Mrs. Hanlin Uses Her Gifts to Minister to Cancer Patients

On Monday night at the Toronto, Ohio, city council meeting, Council President Frank McEwen publicly wished his mother-in-law, Ruth Hanlin, a happy 100th birthday, the Herald-Star reported. Trinity Health System would like to join McEwen in extending these well wishes to Mrs. Hanlin, who is a longtime volunteer at Trinity Health’s Tony Teramana Cancer Center, located at 3204 Johnson Rd. in Steubenville. For over 15 years, Mrs. Hanlin has crocheted lap robes or throws for cancer patients. Back in December, Mrs. Hanlin told Herald-Star community reporter Janice Kiaski she had no idea how many of these throws she had crocheted. “I have made them by the box full, and rank will take them in to the cancer center for me.” The throws have also been distributed to the needy by the sisters at Our Lady of Sorrows Monastery in Toronto.

A mother of four, Mrs. Hanlin knows the grief cancer brings families. Two of her four children–Patricia and McEwen’s wife Nadine–both died from the disease, with Nadine passing away on Veterans Day in 2020. Mrs. Hanlin has also outlived her other two children, Jerry Lee and William Jr. “The hope you have of seeing them again is the only thing that keeps you going,” she told Kiaski.

Mrs. Hanlin was born on July 27, 1922, in Smithfield, Ohio, to Price and Ella Rayl, the third child of 11. She began crocheting in her late 30s and told Kiaski she continues to “crochet every day, every chance I get,” even though Mrs. Hanlin suffers from macular degeneration. “I’m losing my eyesight really bad, and so I can’t follow instructions in a manual now to make anything, but I have memorized the pattern,” she said, adding, “…[It] keeps my mind occupied…and it fulfills a desire for me to be doing something and it’s beneficial to whoever gets it.”

Trinity Health System not only wishes Mrs. Hanlin a happy birthday, but would also like to thank her for using her gifts to minister to our patients. Trinity Health System values the hundreds of volunteers who, like Mrs. Hanlin, give of themselves and their talents in service of our mission. If you would like to join our volunteer staff, please visit

Trinity Health System’s Cancer Treatment capabilities grew substantially with the construction of the Tony Teramana Cancer Center in 2000. Since then, thousands of residents of the Tri-State area have received cancer treatment at the facility. In line with Trinity Health System’s values of service, reverence and stewardship, the Tony Teramana Cancer Center can meet the needs of cancer patients through a patient-centered approach with compassion, dignity and respect. This service is due largely to the generosity of the Tony Teramana family, whose $1 million gift made this center a world-class cancer treatment facility.