(nee Hancock) Brenda was born December 23rd, 1950 in South Bend, Indiana the oldest child of Robert and Gloria Hancock. Supported by her adoring family, Brenda put on her heavenly body on February 1st, 2014.
She is survived by her husband of 42 years, Jim; two sons, J. Thomas (Carlee) Black of Batesville, Indiana and Michael (Beth) Black of Hobart, Indiana; two grandchildren, Kelsey (10) and Addison (7); her mother, Gloria Hancock of Kingwood, Texas; two sisters, Jannette Davis of Los Angeles, California and Karen Hancock of Valparaiso, Indiana; one brother, John (Kim) Hancock of Kingwood, Texas; and many nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles. Brenda was preceded in death by her father, Robert Hancock of Lake Kiowa, Texas.
She graduated in 1969 as the Salutatorian of Boone Grove High School. Brenda worked most recently for Cargill Corporation in East Chicago as a financial supervisor and held many jobs before that in Indiana, Arkansas and Texas in the area of bookkeeping and finance, but her passion was motherhood. She had a nurturing spirit that shown through everything she did and touched everyone she knew. She was the glue who held everything and everyone together, the cheerleader who encouraged and inspired and applauded your best, the advisor who could turn difficulty into opportunity, and the counselor who could banish a tear and promote a smile with a few words and a look and a hug. Brenda was loved and admired by her family and co-workers alike.
Throughout her illness she had the opportunity to inspire her nurses, doctors, therapists, family and friends as she battled with a smile and a ‘GREAT!’ whenever asked how she was. Her greatest concern was always for others. Paralyzed on her left side from a stroke and stricken with terminal cancer, she still managed to climb half way up the Willis Tower in November for the fundraising efforts of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, a place she had spent 5 weeks of exhaustive therapy in the fall of 2012 and a place that had touched her heart with the work they do.
Brenda will be remembered by all as a consummate lady with a heart of gold and her light will continue to shine through the lives of her children and grandchildren. She once commented, ‘I feel so honored and blessed to have had God entrust these two wonderful souls to me for raising and guiding’, in reference to her sons, Tom and Mike. Her love was for always, and forever her babies they will be. Brenda’s presence in our lives will be missed greatly but her essence will be with us forever.
In lieu of flowers, Brenda requested donations be made in her name to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, 345 E. Superior St., Suite O-814, Chicago, IL 60611, Attn: Nadia Joseph or https://www.ric.org/donate-online/. Visitation will be from 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 6th at Bartholomew Funeral
Home, 102 Monroe St., Valparaiso, IN. Funeral Services will be 10:00 a.m. on Friday, February 7th at Bartholomew Funeral Home, Rev. Roger Bower officiating. Burial will be in Graceland Cemetery, Valparaiso, Fellowship following at Strongbows for friends and family who wish to attend. To sign a guestbook for Brenda, please visit www.bartholomewnewhard.com .