Hannah Barrett Albenesius passed away unexpectedly on March 4, 2014. She was born on June 11, 1991 in Wilmington, DE. During her brief, earthly sojourn, she also lived in Seaford, DE and Camden, Spartanburg (High School) and Charleston, SC. Hannah was a recent graduate of the College of Charleston with dual Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology (B.S.) and English (B.A.) with a minor in Russian Studies. She had a remarkably robust, fully-engaged academic experience at CoC. She was very passionate about substance abuse research and was a candidate for a Fulbright Scholarship, hoping to further her studies in St. Petersburg with a focus on alcohol abuse in Russia (the basis of her Fulbright proposal). Hannah was also a research intern and a DART (Drug Abuse Research Training) intern at the Ralph H. Johnson VAMC in Charleston, and a research intern at MUSC.
As a member of the Psi Chi Psychology Honors Fraternity, Sigma Tau Delta (the English Honors Fraternity) and Omicron Delta Kappa (Honors Fraternity), Hannah was very much involved in positive extracurricular opportunities for personal growth. She was a former Vice President and President of the college Russian Club. She was also an honors college peer advisor from fall 2011 to spring 2012.
Hannah was a gifted writer and published short stories in Miscellany (the creative writing undergraduate journal at the College of Charleston). Had she not passed away at the tender age of 22, Hannah had the kind of rare talent to potentially blossom into a world-class author of poetry and prose. An excerpt from a poem she wrote at the age of 13 provides a glimpse:
Can I look beyond myself and see the real self within? Why do I hide my true identity when I can expose it to The light for the world to see? My face needs to be seen – my true face. I need to find it and then shed my old skin to expose The spirit within. I feel bad because how I can do that is a mystery To me. I will try – but I shall also succeed.
Hannah was a kind, gentle, loving spirit and a bright light to all those around her, especially so to her younger sisters. She was compassionate and caring to those in need and a counselor to those who struggled. She leaves a hole that can’t be filled. We will miss her greatly.
Hannah is survived by her father, Andrew Barrett Albenesius of Aiken, SC, her mother, Laura Edl Albenesius of Charleston, SC, and sisters Laura Teague Albenesius, Clemson, SC and Grace Isabel Albenesius, Aiken, SC. She is also survived by her paternal grandparents Edward and Lucy Albenesius of Aiken, SC, maternal grandmother, Eva Edl of Aiken, SC, and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins in Aiken and throughout other parts of SC and the US. She was predeceased by her paternal grandfather, John Edl, an uncle, Robert Albenesius and an aunt, Margaret Albenesius Bryant.
The family will be receiving friends at Shellhouse Funeral Home in Aiken on Thursday evening, March 13 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. A funeral mass will be celebrated at St. Mary Help of Christians Church on Friday morning, March 14 at 10:00 a.m.
The family requests no flowers. Anyone wishing to make a donation in Hannah’s memory is encouraged to donate to Suicide Prevention through the Aiken chapter of Mental Health America at www.mha-aiken.org; or the Charleston or Spartanburg chapters through www.mha-sc.org