Patricia "Patsy" Ann (O'Connor) Hanigan was born December 17, 1933, to Laurence and Monica (Manion) O'Connor in Dunlap, Iowa. She was raised in the Dunlap area and graduated from St. Joseph Catholic School in Dunlap in 1952. On October 26, 1953, Patsy married Gerald "Jerry" Hanigan, Sr., at the St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Dunlap. The couple lived most of their lives together on their farm east of Dunlap, where Jerry passed on June 18, 1997. In 2003, Patsy moved from the family farm to the home she built in the town of Dunlap, in which she was actively involved and could frequently be spotted engaged in fond conversation with anyone she happened to meet.
Patsy was a member of the St. Patrick's Catholic Church, St. Patrick's Altar Society, and the Catholic Daughters, Court St. Monica #300. In service to her church, she held many offices within the Catholic Daughters organization, including serving as state Vice-Grand Regent and as regional District Deputy. Over the course of her 81 years as a member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Patsy -- whose many gifts included unmatched skill in the kitchen -- made hundreds of "covered dishes" for any number of parish events. Likewise, anyone fortunate enough to visit with Patsy in her home were sure never to be sent away hungry -- physically or otherwise. Patsy's warm smile and sentimental nature were a reflection of her care and consideration for others. Whether through the simple elegance of a card or the sincerity of her conversation, Patsy's life was one that truly personified "Love thy Neighbor". Patsy had a gift for not only making you feel better about yourself, but also for making you want to better yourself.
Patsy's eight children and numerous grandchildren, whom she loved unconditionally and selflessly, were her greatest pride and joy in life. She received no news with greater pleasure -- and often tears -- than that of learning that her large family would add another member, either through the birth of a new baby or by marriage. Her tireless devotion to her family filled her days; she rarely missed events -- whether great or small -- in the lives of those whom she loved. Patsy's passion for the interests of her grandchildren was known to place her in the front row of any recital or play and in the hallway or a waiting car for any too-close-to-call sporting event.
For Patsy, there was no distance too great to travel to spend time with family, and she thoroughly enjoyed taking trips with her children and grandchildren. Perhaps the only thing which she enjoyed more than these travels, was coming home to Dunlap. At the end of her days, it was a moment of divine grace that allowed Patsy to return to her home, surrounded by her family, in celebration of Christmas -- though any occasion in which Patsy found herself in the company of others was cause for celebration. In fulfillment of the Lord's covenant, Patsy made her final trip home on Thursday, January 22, 2015, at the Dunlap Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, at the age of 81 years, one month, and five days. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; grandson, Tanner Schatz; brother, John O'Connor; and two sisters, Marilyn O'Connor Ganong and Monnie Jo Honaker. She is survived by her eight children, Tom (Mary) Hanigan of West Okoboji, IA,; Dr. Larry (Ann) Hanigan of Omaha, NE; Dick (Lyn) Hanigan of Dunlap, IA; Dr. Mary Jo (Monte Schatz) Hanigan of Omaha, NE; Jerry (Sheila) Hanigan of Dunlap, IA; Jim (Deb) Hanigan of Dunlap, IA; Bill Hanigan of Ankeny, IA; and Jane (Jon ) Kinney of Omaha, NE; 26 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; four siblings, Dr. Larry O'Connor of Barling, AR; William O'Connor of Albuquerque, NM; Suzanne (Bob) Rannells of Nashville, TN; and Rosemary O'Connor of Boston, MA; three sisters-in-law, Kathleen Janssen of West Des Moines, IA; Marjorie Brosnahan of Logan, IA; Virginia (Jerry) Klein of Dunlap, IA; and a host of relatives and friends.