Century Club: Dancing with Kelly among her memories

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Not only was Esther Hannan one of Gene Kelly's earliest dance partners, she was also his neighbor, friend and classmate at Peabody High School. Mrs. Hannan will turn 100 years old Sunday at Cumberland Crossing Manor in McCandless.

Esther McElroy was born March 9, 1914, and grew up in Regent Square. She graduated from Peabody High School and worked as a sales clerk at Kaufmann's, Downtown. She also worked as a secretary at Newell Lumber Co. in East Liberty.

On June 10, 1939, she married Robert W. B. Hannan, vice president of Pittsburgh Tubing Co. They lived initially in Wilkinsburg and then moved to Blackridge and Churchill, where they lived for 40 years. They had two daughters, Joan and Judy.

Mrs. Hannan was an avid bridge player and a member of a local chapter of the Philanthropic Educational Organization, the Columbia Hospital Auxiliary and local garden clubs. She was active in St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Wilkinsburg. She and her husband made many trips to the Caribbean, Greece and Italy before he died in 1994.

She has four grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren and will celebrate with family members and friends on Saturday at Cumberland Crossing. She has lived there for eight years and is active in the Cumberland Chicks Chapter of the Red Hat Society.

If you or a friend or a relative recently turned 100 or will soon do so, the Post-Gazette would like to hear from you. To be included in Century Club, send the honoree's biographical information and your phone number to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Century Club, Attn: Kevin Kirkland, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh 15222. Fax: 412-491-8452. Email: kkirkland@post-gazette.com.

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