Sandra K. (Platt) Hanaway, matriarch of a significant Rhode Island family and former three-term state senator from Cumberland, R.I. died on Saturday, July 29 at Rhode Island Hospital, surrounded by four generations of her relatives. She was 83.

Mrs. Hanaway was the widow of Paul E. Hanaway, himself a former senator.

She was born in Pawtucket on Jan. 18, 1934, daughter of the late Irving and Irene (Hyde) Platt. She was a 1951 graduate of East High, now Tolman, and attended Bryant College. She and Paul began married life in June 1954 in Arlington, Va., where he served his military requirement in the Navy; she worked as a secretary in the Navy department. After his discharge they returned to Cumberland where they eventually assumed ownership of the G. Frank Hanaway Insurance Agency and operated it through 1992. She began public service as a member of the board of the Cumberland Public Library. In the political field, her tireless efforts contributed to victory for the many candidates she aided until, in 1991, she became a candidate for the state senate. In her own three campaigns she managed to knock on every door in her senatorial district before every election. She did not seek reelection in 1997.

The Hanaways were devoted skiers. In the early 1970s, they operated the ski school at Yawgoo Valley, living during the winter in a trailer at the ski area. They also had an affinity for skiing in New Hampshire. They bought a vacation house in Glen in 1985 and, a few years later, built a house large enough to accommodate their skiing progeny. During those years, Paul was a ski instructor at Bretton Woods and Sandy, herself an accomplished skier, sold lift tickets at the resort. During summers they were avid bicyclists and golfers. They returned to Cumberland in 2004, when Paul became ill.

Mrs. Hanaway had a deep devotion to her faith. She loved, cared and prayed daily for those she knew and many she did not. In recent years, she had maintained friendships in Cumberland, spent summers in Edgartown, and traveled extensively, most recently to Alaska and Paris, and visited relatives in Florida. Her happiest moments were those she spent with her family at their frequent large gatherings. She loved snuggling the first arrivals of the new generation, her great-grandchildren, and hearing of the successes of her daughters and her grandchildren. An early riser, she ate breakfast daily with cronies at Everybody’s Favorite in Cumberland.

She is survived by four daughters: Maureen Aveno and her husband, Frank, of Cumberland; Cristie Hanaway and her spouse, Rene Martin, of Warwick, Deborah McAneny and her husband, David, of Southboro, and Sandy Lariviere and her husband, David, of Cumberland; her companion, John J. Monaghan of Cumberland, 11 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, five step-grandchildren and 10 step-great-grandchildren.

Her funeral will be held Thursday, August 3 at 9 a.m. at the J.J. Duffy Funeral Home, 757 Mendon Road in Cumberland, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. at St. Aidan’s Church, 1460 Diamond Hill Road in Cumberland. Interment will follow at Resurrection Cemetery in Cumberland. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to calling hours on Wednesday from 4 to 8 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to help the Sisters of Mercy continue their works of mercy in the community. Donations may be sent to Sisters of Mercy, 15 Highland View Road, Cumberland, R.I. 02864.