Donald Eugene Hancock



Last updated 3/26/2024 at 11:18am

Donald Eugene Hancock passed away from age related causes on March 21, 2024. at his apartment in The Lodge at Sisters, where he and his wife had made their home since 2021.

Don was born in 1927, to Willis and Ethel (Lingbloom) Hancock in Yakima, Washington. Don was raised in Selah, Washington. While young, Don was active in the Selah Swingsters, playing both the coronet and trombone and with the Boy Scouts, earning the rank of Life Scout prior to leaving for WWII. Don enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1945 just prior to graduation from Selah High School. After his graduation from High School he was sent to Walla Walla, Washington, where he began training for the Navy Air Corps. After World War II ended, Don was sent to various stations throughout the United States. He separated from the U.S. Navy in 1947, but remained a member of the Navy Reserve until 1950.

In 1947, while attending the University of Washington, he met his future wife, Sally Jo Manning. They married in 1950. Don worked for the Food and Drug Administration; PICT Sweet; and eventually found his niche at Jantzen Knitting Mills as their Quality Control Engineer and Technical Director. Don retired from Jantzen in 1984. He remained as a Fellow of from the American Society of Quality as a lifetime member.

Throughout his adult life, Don loved building things, camping, skiing, fishing, and all things associated with trains. He and his friend Jack built two fiberglass boats in his backyard (one for each of them). He also prefabricated a 24-by-24-foot cabin in the backyard, then trucked it to Carlyon Beach (Olympia, Washington) where eventually he and Sally retired.

After retirement from Jantzen in 1984, he began to pursue his passion for building things at the beach. He repaired outboard motors and had a tractor/backhoe business. He loved going to the forested acreage where he kept his tractor to maintain the forest. Don also took over the basement of their home and had a functioning HO model railroad village. Don took great pride in his many locomotives and working rail cars that he built. Both he and Sally Jo received multiple Presidential Awards for Volunteerism with the Olympia Senior Center. Don also became very active in Wrinkles of Washington, both in set design and in performance, the Olympia Choral Society (performing at Carnegie Hall), and the Aloha Sweethearts (taking third in their senior class at a Hawaiian competition).

Don is survived by his wife of almost 74 years; his two sons and their spouses; his daughter and spouse; multiple grandchildren; multiple great grandchildren; and 2 great-great grandchildren. Don's middle name is a historic family name used in multiple past and current generations of the Hancock Family.

Don will be interred in the VA Cemetery in Portland at a later date.

Memorials should be sent to: American Legion Stevens-Chute Post and Unit #4; PO Box 784, Bend, OR 97709.


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