is this?
EJ Thursday
Ed: I think it was Tuesday. No, maybe it was Monday, or make that Sunday. When she gets here I'll try to remember to tell her you called.

Story #4

We had our monthly Saturday night couples bridge group at the Marchands. Ed arrived at 7PM without Mary. When we questioned Ed as to where Mary was, he said he had no idea. He told us that she had left their house early that morning to go to Friendswood, and run some errands, and that he hadn't heard from her. (This occurred before we all had cell phones.) Sylvia, Gaye and I were really concerned and wondered if we should organize a search party and go looking for her. Ed said he wasn't worried and not to go to any trouble looking for her. Well, we started playing bridge and Mary arrived about 45 minutes later. We, the three ladies, were all relieved, but Ed never batted an eye over the whole thing.
Pete & EJ Petree

One time he joked that he was inviting strangers into the room during my exam. I use this joke occasionally on my own patients since I thought it was so funny. He always had a smile on his face and a joke on his tongue.

I loved him dearly, but I obviously did a terrible job of keeping in touch with him. I hope he knows just how much he meant to me and everyone else he crossed paths with. He was in all honesty the #1 reason I went to UTMB. To this day I think about this "Hanniganism" every time I get in bed on call. I remember him asking me if I had learned what the trick was to taking call? Answer: Your socks. Telling me to always take my socks off when going to sleep on call, or I wouldn't be able to get comfortable enough to fall asleep.
Dr Hannigan and his many isms will be a part of me forever.
Maryam Baird

Ed is a wonderful person, something that was very evident to me the first time we met him. I recall his comment to no one in particular, as your son, and other sons, were boarding a plane going to the military, I seem to recall. He said .may God bless their souls., not singling out your son but wishing comfort to all who were going in harm.s way. To me, without more, this evidenced he was a true gentle man and gentleman. I then learned firsthand that my first impression of him was correct as we saw you both on some brief occasions. I remember him always as bright, funny, charming, warm and a gentleman.
His work has helped so many. He is a true hero. His memory lives on and that can never be erased from any of us whose lives he has touched. With that, he will always be with us. Take comfort in knowing he lived a wonderful life, full of fun and adventure, well loved by many, certainly by all who knew him. Know, too, that his talents saved many lives and he brought peace and happiness to many.
Gerard Swonke

It was my honor to manage his clinic until IKE. During that time I had a very bad MOH.s surgery on my face. They had to go in several times and I had a huge bandage on my face. I was sneaking through the hallways as not to scare the patients. Dr. Hannigan was sitting at the end of the hallway at the nurse.s station. As I approached I heard music by the time I was right in front of him I realized it was the Phantom of The Opera. He had put in a CD and planned to do this as I passed. Not only was he one of the best physicians I have every worked with he was also one of the best men I have ever known.
Maureen J. Skielvig

What a beautiful man. Loving, kind, smart, and completely devoted to his family. He taught me to trust my instincts, leave no stone unturned, and share a laugh when you have nothing else to offer. He was the most fun in the OR I have ever had. I had the great fortune to have him as my residency director for most of my training at UTMB, and his lessons are still with me today. I am still grateful for Mrs. Hannigan babysitting Katherine all those years ago so I could take my boards!
Mary Claire Haver

I will miss his humor, intelligence and the joy he brought into our lives. He has always been a ray of sunshine in my life dating back to high school. It is hard to imagine a world without Edward in it. He will be greatly missed.
I hope you know how much he loved you all and how happy you made him.
Tracy Harris

Your husband was so kind to me during my breast cancer ordeal. He allowed me to "pick his brain" and helped my make decisions that were right for me. When Margaret Tramonte was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, your husband allowed me to go with Ms. Tramonte to her visits and be a "another set of ears" to help her through her illness and treatment options He had a gentle spirit and an incredible mind - he will be missed!
The big lesson that I learned from the breast cancer is that life is fragile and we are only on this earth for a limited time so we must enjoy the "present" - a gift from God and be grateful for all his blessings. I am so grateful that Edward Hannigan was in my life and there for me. You were terrific neighbors and I still miss having you next door, even though you loved "that other school in Texas."
Winston Churchhill said, "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Your husband gave to everyone and seemed to have a wonderful life. You and your family are so blessed to have someone like him in your life. I know that he will help you from heaven to get over this awful heartbreak.
Carol Yarbrough

Ed is the nicest man I have ever met, and the best partner a guy could ever work with, and I have admired him since the moment we met.
Mark G. Doherty, M.D.

Gerald and I are very sad too, and Gerald has always talked about their good times going back and forth to Aggieland. Please keep in touch...and you are so right, Edward was a saint here on Earth, so humble and so generous of his time and expertise. The angels will surely rejoice to have him in Heaven.
Susanne Sullivan

I think this title belongs to Edward-"He is an institution at the institution!"
Frances Knape

He was a wonderful man. I think about him and his way with patients and people almost every day. He will be missed.
Jayson Field

Edward was a truly remarkable friend, physician, and colleague.
Ann Anderson

The world is now less.
But heaven got a new angel...
Mark G. Doherty, M.D.

That said I know there are many angels that have a light heart because they are now being told tales by a master teller of tales -- ole Ed himself. Ed always possessed a dry and irreverent sense of humor which I for one always enjoyed -- I know today there are many smiles and full out belly laughs erupting all over heaven.
Ip and I will lift a Guinness in salute to his life! You and the boys have much to remember and be proud of -- he was a fine man!

He was just a G-R-E-A-T guy and such a compasionate physician.

Edward was a remarkable man, father and grandfather and we are so deeply sorry for your loss. I will miss his humor the most.
Deanna and Sean Barrett

A wonderful doctor and friend.....we all will miss him...
lawren and fred

Edward was so kind and friendly. Also, chipped in several times to help with things at Feather Fest I was working on. Our community and UTMB will feel the loss of his presence I am certain.
Karla Klay

You don't know me but your husband spoke at the Health Care Professionals for Life meeting earlier this year. I am the president of that group and so talked to your husband a few times, mostly by e-mail. He is an inspiration to me and has been to others who heard him speak that day.
Mary Catharine Maxian

He was truly the only Catholic doc we knew who was solid on beginning-of-life and end-of-life issues. Our whole office is grieving his loss as he was so vital to the cause and such an all-around cheerful servant.
Elizabeth Graham
Texas Right to Life

Russ & I just wanted you to know how much the rosary, funeral, burial, and being at the Pelican Club meant to us. Oh, how beautiful and serene each was. So many people came to pay their respects and pay tribute to a wonderful husband, father, physician and friend to all that knew him. I truly hope that you know how much of an inspiration Ed was and his legacy will go on for a lifetime.
Cece Snyder

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal
Love leaves memories no one can steal"
..naturally an Irish quote, but true!
Denise Barkis

I only worked with Dr Hannigan for 6 years but I will never forget his smile, the jokes, his patient care, the smile on this face when the grand daughter was born, to locate his office we directed them by the baby pictures. and how he cared for his family and clinic family. He loved his patients.I remember we use to have to get on him about bringing the patients back before we registered them, he would do the nurse job and his.LOL. I.m going to miss him! He was always going the extra mile .
I also remember when I was getting married I asked for his approval and when I decided to leave ob/gyn the beautiful reference letter he wrote for me.
He will be sadly missed. I will keep on loving his family and will continue to keep you and you family in my prayers.
Mary Robinson Basurto,
Past Oncology OB/GYN OSA

What an incredibly wonderful man! I have so many fond memories of him and you and the boys. You made my childhood a little sweeter and I thank you for that.
Much Love,
Anna Jean Pitt Ahwazi

I've always said that if I can be half of the father to my three sons that Mr Hannigan was to yours, then I will be successful.
Semper Fidelis,
Shawn Cunningham

He was such a neat guy - funny and easy-going. I see so much of him in Casey. Our thoughts are prayers continue to be with you and your family.
Lawrie Coope

It was very nice seeing you all together as a family in Boston with Uncle Edward. His sense of humor and optimism reminded me of all the summers I used to spend in Galveston with you all when I was a kid. I will always remember him in that way.
God bless you all.

Dr. Hannigan has been very instrumental in my life. His care and compassion sets him apart.
With love,
Bernice Robinson-Bennett
Fellow 2004-2008

I have been an employee at UTMB for 18 years. During my early years in the OB/Gyn department I had only heard of Dr. Hannigan. His reputation definitely preceeded him and he was known as the Dysplasia guru. It seemed like ALL patients with any type of gyn abnormality suspicious for cancer were sent to him for his opinion. It wasn't until after Hurricane Ike that I was able to work side by side with him in the Dickinson Cancer Center with gyn/oncology patients and really got to know him. I have to say I did not expect such an approachable and humorous man. His patients adored him. Today in clinic we had several of his patients just break down crying because they had just found out of his death.

I enjoyed working with him VERY much. I described him as our "comic relief" at the clinic. He would call the clinic for any reason and identify himself by one of his many aliases-
Michael Colangio and Brock Fontaine come to my mind right now. He would tell patients "On a list of things you need to worry about in life, this condition is #75". He took the lighter side of serious situations and made them so much more bearable for patients.

He would also do little things to initiate the new rotation of residents. Outside of each patient door in our clinic there is a row of colored plastic flags. He would (with a very serious and stern face and voice) say "the red flag is indicated out if.....the patient is a Scorpio, the blue....Sagittarius "and so on. He would also answer the most serious questions regarding patient care initially with "well what does the magic 8 ball say?"

His latest catchphrase was to greet in an email or on the phone with a simple "Yo". When I asked what that term meant I was graced with a page long definition of the word "Yo" and its proper use in the English language.

I hope that in some small you your family can take comfort in knowing that he touched so many hearts and helped so many unfortunate people who might have otherwise suffered a poorer outcome without his brilliance. I feel blessed to have known him. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Erica Bette

I am so sorry for your loss. He was my hero. In the 28 yrs we worked together he saved so many women from dying from cancer. He had so much passion for the work he did. He not only did a job he poured his compassion into it. The Valley and the world has lost a great humanitarian,and a great doctor. If my heart is broken, I can not begin to imagine how you and your family must feel. My deepest sympathy goes to you and your boys.
Teresa Ramos

We are devastated about Edward's illness and passing and your family's difficult journey. I'm sure you are beginning to appreciate (more than ever) how much he meant to so many. He influenced my professional and personal life more than anyone I have ever worked with. He was the ultimate mentor in that he truly did care and worked behind the scenes, not looking for any credit whatsoever. I know he paid a price for his dedication to patients and trainees. I want to sincerely thank you and your family for sharing him with us. He was like a father to me and I considered him one of my best friends.
I loved him and will miss him so much.
Thank you for keeping us updated so well during the recent events.

I was a resident with Mary Claire Haver. I loved your husband's gentle way with patients, and admired his ability to teach the most difficult concepts without being disparaging, even when we deserved it. When I was interviewing in Galveston for residency, I was nervously throwing out the requisite questions that those interviews require. I asked what do you look for in a resident? Dr. Hannigan replied, "I look for someone I want to work with at 4 in the morning." I think he was a guy with his priorities straight. I will miss him. My heart goes out to your family.

~~ Kate White

Buddy and I woke up this morning with heavy hearts upon reading your email that was forwarded to me. Buddy recalled his days of being an altar boy with Edward and then nearly blowing him up in the A&M dorm upon the corps prank that was carried out from Hopgood's order.

I'll never forget when you took me to my first Aggie Mom boutique and then we shared tickets to the football games. Some really good times and wonderful memories of you and Edward.

Love and prayers,
Linda and Buddy

Dear Mary, I was a 1st year resident @ Bethesda, when your husband was a senior resident. I just heard about Edward's death and just wanted to let you know how sorry I am. Over the past several yrs, I would occasionally call your husband when I had a complicated case.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this sad time. He will be missed.

Steve Harris

Mary, Patrick, Casey & Brandan,
Please accept our condolences as we mourn the passing of a legend in the medical community and the nicest most caring person.

There are many many heavy hearts today across the USA today.


He was a caring and kind physician who always made me laugh and yet get to the serious side of my health problems. I am forever grateful for his care and knowing him. Galveston and UTMB have lost a hero and one of a kind. -Vicki Lewis

First, from a recollection from our mutual friend Harry Kreisler, 1963 class valedictorian and now executive director of the Institute of International Relations at the University of California at Berkeley, who sends condolences:

A note Edward is said to have presented to his gym teacher at Ball High, purportedly over his mother's signature, perhaps to win a bet that his instructor would never read it, went as follows:

"Please excuse Edward from gym class today. He has leprosy."

Second, from a chance encounter he and I had shortly after his return to UTMB as an assistant professor, after I asked him his specialty:

"Gynecology." And after a beat or two to let that information sink in, he added crisply: "Yes, I went with my first love."

Third, after Texas Monthly published my story "The Throwdown" in June 1979, adding to the Texas vernacular lexicon that compound word for a weapon planted at the scene of a [usually fatal] shooting by police to justify the false claim that the deceased had pointed a weapon at an officer or officers, Edward solemnly informed me that there was an epidemic raging in the UTMB operating rooms.

Following my inevitable question, "What is it?", he responded (deadpan as usual), "Throwdown scalpels."

If Edward were having a traditional Irish wake, at this point I'd raise my glass and salute him as follows: "Here's to him, there's none like him. More's the pity." -Tom Curtis

I wanted to add my condolences to the family of Ed. I also wanted to say that he was a wonderful consultant to me for many years. Every time I called him he made himself available to help me and my patients. He also would have some funny comment that was always different and would make me feel better about things. My favorite story about him involved a patient that I had referred to him from my practice in Port Arthur, Texas. She had far advanced ovarian cancer and he had operated on her. One night about 9pm he called me and asked me to order some lab work on her the next day. This patient lived just down the street from me in Port Arthur and he was calling me from her home after making a house call to check on her. What a guy! We will miss him so much. Will we ever see another one like him? In loving memory, Gene Jones,M.D.

I was a third year Resident, Ed had given my 2 cohort upper year residents vacation. I was running around the hospital doing Ob service, Gyn service, ER, and Clinic. I stopped by Dr Hannigan's office and asked him why he had given vacation to the other 2 residents. He looked at me(you know that guirky half smile look) and said, " well i knew you could do it". I leaned back against the wall took a deep breath and got a STAT page to L&D.

The other is Ed said when he was doing his Residentcy in the Navy, he was operating on a patient and in the middle of the operation her husband's voice began speaking to him and the OR team, they could not figure out what was going on. After the opeartion the husband told Ed he had placed a small microphone [speaker?] in his wife's vagina!

About 20 years ago I gave Ed a silk tie that had baseball game ticket stubbs as a pattern on it. He wrote me a letter in ink from his fountain pen telling me about all the games, all the players, all the historical neuonces the tickets stubbs represented. Very typical Ed and his ink fountain pen.

The last is Ed was very concerned about Roger Yandell. I told Ed that a few people in Galveston had called me about seeing Roger come out of Liquor stores. He thanked me for calling him and not Dr Anderson. Ed initiated an intervention. Prayers for Ed and love to the Family. -Betty Edwards,M.D.