Eileen K Hanhauser of Dover, DE, peacefully passed away surrounded by loved ones after a long and courageous health battle on May 26, 2021, at Bayhealth Kent Campus, Dover, DE. She was born on January 5, 1945, in Scranton, PA, to the late Stanley T Sawejko and Claire G Sawejko(Gruszewski). As their only child, she was beloved and adored by her parents and their large extended family, who raised her to treat every one with compassion and generosity. She was resilient from the beginning, beating childhood polio and told her survival story with pride.Eileen graduated from St. Joseph’s Hospital Nursing School (Carbondale, PA) with her Diploma in Nursing and began her nursing career in the Emergency Department. She thrived as a nurse,her compassion and intelligence guiding her in challenging decisions and easing the struggles ofher patients. Eileen stayed in the ED for many years,eventually transitioning into a Nurse Leadership Role. After her family’s move from Pennsylvania to Delaware, she continued her career in the ER, eventually moving into Acute Care,where she opened new nursing units and developed new departments. Through this work, Elieen met multiple people and left an indelible mark on them forever. During this time, Eileen worked full time, cared for her family, completed her BSN, and achieved her Nursing Home Administration License. In 1999, Eileen found her calling in long-term care. She became a Nursing Home Administrator and worked for Genesis Health in Milford and Manor House in Seaford, DE.Her name was known throughout the state due to her passion for fighting for resident’s rights.She retired in 2014 to take care of her husband George J Hanhauser III.
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Her love story with George began on a blind date,and they were married for over 53 years.Together, they raised three beautiful children and were able to experience the joys of grandchildren. They were the love of each other’s lives and shared many wonderful adventures,such as traveling and owning a beach house for all of their family to enjoy.Eileen exuded kindness and love. She welcomed many people into her life and home, even“adopting” some extra children who still fight over the label of Kid #4. Holidays were an open house, where family and friends of the family and even friends of friends could come unannounced and enjoy food and company. She took great pride in making sure every visitor left well-fed and with something to take home. Holidays were her favorite, as she reigned supreme in the kitchen and could host so much love in her home.Eileen loved her family and being surrounded by love and happiness. Eileen’s family included many pets over the years. While she loved each of the family dogs, who were spoiled beyond belief, she was always especially fond of cats. Sadie,her black cat, brought her so much comfort and joy in her last two years in a way that no medicine could.
Eileen’s heart always belonged to her grandchildren. She loved spending time with them,whether at Lewes walking through an antique store,teaching one of them a new recipe, or sharing stories of her life - she always found a way to connect and make memories with them. Her resilience from her childhood battle with polio was needed many more times in her life. In2001, Eileen bravely fought breast cancer and success fully went into remission. Over the years,she went toe to toe with many serious health battles,but her spirit was never dimmed. When her husband passed away, it was the love she had for her family that pushed her through the grips of grief. Eileen Hanhuaser was a woman who loved fiercely,and it’s this love that we all should remember her by.Eileen is survived by her three children: Colonel(US Army, retired) George J Hanhauser IV and wife Erin of Cameron, NC; Karen A Merson and husband Michael of Dover DE; Gretchen M Hanhauser and husband Harry Allen; and 10 grandchildren Kelly and Claire Hanhauser; Rachel,Zachary, and Ricky Merson; Elise, Stella, Stanley,John, and Bernadette Hanhauser
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered 10 AM, Wednesday, June 2nd at The Church of The Holy Cross, 631 S. State St., Dover, DE 19901. Burial will follow in Holy Cross Cemetery, Dover. Visitation will be held 6 to 8PM Tuesday June 1st. at the Funeral Home of Michael J. Ambruso, 1175 S. State St. Dover, DE 19901 Donations in her memory may be made to Compassion for Cats of Delaware (where she adopted Sadie) 102 East Camden-Wyoming Ave, Camden, DE 19934 or Delaware Hospice 911 S. DuPont Highway, Dover, DE 19901.
Condolences may be shared via www.ambruso.com