Albert Hannigan

May 9, 2017 - 9:46am Updated: May 24, 2017 - 10:36am
Sunday, May 7, 2017

Albert Hannigan, late of Shellbrook went to be with his Lord on Sunday, May 7, 2017 just a few days shy of his 93rd birthday. Albert was born on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 11, 1924 on the farm at Viscount, Sask. to Albert “Ernie” Hannigan and Cora Hannigan. He was the youngest of a family of four, Fae Velma, Garth Ernest and Beula Beatrice. Life on the dairy farm influenced and shaped his life. He was a very early riser his whole life due to growing up with a 4:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. milking schedule. The Hannigan dairy was successful, so when he came of age to go to war, did not, as milk was considered a scarce commodity and those who were integral in producing it were obliged to supply milk to the nation. He had a keen mind and many interests, He loved to challenge his mind and learn new things. He played chess, emailed from his computer, had a Facebook account and in his late 80s added Spanish lessons to his repertoire of knowledge so he could converse with the Honey plant workers from Nicaragua and Mexico. He loved to play and watch sports on tv, particularly the Canadian curling teams and was a Roughriders fan. He’d been a good athlete in high school and participated in what was then called the hop, step and jump and pole vaulted landing in sand. There were no deep sponge mats in those years. He was fascinated with our galaxy and the vastness of the universe beyond and even had a small telescope. Although he had many interests there were three passions sparked in his youth that remained through to the end of his life. As a thirteen year old boy he and his brother Garth attended revival meetings in Viscount where he first began his walk with Jesus Christ as his Saviour. This shaped his whole life, how he dedicated his life in service to others, how he deeply loved his wife Marion to his last breath. How he raised his children and how he conducted his business. Everything was underpinned by his deep and abiding belief. His second passion arrived in the form of a hive of bees from the Eatons catalogue at the age of 16 and it was love at first sting! He never seemed to mind being stung, he minded mosquito bites much more. Only one time did he ever have a big negative response to bee  stings. He was bent over in a bee yard, working hard when he inadvertently backed up into a hive covered with bees. He was stung many times on the bottom. Oh how he danced and howled! Then he stopped and just laughed and laughed. He was rarely upset about anything for very long and believed very strongly to  focus on the good in life and in other people. His third passion but not at all his least was the love of his life Marion Hannigan (nee Holcomb) who was is bride for nearly 70 years. The two first met on the Viscount farm in the dairy barn March 1945. Albert was milking a cow and singing. Neither could remember what that first song was, but it was the first of many in a budding romance that culminated in their wedding October 11, 1947 at Viscount. They spent their first two years there and in 1948 their first son Garry was born. They moved to Big River in 1949 to farm alongside Albert’s brother Garth. In the early years both brothers hauled logs in the north of the province for Eikel and Lomsnes besides Albert farming dairy cattle and grain and Garth farming hogs. He always had honeybees and over the years was able to increase the number of colonies  at Big River. Those years brought an increase in the family as well with the addition of five more sons and one daughter, David, Brian, Ron, Murray, Lorna and Neil. He was a wonderful father who taught by example and willingly gave assistance when needed. The farm and apiary were places of hard demanding work, but also of a song, a happy tease or a joke. In 1974 there was opportunity to acquire land at Shellbrook where there was more forage in canola and alfalfa for the bees than at Big River, so at 50 years of age he began to build his dream of owning an apiary. His love of honeybees was evident with every hive he opened. He would exclaim about the health of the colony, how much pollen or honey they’d been able to gather or if the weather outside was conducive for a ‘good bee day”. In 2015 Hannigans Honey celebrated 75 years of sweetness and the business has been carried on by Albert’s son Murray, daughterin-law Ruby along with partners Dave and Nicole Philp. Dad was very proud of what the business had become and gave tours of the honey plant whenever he could. Albert became a lay minister in his late 20’s. He performed many weddings and presided over many funerals, his last that of a good friend this last November. He continued in his ministry until his last breath and continues to minister through the many lives he touched. He sang and brought the gospel message faithfully for many years, weekly to the nursing homes at Canwood, Shellbrook and Leask and at the Shellbrook Hospital. He and Marion travelled extensively to visit family but also with church ministry. He along with others from Global Missions spread the gospel throughout Canada, the U.S. , the Philippines, South Korea and the Caribbean and also travelled with Marion to Israel. They faithfully attended church camp twice yearly at Easter and summer from 1949 through to 2016. This Easter camp was the first one ever to be missed. He spoke at the end, of how wonderful and fulfilling his life had been. He spoke with complete peace. He truly believed in the song lyrics “If I can Help Somebody Along the Way, Then My Living Has not been in vain”. In so living a life of service to others he gained a life of blessing; the blessing of love. He is lovingly remembered by his wife of 69 1/2 years Marion Hannigan (nee Holcomb) and their family: Daughter-in-law Barb Hannigan and family: Ryan (Sarah) and her children, Kasey and Mathew, Marissa (Andy) and children, Ryley, Sebastian and Alexa; David (Ruth Anne) Hannigan and family Crystal (Stephen) and children, Zechariah and Chavah, Andrew (Natalie); Brian (Marjorie) Hannigan and family: Bryce (Julia) and children, Karina and Juliana, Robin (Elizabeth), Kelly (Victoria) Beckett and daughter, Vera Matthew; Ron (Lynette) Hannigan and family: Adrienne (Jeremy) and children, Gavin and Hunter, Brett (Jenn), Jeremy (Yukari); Murray (Ruby) Hannigan and family: Lydia (Matthew) and children, Dayton and Madison; Jordan (Nicole) and children, Hudson and Isla, Daniel (Tammy); Lorna (Garry) Neufeld and family: Dale; Joel (Nicole), Allyssa (Cole), Douglas and Andy; Neil (Linda) Hannigan and family: Ross, Marcus, Colin, numerous nieces, nephews, relatives, honorary family members Jamie Erb and Albert’s Global Mission Community Family. Albert is predeceased by: His parents, A. Ernest and Cora Hannigan (nee Swayeze); his dear son, Garry Hannigan; his siblings, Fae (Fred) Jerome, Garth (Ellen) Hannigan, and Beula (Clyde) Holcomb; brother-in-law Ken Ferrier. Public visitation was held Friday, May 12, 2017 at the Hannigan Honey House. Celebration of Life, was held Saturday, May 13, 2017 at the Shellbrook Community Hall. Officiating The Hannigan Family. Special music All of the Hannigan Family. Shared Memories Brian Hannigan. Pallbearers were Barb Hannigan, David Hannigan, Brian Hannigan, Ron Hannigan, Murray Hannigan, Lorna Neufeld and Neil Hannigan. Memorial donations may be directed to Global Missions Inc. Box 878, North Battleford, SK S9A 2Z3. Final resting place is the Shellbrook Cemetery.

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