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History Briefs

Mrs. Hanna: Bookkeeper, mentor, house mother, friend

Episode 10 of our special weekly series celebrating the firm’s 70th anniversary.


Her job title was bookkeeper, but her role at the firm was so much more than that.  

Geraldine Hanna — “Gerry” to a few and “Mrs. Hanna” to most everyone else — was hired in 1952 by co-founder Ken McAfee shortly after he partnered with Dick Taft to form the law firm of McAfee & Taft. She would remain with the firm until her death in 1996.

Over the course of her 44-year career with McAfee & Taft, she would wear many hats and win over many hearts.

To many of the young women working at the firm, she was a mentor. Judy Webb, who joined the firm in 1959 and worked alongside Mrs. Hanna in the accounting department for many years, remembers her in the fondest of ways — as a teacher, encourager, and friend — and as someone who, though immensely kind-hearted and loving, was a straight shooter who never hesitated to tell you what she thought.  

To many of the younger lawyers and clerks at the firm, she was described as being like a house mother, always looking after her brood. As a mother of two boys herself, it no doubt came naturally. Need to know your way around the firm? She told you. Need advice? She gave it. Need a button sewn back on or a ripped seam sewn shut? She’d repair it on the spot.

To Mr. Mac, in addition to being a confidante entrusted to handle many of his personal bookkeeping and business matters, she would also become a close and devoted friend to him, his wife Maxine, and daughter Jaci, even to the very end. She was, as Jaci recalled, “like family.”