Date of Birth November 12, 1939
Date Deceased November 29, 2022
Hometown Hornell
Home State N.Y.
Service Date January 14, 2023
Service Time 2 p.m.
Service Location Bishop-Johnson & DeSanto Funeral Home


HORNELL- Born on November 12, 1939, Mary Helen Racalto-Hanrahan went to be with Yahweh on Tuesday, November 29, 2022 when she passed peacefully in her home with family.

Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Robert; father, Angelo; mother, Lenora; stepmother, Catherine; brothers, Peter, Daniel, and James, and sister, Rose Marie. She is survived by her two daughters, Susan (Richard) Macool of Valdosta, Georgia and Heather (Thomas Beers) Cornish of Hammondsport, New York. Grandchildren, Jason (DiAanza) Macool, Airielle (Luke) Cunningham, Gabrielle (James) Heston, Shelbie (Damian) Foster, Shaelyn Macool, Ian Cornish, and Abigail Cornish. Great Grandchildren, Liam Macool, Carter Cunningham, Charlotte Cunningham, and Emmaline Foster. Sisters, Joyce (Bob) Albright, Carol (Herman) Archundi, Marianne (Michael) Townsend, Elizabeth (Joe) Zaffran, Catherine (Rick) Bergquist, Bonnie (Dennis) Fuitko and Beverly (Mike) Burke; plus, many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. Mary will be missed by many.

Mary Helen Racalto-Hanrahan (Mimi, Me-Helna, Mary Helen, Mom, Momma, Aunt Mary) was born in Hornell NY to the late Lenora Mills and Angelo Racalto, where she spent most of her life. Mary attended St. Ann’s Grammar School and was a graduate of Hornell High School in 1957. After high school Mary attended St. James School of Nursing graduating in 1960; she spent two years at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City as a labor and delivery, nursery, and pediatric nurse. Upon her return to Hornell, she continued her nursing career in the same clinical settings at St. James Mercy Hospital. During this time, she married Robert T. Hanrahan, continued her education at the University of Rochester (Nurse Practitioner program-NP), and had her first daughter (1967). Mary went on to graduate in 1970 from the NP program (only the second NP class to graduate from U of R and continued to follow her love for children. Mary was instrumental in developing and opening the first well childcare clinic in Hornell. She provided care for the area’s children at that clinic until 1972 when a pediatrician came to the area, Dr. Bijon Chaudhuri, and she began to work with him as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP). Mary practiced as a physician extender for several physicians throughout her career; Dr. Chaudhuri, Dr. Kim, Dr. McGuire, Dr. T Virdee, and many others, until 2001 when Macular Degeneration forced her retirement.  Many believe she would have never retired otherwise; she loved her work and mission that much.  Mary has always been very proud that she was in the first group of Nurse Practitioners in New York state to become board certified through the very first board certification exam given by the American Nurses Association. In 1986 she once again ventured back to university and expanded her education becoming a Physician’s Assistant. She was so proud of her title: Mary H. Hanrahan RN, PNP-C1/ PA-C. Mary was a member of St. Ann’s School Board, Parent Teacher Association member and influential in bringing the Right to Life movement to Hornell.

For those that new Mary well, she never had patients, she always had “her babies”. It was always a topic of conversation and whenever she was out in the community and asked who she was speaking with, the reply was, “that is one of my babies”. She touched the lives of generations of families, and this will never be forgotten. Throughout her vast and amazing career, she not only cared for well children, but was instrumental in diagnosing many conditions and some rare. She was proud of that and always taught that the best way to understand a baby is to listen to the mother, they know best.

Mary always tried to maintain a stable work life balance as the mother of two, wife, sister, daughter, and the best Pediatric NP in the entire county. She enjoyed time spent camping with her family at Sun Valley in Canaseraga, NY and around the north eastern parts of the U.S. Family was most important to Mary and she enjoyed holidays with her siblings and their families. She was a fantastic baker, cook, entertainer, crafter, and sewer; she loved cross stitch, but will be remembered by most by her family for her Love and mastery of monopoly.  Mary, to many, is a national treasure, one that will be missed by many, many people.

Calling hours are noon – 2 p.m. Saturday (JANUARY 14, 2023) at the Bishop-Johnson & DeSanto Funeral Home, 285 Main St., Hornell, where a funeral service will take place in her memory following the calling hours at 2 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, please consider sending a donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-1942. in Mary’s name.

The Bishop-Johnson & DeSanto Funeral Home is honored to assist Mary’s family with the arrangements.

Online condolences or remembrances of Mary are welcome in the comment section below or on the Facebook page of Bishop-Johnson & DeSanto Funeral Home

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9 Responses

  1. So blessed to have had you for a sister. I’ll be singing ” Sisters! Sisters” for a while. I’ll be missing you always ❤️. Rest in Yahshua.
    Love always Marianne

  2. Dear Marianne and family,
    Mary Helen was such a treasure and a blessing. Her soft voice and enormous heart was such a comfort to so many. We were so blessed to know her. My heart is filled with sadness for your great loss. I know she rests in peace in Yahshua, but will be so missed. I wish you all love and comfort. Truly. Traci

  3. Marianne,
    So sorry to hear of your loss. I never met your sister, but I know sisters are special, and that she will be dearly missed. If she was anything like you, she was a treasure. Trusting you will find comfort in Yahshua.
    Peg and Rick Trivison

  4. Dear Hanrahan Family,
    We are so very sorry to hear of your loss. Mary Helen was part of our Hornell extended family and she and my dad were an amazing team. We are remembering her with great love and fondness. What an amazing person and provider she was. The children of Hornell were so blessed to have her care for them. Thinking of all of you at this sad time.

    1. Hornell and myself included will be forever grateful for Dr Bijon and Mary Helen! They were the best Pediatric team and hold a place in my heart!

  5. Dear Hanrahan family,
    We are so very sorry to hear of your loss. Mary Helen was part of our extended family in Hornell and she and my father were an amazing team. We are remembering her with great love and fondness. What a special person and provider she was. The children of Hornell were blessed to have her care for them. Thinking of you all at this sad time.

  6. Mary Helen was one of God’s best creations. I remember her from our childhoods as her father snd mine were best friends. I went through school in the same class as her sister Rose Marie and we girls who were a few years younger always looked up to her. Eventually Mike and I had two of her “babies” and her tenderness, love and wisdom simply glowed for all to see. She always knew the answer and I even called her for advice when I needed help with a visiting grand baby. Who else could I ask? Mary Helen made the world a better place.

  7. To the Hanrahan family. My Aunt Mary Helen was a wonderful person. So happy that she & my Dad, James A Racalto got to see each other before their time to say goodbye to us. My condolences to the entire Hanrahan & Racalto siblings. What a beautiful smile she had. I remember it so clearly when I saw her with Dad in 2019. Love you Auntie, rest in peace❣

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