Howard Hanna Real Estate Patriarch Passes Way at the Age of 101

Real Estate In-Depth | September 29, 2021

Howard W. Hanna Jr.

Howard W. Hanna, Jr., who co-founded Howard Hanna Real Estate Services in Pittsburgh, PA in 1957, passed away at the age of 101 on Sept. 25.

After serving as an American Liaison Officer with the British Army in India in World War II, Hanna, and his wife Anne Freyvogel Hanna, began the real estate company with a modest dividend check and a tiny office in the Shadyside area of Pittsburgh. He and his wife wanted to carve out a business close to their home. Mr. Hanna had experience working for the homebuilder’s association in Cleveland; his wife had strong roots in Pittsburgh and didn’t want to leave.

With his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in business from the University of Pittsburgh, he began with his single office of what is now the largest family-owned and -operated real estate company in the United States. At the time of his death, he had more than 62 years of experience in all areas of real estate. The real estate brokerage firm entered the Hudson Valley real estate market in September 2020 with its merger with Rand Realty.

Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, a full-service real estate company has more than 400 real estate, mortgage, insurance, title, and escrow service offices across 11 states, including Allen Tate Realtors in the Carolinas and The F.C. Tucker Company in Indiana, with more than 13,000 sales associates and staff.

Howard W. Hanna Jr. and Anne’s three children hold executive positions with the firm: Howard W. “Hoddy” Hanna, III, chairman of Hanna Holdings; Helen Hanna Casey, president and CEO of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services; and Annie Hanna Cestra, executive vice president and COO of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services.

“My dad was the smartest guy that I knew, and he taught me everything I know about real estate and business,” said Howard “Hoddy” Hanna III, chairman of Hanna Holdings Inc. of his late father.

Howard was the beloved husband of the late Anne Freyvogel Hanna; father of Howard W. “Hoddy” Hanna, III (MaryAnne), Helen Hanna Casey (Stephen) and Annie Hanna Cestra (Dennis); grandfather of Annie Hanna Engel (Gus), Howard W. “Hoby” Hanna, IV (Stacey), Kelly Hanna Riley (Patrick), F. Duffy Hanna (Dana), Mollie Hanna Lang (Tom), Sarah Hanna White (Andrew), Dennis A. Cestra, Jr., Helen Freyvogel Hanna Cestra, Annie McTighe Clara Cestra and the late Vincent de Paul Carson; also survived by 19 great-grandchildren.

Friends will be received at JOHN A. FREYVOGEL SONS, INC. (freyvogelfuneralhome.com), 4900 Centre Avenue at Devonshire Street on Tuesday and Wednesday from 3 p.m.-7 p.m. A Funeral Service will be held on Thursday at St. Paul Cathedral 10a.m. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the Howard W. Hanna, Jr. Scholarship Fund at the University of Pittsburgh or to the Urban League of Pittsburgh-Cleveland Hanna Home Ownership Fund.

For a detailed obituary on Howard W. Hanna Jr., please see coverage by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette at:
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/obituaries/2021/09/25/Howard-W-Hanna-Jr-Founder-of-Howard-Hanna-Real-Estate-Services/stories/202109250059