Karr Tuttle Campbell Mourns the Loss of Mary Ellen Hanley

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Mary Ellen Hanley, a long-time partner at Karr Tuttle Campbell, passed away on Monday, August 17, 2009.  Mary Ellen joined the firm in 1963 and retired in 1988.  She received a B.S. degree in Physics, cum laude, from Brown University. During the Korean War, she served as a commissioned officer in the United States Marine Corps.  While serving in the Marines, Mary Ellen graduated with honors from the Naval Justice School, at Newport, RI.  After leaving the Corps she earned her J.D. from the University of Washington Law School, where she was inducted into the Order of the Coif, signifying her inclusion in the top ten percent of her graduating class.  She came to work at Karr Tuttle Campbell as an associate, focused her practice on commercial litigation, and became a Senior Partner in 1973.  While at Karr Tuttle Campbell, Mary Ellen became a great mentor to younger attorneys, who found her approachable, professional, patient, and inspiring – in essence, a great teacher and role model.

In 1978, President Jimmy Carter did  Mary Ellen the high honor of appointing her as the first woman member of the Board of Visitors of the United States Naval Academy, an organization she eventually chaired. Mary Ellen’s many years of civilian service to the military also included being a member of the Executive Committee and Trustee of the United States Naval Academy Foundation; Regional Vice President of the Naval War College Foundation; member of the Department of Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Service (DACOWITS); and member of the Code Committee of the U.S. Court of Military Appeals.  She was awarded the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal and was a Tudor Scholar of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate School.

After retiring from Karr Tuttle Campbell, Mary Ellen stayed active and engaged in life.  She enjoyed world travel and in fact sailed around the world 18 times, setting foot on 92 countries during her lifetime.  She thoroughly enjoyed returning to Karr Tuttle Campbell’s annual Founder’s Day luncheons, where she took great interest in the firm’s welfare. Recently, she reported, with relish, her attendance at a meeting of the Bar Association Board of Governors, where, ever the lawyer, she won a concession regarding her dues status.

Karr Tuttle Campbell is thankful for Mary Ellen’s lasting contributions to the firm and to our nation’s military.  We mourn the loss of such a smart, vibrant, warm, and generous person. Mary Ellen’s cremated remains will be interred in the grave of her husband, Commander Robert T. Hanley, USN, at Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, Virginia.

Memorials to honor Ms. Hanley may be made to either or both of the following scholarships of the United States Naval Foundation: The Commander Robert T. Hanley, USN Scholarship in the United States Naval Foundation Preparatory School Program or The Timothy R. Hanley, USN ’78 Scholarship in the United States Naval Foundation Preparatory School Program.  The United States Naval Foundation’s contact information:  25 Maryland Avenue, Annapolis, MD 21401,