Cover photo for Verna D. Hancock's Obituary
Verna D. Hancock Profile Photo

Verna D. Hancock

July 26, 1931 — September 4, 2021

A live webcast of Verna's Funeral Mass can be found at the following link:

Verna Dolores Hancock was born on July 26th, 1931, in Waukesha, WI to Adolph and Dorothea Christopherson. She grew up on the family farm on Hwy VV in North Lake, and was given little jobs such as raising ducks & picking potatoes, and eventually learning to drive a tractor. She, and her brother, Ivan, who was 8 years younger, got along fine and always kept busy. Verna recalled looking forward to art lessons that were sent on the radio. Each week a different lesson came, and twice she received awards for her artwork. She attended North Lake Grade School, graduating with 4 classmates in 1945.

Verna enjoyed Hartland High School, meeting new friends and graduating in 1949 with her class of 46, the largest at that time. During the summer months she worked as a maid for Mrs. Eschweiler on North Lake, who took her out East with her. Following high school, Verna attended State Teachers College, starting with a year at UW-Milwaukee, then transferring for a year at UW-Whitewater, where she could earn a rural license. She landed a job in Okauchee teaching 2nd grade for 5 years. During that job she corresponded with Herbert Hancock from her high school class, who had entered the Navy. Their relationship grew, and they eloped in Hertford, NC, on February 21st, 1953, before Herb shipped off to Korea on the USS New Jersey. Herb (nicknamed “Hitch”) was discharged on May of 1954, and returned home to work as a driver for Lakeland Concrete. In 1957, they welcomed twin daughters, Victoria & Valerie, followed by a son, Richard, in 1959, and another son, John, in 1960.

In 1962, Verna & Hitch built a brick ranch home on an acre lot in the town of Merton, where they remained the rest of their lives. They had two large gardens, so Verna was busy preserving her famous pickles, pickled beets, tomatoes, and the like. She enjoyed tending to her flower beds, and sharing seeds with others, and taking family on berry-picking excursions, especially for elderberries to make pie. As the youngest son went on to school, Verna resumed teaching as a substitute for all kinds of grade school classes, staying on for 31 years with Hartland, Lakeside, and Swallow schools.

Verna always enjoyed sewing, learning from her mother on an old foot pedal machine. She could replicate a craft she saw, and often made wall hangings, sock monkeys, calico teddy bears, pillows, & baby quilts for gifts. Many folks came to her by word-of-mouth for mending, hemming, and altering. She was asked by her artist friend to help with the job of dressing her soft-sculpture dolls, and with the help of items from thrift stores, ended up completing 839 of them. Verna even wanted to try her hand at upholstery, so enlisted the help of Hitch to take classes with her.

Quilting became her favorite hobby, though, and through her time with the Woman’s Club of Hartland, she chaired the Operation Smile Project for 21 years before retiring in 2017, where the ladies made hundreds of comforting lap quilts & other items for children receiving corrective surgery for facial deformities.

Ever the teacher, Verna lit up around little children, and was always mentoring her children & grandchildren with lessons in sewing, pickling, baking, knitting or crocheting, making crafts, or coming up with projects or games, role-modeling the hard work she learned on the farm and in her volunteering. Grandma was enlisted to help create their Halloween costumes. Growing up in the depression, nothing got wasted, and this farm girl wasted no time sitting around idly. Verna loved her family, and thanked God for letting her see great-grandchildren.

She is survived by her four children: Vicki Ayres, Val (Mark) Hense, Rich Hancock, and John Hancock, her seven grandchildren: Kellen (Brian) Wesson, Brice Ayres, Jennifer (Ryan) Holquist, Meredith Ayres, Ryan (Debra) Ayres, Aaron Hense, and Allison (Jeremy) Oster, her six great-grandchildren: Carson Wesson, Alexis Wesson, Jameson Ayres, Mya Wesson, Jeremy Oster Jr., and Nico Holquist, her brother, Ivan Christopherson, cousins, nieces & nephews, and good neighbors and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Adolph & Dorothea, her husband of 61 yrs, Hitch, in-laws Herbert & Eleanor Hancock, sister-in-laws: Sharon Christopherson, Patricia Manley, Mildred McNeil, and Betty Lobenstein, brother-in-laws: Robert Manley Sr, Donald McNeil, and Laurence Lobenstein, nieces: Geri Baran & Susan Daly, nephews: Michael Lobenstein & Robert Manley, Jr, and other dear friends & relatives.

Special thanks go out to Procare Plus, LLC of Oconomowoc for their attentive & supportive home care, allowing Verna to remain in her home with Dementia & Alzheimer’s, until her recent diagnosis of Cancer & transfer to Angelsgrace Hospice, where she passed peacefully on Saturday, September 4th.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, September 13, 2021, at St. Charles Catholic Church (313 Circle Drive) Hartland with Fr. Ken Omernick officiating. Family and friends are invited to visit directly at the church from 11:00 a.m. until the time of Mass. Burial will be in St. Charles Catholic Cemetery, Hartland. A live webcast of Verna's Funeral Mass can be found at the following link:

Verna's family request those who are not vaccinated to wear a mask while attending the services.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to the following would be appreciated in Verna’s honor:

Operation Smile
3641 Faculty Blvd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23453

Woman’s Club of Hartland
P. O. Box 424
Hartland, WI 53029

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Verna D. Hancock, please visit our flower store.

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Monday, September 13, 2021

11:00am - 1:00 pm (Central time)

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Monday, September 13, 2021

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