Mildred (Marie) Hancock, 78, Kankakee and formerly of Johnson County, passed away peacefully Tuesday afternoon, March 24, at Riverside Medical Center after a long battle with cancer. She was surrounded by her loving family when she left to be with the Lord.
The funeral service will be held at 9:00 a.m. Saturday, March 28, 2015 at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Buncombe. Burial will follow at Cedar Grove Cemetery in Goreville. Visitation will be from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Friday, March 27 at Blue Funeral Home in Goreville.
Marie was born April 25, 1937, the daughter of Charles and Juanita Royster.
Marie graduated from Vienna High School, Vienna Illinois. She retired as the office manager of Belt Route Warehouse, Kankakee.
She had previously worked as the inventory control manager for Boorum and Pease/Esselte, Kankakee.
Marie was actively involved with her family, church and volunteering for various community organizations. A master gardener, Marie organized the Garden Glories, a garden club through her church, College Church University Avenue, Bourbonnais. She was very active in the Kankakee Valley Garden Club where she served as president for many years. She also volunteered at the local food pantry and the Kankakee Park District where she tended gardens throughout the community.
Marie was always ready to help friends and neighbors with any garden problems. People would come from miles around to visit her gardens in rural Kankakee. Both she and her husband, John raised fruits and vegetables along with every flower imaginable. Her garden even consisted of an Illinois plant trail in her backyard.
Marie was well-known throughout the Kankakee County and Illinois State fairs. Her needle crafts, floral arrangements and canning won her numerous awards.
Of all of her accomplishments, her greatest achievement was her family. She often mentioned they were a blessing. She is survived by her beloved husband of 60 years, John, whom she married on July 22, 1954.
Also surviving are her four sons and one daughter, Dusty (Janis) Hancock, Salem, IN; Scott (Karen) Hancock, Morton, IL; Bryon (Dorothy) Hancock, Milwaukee, WI; Kip (Brenda) Hancock, Carol Stream, IL and Cindy (Jerry) Casey, Edwardsville, IL.
Also surviving are 11 grandchildren, Matthew (Stephanie) Hancock; Lora (Matthew) Buckley; Justin (Dana); KT Hancock; Andrew (Julie) Hancock; Micah and Derek Hancock; Jerry Lee (Allison) Casey; Jessica Casey; Erin and Kirby Hancock.
Marie was the proud great-grandmother to nine great-grandchildren.
One brother, James Royster, Vienna, Illinois, along with many nieces and nephews also survive.
She was preceded in death by her parents and one brother, Lewis Royster.
Marie leaves behind her family but she has left them with many of her own unique gifts – to recognize the beauty of nature, a love of creativity, her kind heartedness, her sense of adventure, an energetic spirit, her ability to play a competitive game of pinochle, and her brilliant smile. She was generous, gentle and loving.
She filled her home with plenty of family, friends, love, fun, and a gift to say “there is always room for one more.”