Barbara Hanley-Mulholland, 67
Barbara Hanley-Mulholland, 67 of Matunuck, R.I. became one of heaven’s angels on Wednesday, June 8, 2022. Her beloved husband Hugh and their dog Liberty came for her quietly at their Beach Mansion to take her to heaven. Barbara went to eternal rest after an illness. She fought it every day with dignity, courage and determination and with the prayer and hope that it would allow medical professionals to help the next person.
Born in Montclair, N.J., she was the only daughter of the late Dr. William J. Hanley and Kathryn Sanger Hanley. Her beloved husband, Hugh Timothy Mulholland predeceased her on January 23, 2015 and her beloved dog, Liberty in 2020. Barbara also leaves behind four loving and adoring brothers and sister-in-laws, Christopher (Roberta) of Joshua Tree, Calif., Peter of New Milford, N.J., Jamie of North Venice, Fla., and Terry (Sue) of Walpole, Mass. Barbara also leaves behind her two sisters-in-law, Patricia Mitchell of Carlsbad, Calif. and Mary Seccareccia of Suffield, Conn. and a brother-in-law, Dennis Mulholland of Fruitland Park, Fla. She leaves beloved nephews, Craig and Cam Hanley and niece Lauren Ann Hanley as well as her beloved nieces and nephews from the Mulholland family, with special mention to Michaela Johnson (Gil), who was the flower girl in Barbara and Hugh’s wedding, and her brother, Nick Seccareccia (Maia).
As a child, Barbara spent at least one month every summer at the family’s beloved Block Island off the coast of Rhode Island, and time at her grandmother, Randy Sanger’s beach home in Sea Girt, N.J. with her family. She graduated from Montclair High School and attended Wheelock College, part of Boston University. Barbara moved on to a very successful journey and career in health insurance sales and became skilled and known for her competencies in direct sales, Medicare Advantage, sales and marketing leadership, sales coaching and Medicare Supplements. She began her career at Delta Dental in East Orange, N.J. as an underwriter. She quickly moved on to become a territory account manager for Delta Dental in New York City where she introduced the Delta Dental plan to the metropolitan New York and Long Island territories. She then moved to Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey as an account executive for their health insurance products for small and large groups. Based on her success, the company created a new role for her as Sales Manager/Marketing Training. In 1996, Barbara became a Medicare sales consultant for United Healthcare, Medicare and retirement. She had an amazing 18-year run with United Healthcare and had incredible professional success. She was the last sales consultant standing before the company transitioned to a fully independent contractor sales force. She was consistently the top producer for the Medicare Portfolio products, multi-year Pinnacle Award winner, appointed to the National Sales Leadership Council, was a member of the National Sales Training and Development team and the AARP/United Healthcare branding pilot program for the Medicare Advantage team. She was incredibly successful especially in her community meetings as she was able to translate the difficult challenge that can be experienced in selecting Medicare coverages. It was a passion of hers to educate seniors and only sell them what they truly needed. She described her community meetings and the imparting of the knowledge like “being on a Broadway stage” for her. It was her passion to educate. Since 2014, she was a successful independent agent and continued to receive unsolicited business just based on the fine reputation she had in the industry. She served her community well.
Barbara had a bigger-than-life personality. She was beautiful inside and outside, tall and always so elegant. Her laugh was something to behold. You were drawn to Barbara. She made you feel you were the most important person. One of Barbara’s greatest gifts was her ability to ask to hear a person’s story. It was an honest and heartfelt interest. She was so in tune to connections in the stories and what brought a person into her life even if it was just a passing acquaintance. Every encounter in life was part of the journey and experience for her. She was always connected spiritually and with the angels. When you became friends with Barbara you had a friend for life. She was our North Star. She shined like a beacon and you were drawn to her and all the good stuff. Her friends and family became your friends and family.
Her greatest accomplishment and blessing in life other than her family was the love story she shared with her husband of over 25 years, Hugh Timothy Mulholland, who tragically predeceased her on January 23, 2015. They met on Block Island in 1986 and it truly was love at first meeting when this big teddy bear of a man put his arm around her. They were and still are the love story you read about in books. They married in an intimate wedding on September 22, 1989 and then on October 8, 1989 celebrated a second wedding in front of family and friends on Block Island. It was a three-day event and people to this day talk about that wedding. They settled in near Matunuck Beach in 1992 in a home that was open and welcoming to all including an annual Memorial Day weekend party that grew bigger and bigger every year. It has been noted that there are marriages that began with a meet up at one of these parties. The home always held a magic and spirit that friends and family always felt the moment they entered the home. They were welcoming hosts but, let us not kid ourselves, they were perfectly happy to just be in each other’s presence and spend time alone in what they called the Beach Mansion or go to the Dollar Store with $5 each to buy each other gifts – a cheap date they called it. They truly complemented each other and had such tremendous respect for each other on every level. They were of one heart and mind. They understood and mastered “the good stuff.”
In 2004, Barbara and Hugh (UE) celebrated the addition of their beloved Wheaton terrier, Liberty. Barbara used to say “you and me and Liberty makes three”. They were devoted to each other. Liberty passed in April 2020 at the age of almost 16. She took care of both Barbara and Hugh her entire life.
In 2018, Barbara purchased the home they had lived in since 1992 and redid it as Hugh and she had always planned to do. She completed the dream. It is a living legacy to the magic, memories and “good stuff” that Barbara, Hugh and Liberty shared with family and friends.
A Celebration of Life for Barbara is being planned and friends and family will be advised.
The family is forever grateful to Barbara’s friends, especially Debbie Malone and Jennifer Malone for the expert hands-on and loving care they provided to Barbara over these past many weeks. They would also like to thank Barbara’s medical team at Dana Farber in Boston, Dr. Clancy, Dr. McCleary, and Kathleen Boyle (PA) as well as Paige, her visiting nurse.
The family wishes any donations in Barbara’s name be made to Friends of Dana-Farber, 450 Brookline Ave., SW120, Boston, MA 02215 or online at www.dana-farber.org/friends.