Maureen (Wenk) Hanigan, 93, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, November 19th surrounded by family at her home on Lake Quacumquasit (South Pond) in East Brookfield, MA. A Springfield native, Maureen attended Classical High School and studied speech and drama at Emerson College in Boston. As an early female entrepreneur, she started her own speech studio and taught elocution. She was a speech therapist for the Agawam school system and had her own weekly radio program called The Children’s Hour on station WTXL. In 1951, Maureen married Thomas J. Hanigan of Springfield. They raised three daughters in Springfield and then Longmeadow, MA. Maureen was a tireless volunteer running programs and raising money for the Boys and Girls Club of Springfield, the Holy Child Guild and other charitable organizations. She also dedicated endless hours to her church, her childrens’ schools and activities, and several friends with special needs. During the 1960s she held a weekly story hour at the Longmeadow Public Library. With a deep love of, and concern for South Pond, she organized lake residents and began an advocacy organization that is now known as the Quaboag Quacumquasit Lake Association. She was an early president of the organization. After raising her children, Maureen returned to her professional career delivering workshops for women on effective public speaking for corporations, trade associations and colleges. Maureen wrote Secrets of Successful Speaking, published by MacMillan Publishing Company. She was interviewed on television and radio stations across the country in connection with her book. She later wrote and published, Forever Guilty: Zeena Frome’s Story which was selected by the Edith Wharton museum as a featured publication. When Maureen moved full time from her home in Longmeadow to East Brookfield, she managed the Old Sturbridge Village Gift Shop at the Public House, and later became the wedding consultant at Old Sturbridge Village planning and organizing weddings in the Village. Subsequently her role as a volunteer for Literacy Volunteers expanded and she was named Director of Literacy Volunteers in Southbridge, MA. She was predeceased by her husband of 66 years, Thomas Hanigan and her brother William Wenk, Jr. She is survived by her three daughters: Marie (Gary Gorbsky) Hanigan of Edmond, OK, Maury (Brian Edwards) Hanigan of New York, NY and Marietta (John Levy) Hanigan of Haddonfield, NJ; and seven grandchildren: Michael and Paul Gorbsky, Quincy Edwards, and Justin, Katelyn, Thomas and Martin Levy. Family and friends are invited to gather on Saturday, November 23, for a period of visitation from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Hafey Springfield Chapels, 494 Belmont Ave., followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. at Holy Name Church, 323 Dickinson St., Springfield, MA 01108. Committal prayers and burial will follow immediately after the Mass at St. Michael’s Cemetery in Springfield. www.hafeyfuneralservice.com
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