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A dear friend of many years and Texas Right to Life board member, Dr. Edward Vincent Hannigan, passed away Tuesday evening, August 3, surrounded by his wife and sons, due to complications from his battle against lymphoma. For his entire life, Dr. Hannigan served the Pro-Life movement as a Christian, husband, father, grandfather, brother, physician, and activist.
Mary and Edward Hannigan always attended and generously sponsored Texas Right to Life's annual Celebration of Life.
Dr. Hannigan was born in Brooklyn, New York, and his family moved to Galveston when he was young. He called Galveston his home throughout his life, graduating from Ball High School in 1963. He attended Texas A & M University and graduated from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in 1970.
While commissioned in the U.S. Navy, he practiced obstetrics and gynecology at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Guam from 1971 to 1973 and later completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Leaving active duty and returning to Galveston, Dr. Hannigan began his tenure as assistant professor at UTMB in the departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Radiation Oncology. Dr. Hannigan was able to continue his service to our country with the Naval Reserves, eventually ending his Naval Career as a Captain.
While at UTMB, Dr. Hannigan served on numerous committees and received multiple awards. He was the Frances Eastland Connally Professor in Gynecologic Oncology and served as the Chief of Staff from 2000-2002. One of his major accomplishments was the establishment of the Gynecologic Oncology fellowship, which now has graduates practicing gynecologic oncology across the country.
As a moral pillar of UTMB, Dr. Hannigan was crucial in keeping abortion out of UTMB. He stood firm during accreditation review procedures when questioned about UTMB not offering abortion or abortion-related services on its premises. He also shaped the convictions of countless medical students so that they, too, would adopt only life-affirming medical practices.
Dr. Hannigan published over 80 articles in peer-reviewed journals and wrote multiple book chapters. He was selected by his peers as a Texas Monthly “Texas Super Doctor” several times. He received numerous grants while at UTMB, particularly focused on breast, colorectal, and cervical cancer screening programs.
In 2003, when the Texas Legislature passed the law requiring informed consent before an abortion, Dr. Hannigan was tapped to serve on the ad hoc committee that crafted the mandatory informed consent material. He was vital in ensuring that the booklet and materials conveyed accurate and medically sound information on both the development of the unborn child, but also the risks and effects of abortion. Additionally, Dr. Hannigan was called to testify in favor of Pro-Life legislation before the Texas Legislature at the request of Texas Right to Life.
Dr. Hannigan was crucial in keeping abortion out of UTMB. He stood firm during accreditation review procedures when questioned about UTMB not offering abortion or abortion-related services on its premises. He also shaped the convictions of countless medical students so that they, too, would adopt only life-affirming medical practices.
Dr. Hannigan has inspired generations of medical students, young physicians, and patients. Compassionate and caring are two words that consistently describe him. He encouraged excellence and often cancelled planned vacations when a patient was ill in the hospital.
His sense of humor was forever an inspiration and a key factor in nurturing his family. He was a die-hard Aggie, a wealth of knowledge on any subject, and a devoted “Chief” to his four grandchildren. He was a devout Catholic and a member of the Third Order of the Carmelites. He could often be found praying with patients at their bedside, a Rosary in hand for Catholic and non-Catholic patients alike.
Edward is survived by his loving wife of 41 years, Mary Kathryn Hannigan; his sons and daughters-in-law, Casey and Stephanie Hannigan, Patrick and Aubrey Hannigan, and Brendan and Christina Hannigan; and his grandchildren, Regan, Colin, Keller, and Quinn Hannigan. Edward has two living brothers, Raymond and Richard. He is preceded in death by his parents, Margaret and Raymond Hannigan. Edward also leaves behind many extended family members and dear friends who were an important part of his life.
Well done, good and faithful servant. You will be missed.