Obituary of Robert T. Hanley
New Hartford – Robert T. Hanley, 91 of Preswick Glen, New Hartford, NY, passed away peacefully on November 2, 2021.
Born in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Bob was the son of the late Grace Hammond Hanley and Raymond William Hanley.
As a proud upstate New Yorker, Bob spent his early years in Cortland and Vestal, NY. His later years, he and June, his wife of sixty-eight years were blessed to share time with family on their favorite homesteads on Skaneateles Lake, NY, Amelia Island, FL, and Mountain Aire, NC.
Bob attended Vestal High School and college at SUNY Binghamton. His lifelong value of higher education inspired him to contribute to college experiences for each of his four children and their families. However it was Bob's passion for private business, finance, and a young entrepreneurial spirit which drove him to such a high level of success. Together with June, the couple created, owned and operated Willow Run Foods in Vestal, NY, before either had reached the age of twenty. Willow Run Foods grew to become one of the largest successful wholesale food distributors in the northeast. Bob influenced hundreds of employees by mentoring many and setting a high example of fairness, strong personal ethics, and equality. Surrounding his business team with good people and promoting from within its ranks gave him much enjoyment and success. His keen wit and his delight in hosting a good party set high expectations and much anticipation for his company's annual food shows. As he and June neared retirement, the couple successfully encouraged their loyal employees to buy into their company business through an ESOP which gave their employees full ownership of Willow Run Foods.
Bob also was known for his philanthropic spirit and was proud to establish The Hanley Foundation for charitable purposes. His "Bob's Bridge" project gave him immense pleasure at Preswick Glen Independent Living Center. The new gazebo was his latest gift to the Prewick Glen Community, where he and June spent their last years. Yet, it was Bob's love of his late wife, June, their four children, and extended family which gave him his highest personal fulfillment. After he and June traveled extensively throughout the world, they discovered more togetherness and joy with their adult children on wonderful family vacations together. In his later years, when June was not as fond of travel and adventure, Bob treasured the trips abroad with his son Bob and son-in-law Bruce. His family will always cherish the memory of his gift of dancing, and singing harmonies with June while she played family favorite tunes on the piano. Bob had a competitive spirit and valued physical fitness. He was an avid tennis player, golfer, runner, hiker, and was always up for an adventure! Bob was very proud of becoming a licensed pilot after his retirement, and enjoyed flying his own plane for hundreds of trips across the country. Bob loved his country and its history, and was tremendously honored to be described as "a man who truly lived the American dream."
Bob leaves behind his four beloved children, Robert W. (Cynthia) Hanley of Newport Beach, CA, Susan (Bruce) Hanley of Amherst, MA, Kathleen (Charles) Iles of Boonville, NY, and Thomas (Jane) Hanley of Schenectady, NY; his treasured grandchildren, Lindsey June, Holly May, Alexander Robert, Sarah Grace, William James; and his first great grandchildren, Camryn May and Callum Bharat Kara. Bob leaves his much loved in- laws, Jane Hanley, Irene Foster, Rex (Judy) Stahl, Jean Pelham, and Jennie Stahl; and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his wife and parents, Bob was predeceased by cherished brother Charlie Hanley and loving in-laws, Marie, Grace, Gail, Jack, Jim and Jane.
Bob was blessed to have had wonderful compassionate caregivers, to whom his family extends heartfelt gratitude. Angela, Sandy, Eileen, and Dae provided him with much enjoyable companionship and dignified care in his Preswick Glen home.
In keeping with Bob's wishes there will be a memorial gathering, celebrating his life, at a future date. Online condolences may be made by visiting www.maleckifuneralhome.com.
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