Barbara Anne Hancock (known as Barb) passed away May 19, 2019. She was 86 years old and surrounded by family and friends throughout the day and was sent “home” peacefully at North Shore Health & Rehab Center (special thanks to staff). Even though she raised dogs most of her life...as the saying goes: “she used up her nine lives.”
As most of her friends know she was a fighter and rose up from many disappointments with her health over the years. She actually was in North Shore a total of five times and a lot of the staff recognized her and applauded her tenacity because she was very independent and pretty much lived by herself after her husband died in 2009. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church Community.
She was born the year of 1933 in East Orange, N.J. on February 6th. Obviously, by looking at her birth date she grew up during the depression years and continued her frugal way of living most all of her life. She was in her early teens during World War II and had horrible memories of the terror of thinking about the war and worried it might come to our U.S. home grounds. Her parents Russell and Helen (Kane) Ryerson preceded her in death by many years and her brother Robert Ryerson passed in 2016. Barb attended Chatham High School where she was known as a prankster and truth be known spent a lot of her school time in New York exploring the City with her best friend who would become her sister in law Margaret “Maggie’ Ryerson who lives in Florida.
It could be said that Barb was ahead of her time as she excelled in sports and was an All-State Field Hockey star and later was a women’s stand out Bowler for many years. Proof was seen in the laundry room where trophies surrounded the room. As the years went by her sport of choice became golf which she continued to play even while she became legally blind 20+ years ago . . . just to describe a little bit of her determination and athletic abilities. Had she grown up in today’s world she might have become a professional woman sports person.
She married Jack (John) Hancock the year of 1951. Barb and Jack met on the Island named Raccoon Island where Jack’s father had built a small summer cottage for the family to get away from things in the world. Barb and Jack got married and had two boys: Keith (Berthoud, CO) (boy’s mom Carrie Moulton-Miller divorced in 2001) and Tim (Amy) Hancock (Louisville, CO) who were raised for most of their early lives on the shores of Lake Hopatcong, N.J. This was an amazing opportunity for adventure which they both took full advantage of by water & snow skiing, sailing, ice boating and ice skating. Barb also taught her boys to play baseball and she attended most of their sporting events throughout the years. Both boys became very good skiers and Barb drove them all over creation, during the winter on slick icy back east roads all winter long. She was an excellent driver. Keith might tell a story or two about their adventures on the road... As they became empty-nesters Barb went back to school and received her A.S. Degree in Social Work, did many years of counseling for A.A. and then took up selling Real Estate which she then became Realtor of the Year on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. She loved the ocean and the Carolina outer banks have great fishing, beach walking and dolphin watching which she loved. After Barb and Jack retired they both decided to move to Colorado to be closer to their children and grandchildren.
Throughout their 58 years of marriage Barb and Jack traveled extensively throughout the 50 states and visited 27 countries. They both were avid campers both tent camping in their younger days and RV camping for years. With the kids back in 1964 Jack purchased a Volkswagen Camper Bus and they traveled 10,000 miles in one month driving one big loop around the continental U.S. Barb later in life traveled to Africa with a group of women who became known as the “African Queens” and they shared monthly luncheons for well over 10 years. Barb’s other hobbies were reading, writing, drawing, needlepoint, dogs, currently an avid listener to books on tape and having one special cat named “Tipper” who greets everyone at the door.
With Barb’s low vision she very excitedly left for NY by herself to attend a two week training with a seeing eye dog foundation in NY City. She was very brave, outgoing, strong and determined to have a quality life. Once getting trained and home situated with her trained dog “Rudi” she went on an educational tour at many of the local schools teaching children about her smart dog. She especially enjoy taking her dog to Amy Hancock’s elementary school classroom in Boulder.
Barb’s surviving relatives are: her two sons, daughter in law Amy and grandson: Emmit Hancock, Loveland High Class of 1997 and along with Jodie Trafton have three of Barb’s great grandchildren Zander 12, Ea 10 and Sylvia 5 and all live in Oakland, CA. Grandson: Kirby Hancock, Loveland High Class of 2000 has one of Barb’s other great grandchildren Emma, 16 (Missouri). Kirby and his love: Beth make home in Bozeman, MT.
Memorial services will be held at Viegut Funeral Home in Loveland, Colorado on May 25, 2019 at 11:00 A.M. with a reception in the Viegut Reception Center following services.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to: Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc. 371 East Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown, NY 11787-2976