Deborah L. Hanna, 64, of Grafton


Deborah L. Hanna, 64, of GraftonGrafton – Deborah L. (Arslen) Hanna, 64, of Grafton, peacefully passed away Wednesday, May 10, 2017, following a brief battle with cancer.

She is survived by her husband of 38 years, Elias Hanna; her three sons, Ashur Hanna, Ninos Hanna and his wife Maya, and Sargon Hanna and his wife Catherine; grandchildren, Enkido, Rabi and Zalin; brothers, Kenneth Arslen Jr. and Ronald Arslen; sister, Gwendolyn Purushotham and her husband Sam; and nephews and nieces, Kenneth Arslen III, Melissa Mattei and her husband Keith, Elizabeth Arslen, Matthew Purushotham and his wife Carolyn, Vikram and Nisha Purushotham, Emily Johnson and her husband Rich and Amanda Laukaitis and her husband Mike, along with many cousins.

Deborah was born May 23, 1952 in Worcester to the late Rita (Pusateri) and Kenneth Arslen and grew up in West Boylston.

Deborah was a Registered Nurse, specializing in pain management, for over 20 years, and was one of the first to be hired at UMass Memorial Healthcare when the hospital first opened in Worcester. She also went on to earn a Master’s degree in Psychology from Anna Maria College and graduated with honors.

Always a woman of faith her earlier years were spent at Wesley United Methodist Church in Worcester, where she was an active member and sang in the choir. More recently, she was a member of St. Mary’s Assyrian Orthodox Church in Grafton.

Deborah had a love of community theatre and was also an active member of the Assyrian American Association of Massachusetts. She and her husband Elias spent many years traveling the world and were recently enjoying winter months at their home in Scottsdale, Ariz.

All are welcome to gather with Deborah’s family Sunday, May 14, from 4:30-8 p.m., at Roney Funeral Home, 152 Worcester St., North Grafton. Deborah’s funeral will be celebrated Monday, May 15, at 11 a.m., by St. Mary’s Assyrian Orthodox Church of North Grafton in St. Philip’s Church, 12 West St., Grafton. She will be laid to rest at St. Phillip’s Cemetery in Grafton.

Her family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations in Deborah’s memory be made to the Syrian Christian Relief Fund, with checks payable to the non-profit organization (501)c(3) The Assyrian American Association of Massachusetts, 22 Crosby Rd., Grafton, MA 01519.

A Book of Memories to share a memory of Deborah or message of sympathy with her family is available online at

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