Robert (Bob) Hanson 94, of Carmel, N.Y. passed away on August 21 after a lingering year that was spent at home, with remarkably loving support from his family, a fabulous Hospice team, and two amazing home health aides—his “angels.” In addition to his wife, Helene, and daughters Angela Garofalo and Lisa Hanson, Robert is survived by a brother, Sigurd, and many loving extended family members, including his sister-in-law, Lyn Ciocca McCaleb.
Born in a little farmhouse in North Dakota, Robert’s adventurous spirit was manifest early as he entered the Air Force, where he spent two years. Energized by the spirit of wanderlust, he moved to Denver and then to Reno, where he completed his education to be a classroom teacher. It was there that his commitment to students with special needs began—an interest and passion that he maintained throughout his entire life. He then took a year and taught in Germany through the Department of Defense Dependent School Program. This gave rise to another passion—the love of traveling—which he nurtured throughout his lifetime.
In the early 1960s Robert was awarded a HEW grant by the US government, which supported his coursework that culminated in an Ed.D. in educational administration from Syracuse University. From there, he was recruited by the Southern Westchester BOCES. It was at BOCES, where he was serving as Director of Special Education, that he met his soon-to-be wife, Helene Ciocca, in 1971. After a few years of marriage filled with traveling and adventures, they had two daughters, Angela and Lisa.
During his years in school administration, Robert began to respond to another interest: supporting and enhancing the skills of special education teachers. Thus, after his retirement from the public sector in the mid 1980s, he combined this interest and entrepreneurial spirit to establish an educational publishing company known as National Professional Resources (NPR, Inc.), which provides a unique array of training materials for educators. This business continues to this day as part of his extensive legacy. In 2020, Robert was awarded special recognition from the Council for Exceptional Children for the contributions he made to the field of special education.
Robert and Helene always felt as if they had a second family through National Professional Resources. Meanwhile, his own family expanded as his daughter Angela married Joe Garofalo and bore his two grandchildren, Allison and his namesake, Robert Joseph (“R.J.”) Garofalo.
More than most, Robert loved life. He had an insatiable curiosity, loved to learn new things, experience new places, meet new people, and savor the many blessings in his life. He was deeply loved, respected, and admired. He will be profoundly missed.
In lieu of flowers, please make a tribute donation to the Parkinson’s Foundation, www.parkinsonsfoundation.org .
Reposing, Hawthorne Funeral Home on Wednesday, August 24,2022 from 6-8 PM. Funeral Mass, Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne, N.Y. on Thursday, 11 AM. Entombment to follow.
*** Facial Masks and Social Distancing is requested by the family, Thank You in Advance.***
HAWTHORNE FUNERAL HOME
21 West Stevens Ave.
Hawthorne, New York 10532