Saturday, Apr 21, 2018
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Priest was known as steadying force

The Rev. Paul E. Hannaford, a longtime Episcopal priest in Ohio and Pennsylvania who was a retired rector of St. Michael's in the Hills Church, Ottawa Hills, died Thursday in the Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Perrysburg Township. He was 74.

Mr. Hannaford, of West Toledo, was diagnosed in February with an aggressive soft-tissue sarcoma, his daughter Pamela Cousino said.

Before his illness, he was a part-time staff member at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church, Perrysburg, and he substituted at Toledo area Episcopal churches when regular clergy were away.

“He was pretty much committed every weekend of the summer months,” his daughter said.

Mr. Hannaford was rector of St. Michael's for 13 years, retiring in 1992. He saw his duty there as helping parishioners “see their roles as minister in the world,” he told The Blade when he arrived in 1979.

His parishioners included leaders in business and law, and Mr. Hannaford was impressed with “the tremendous amount of quality support [from parishioners] in things that needed to be done in a church, like serving on the vestry,” his daughter said.

Mr. Hannaford was known as a steadying force at the parish, Anna Mary Heywood, a longtime member, said.

“He was regarded very well. He was reliable and concerned about people of the parish,” Mrs. Heywood said.

Born in Hillsboro, Ohio, Mr. Hannaford was 9 when he started going to Episcopal Sunday school with friends. The stained glass, marble, and pipe organ were splendid contrasts to Great Depression-era hard times at home.

He continued to attend, and, he told The Blade in 1979, his decision to enter the ministry stemmed from the love and acceptance he found in his friends' parish and in the responsibilities he was given as a lay reader and acolyte.

Mr. Hannaford's attended Wilmington College, Wilmington, Ohio, but his studies were interrupted by Army service in occupied Italy, where he was a broadcaster with Armed Forces radio. Back at Wilmington, he received two bachelor's degrees.

He received a master of divinity degree from Bexley Hall at Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio. He was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1952.

“He wasn't an evangelical-type preacher,” his daughter said. “But he had such a strong faith in his everyday life, in the way he treated people, the way he supported them through difficult times. That spirituality came through in everything he did.”

He served churches in Oil City, Pa., and Greenville, Ohio. He had dual responsibilities in his first assignment as rector, leading the mission parishes of St. Paul Church, Logan, Ohio, and the Church of the Epiphany, Nelsonville, Ohio.

He was rector of Trinity Church, Pottsville, Pa., for four years before his call to St. Michael's in the Hills.

His wife, Claudia, whom he met in college and married Sept. 2, 1951, was known for her work with the Church and Synagogue Library Association. Mrs. Hannaford died June 7, 1996.

Mr. Hannaford in retirement wrote a 105-page memoir, My Story, which he had bound and distributed to family and friends.

Surviving are his daughters, Lynn LaCastro and Pamela Cousino; son, David, and four grandchildren.

There will be no visitation. The family will receive friends from 7 to 9 p.m. tomorrow in the Sylvania home of his daughter Pamela Cousino. Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. Monday in St. Timothy's Episcopal Church, Perrysburg.

The family requests tributes to the St. Michael's in the Hills music fund or Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Perrysburg Township.

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