Eleanor J. Hanes, of Lansing, retired elementary school teacher, died peacefully in her sleep early Wednesday, September 8, 2010 ending a six-year battle with cancer. She was 79.

The consummate school teacher, Eleanor loved her profession. She had a deep respect for the English language and how it is used, both written and spoken. And she shared that enthusiasm with her students in the classroom for over thirty years.

Eleanor was born in Berrien Springs, Michigan, on May 24, 1931. Her father, Richard H. Weine, was Berrien Springs school superintendent and her mother, Bessie Barrie Weine, was an elementary teacher in a one-room school house before teaching in Cassopolis. Both are deceased.

Eleanor continued the family teaching tradition, receiving her bachelor degree in education and master’s in English from Michigan State University. She began her teaching career in Birmingham, Michigan, and later taught in Fair Plain near Benton Harbor. Most of her career however was spent with DeWitt Public Schools as a fifth and sixth grade teacher at Fuerstenau and Scott. She often shared many fond memories of her students and colleagues from DeWitt.

Eleanor was married August 3, 1957 in Berrien Springs to Dewey Curtis Hanes, of St. Joseph, and moved to Lansing in 1962. She and her husband were divorced in 1968, and Eleanor resumed her teaching career.

A devoted mother, Eleanor raised her four daughters during the sixties and seventies. She successfully accomplished this by instilling the girls with a healthy respect for (her) authority, then providing them with tons of love and acceptance.

An avid Michigan State sports fan, Eleanor scheduled each of her daughters’ weddings around the Spartan’s football and basketball seasons so that she and any potential wedding guests would not have to make the agonizing decision between attending a wedding and watching the game. Spartan success in the NCAA basketball tournament was a major incentive for her to keep fighting her battle with cancer. She wore her Spartan sweats proudly on her frequent trips to U of M Hospital for cancer treatment to tease the U of M nurses and doctors. And she ended her treatment at Lansing’s Breslin Cancer Center, named for Spartan icon Jack Breslin, himself a cancer victim.

Eleanor made lifelong friendships beginning with her sister Lorraine. Others especially dear to Eleanor were childhood friend Jerry, and the girls from her Bridge Club, which was first organized during the sixties. Her next-door neighbor Jackie and fellow DeWitt teacher Jeanne preceded Eleanor in death and she never stopped missing them.

Eleanor is survived by her daughters, Kelly Yerby of Lansing, Holly Barefield of Baroda, Laurie Steen of Redwood Valley, CA, and Carrie Jo Rubenstein of Michigan City, IN; her sister, Lorraine Arnot of Warren, her beloved grandchildren, Ian, Claire and Chloe Lovitt of Lansing, and Angie Steen of Redwood Valley, CA; two nephews, Andy Arnot of New York City, and Rich Arnot of Warren, and a niece, Liz Arnot, of Warren.

The Hanes Girls invite you to a Memorial Visitation for their mother at Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel, 325 W. Washtenaw, downtown Lansing, Saturday, September 18, 2010 from 11:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m. We look forward to seeing you and sharing memories of our mother.

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