705 W. Warren Street | (812) 849-2600 |

Jerry Lee Hancock, Sr.Passing: April 8, 2022


First Baptist Church

Funeral Service

Thursday, April 14th @ 11:00am


Chastain Funeral Home

Wednesday, April 13th @ 3:00pm-7:00pm


Mitchell Cemetery

Thursday, April 14th

MITCHELL – Jerry Lee Hancock, Sr., 85, former longtime mayor of Mitchell, Indiana, passed away peacefully Friday, April 8, 2022, at IU Health Bloomington Hospital.

Born December 28, 1936, in Mitchell, he was the son of Milton “Pete” and Edna Mae (Lucas) Hancock.  He graduated Mitchell High School in 1955.

Upon graduating from Mitchell High School, he worked with his father as a carpenter.  In 1957, he bought his first backhoe, dump truck and trailer and created Hancock Construction Company.  He was a self-made man and one of a kind.  As the construction business grew, trucking was added, along with Hancock Grain & Feed. 

In 1967 at age 31, he was elected mayor of Mitchell.  He served 32 years, being elected to 8 terms and was the longest serving mayor in Lawrence County.  Jerry was very dedicated and gave many tireless hours striving to always make Mitchell a better place.  He was always ready to step up if someone needed a hand.  While serving as mayor some of his accomplishments included Mitchell’s city park, swimming pool, community building, new city hall, and the Mitchell Industrial Park on the east end of town.

In his early years, he was involved with many clubs and organizations.  Jerry was active in the Mitchell Chamber of Commerce, the Mitchell Development Commission., A.R.A., Southern Indiana Mayor Roundtable, Salvation Army Board, Kiwanis Club, Moose, Elk & Eagle Clubs, and the Young Jaycees.  Over the years he received many noteworthy awards including being named a Kentucky Colonel, the Distinguished Service Award from the Mitchell Volunteer Fire Department, awards from American Legion Post No. 250, Indiana Green Thumb, Mitchell Slo-Pitch Association, Orleans Dogwood Festival, Mitchell Manor, Lawrence County Mental Health Association, United States Jaycees Distinguished Service Award, and the Mitchell Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award.  He was a member of the 1975 Hancock Construction Team All-State Champions.  He was also voted most influential person in Mitchell.

In retirement, he enjoyed operating his dozer, fishing, raising cattle, country music, and talking with people.  He loved his family and enjoyed being together.

Surviving are his children:      Debbie Christie of Madison,

                                                Cathy (Ron) Blackwell of Williams,

                                                Jerry L. “Buck” (Betty) Hancock, Jr. of Mitchell;

                    grandchildren:     Elizabeth Kennan, Jeremy (Shelley) Blackwell, Cory

                                                Blackwell, Darcy Hancock, and Nick Hancock;

           great-grandchildren:    Samuel, Sadie, Adeline, Raylee, Rhylee, Corydon, Emma, Taylar, and


      mother of the children:    Janet (Porter) Hancock of Mitchell;

                      sister-in-laws:    Beverlee Hancock of Mitchell;

                                                Barbara Blackwell of Mitchell;          

       two nieces; and several great-great-grandchildren. 

       Also, his best friend: his dog, Dozer.

His parents; son, Mark Hancock; brothers, Gearry Hancock, and Milton O. Hancock, Jr.; and son-in-law, John Christie, preceded him in death.

Funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, April 14, at the Mitchell First Baptist Church with Reverend Reggie Clark and Pastor Dwight Dunbar officiating. Entombment will be at Mitchell Cemetery.

Friends may visit at Chastain Funeral Home & Cremation Center on Wednesday, April 13, from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service at the church on Thursday.  

Memorial Gifts: Mitchell Fire Department

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34 Guest Comments

  1. Guest: Jim New | Whitestown, In. 46075
    Date: August 31, 2022
    Jerry sponsored our 1975 AAU state championship 🏀 team. Anyone from that time remembers how special that was and we are forever grateful for Jerry's giving nature. Google Larry Bird AAU Hancock to see a picture of Jerry and the team.
  2. Guest: Scott Suddarth | Mitchell, Indiana
    Date: April 14, 2022
    Deepest condolences from Scott Suddarth and family.
  3. Guest: Linda Chapman | Mitchell, In.
    Date: April 14, 2022
    Mayor Hancock was a kind, funny guy . He was a longtime friend of my Dad. He did so much for Mitchell citizens, often quietly, and not wanting attention, helping many when they were experiencing difficulties. What a full life he lived ! My heartfelt condolences to his family.
  4. Guest: Kay Eckensberger Blevins | Plainfield, IN 46168
    Date: April 13, 2022
    So sorry to hear tof Jerry's passing. Will always remember his thoughtfulness at the time my dad, Hank Eckensberger, passed. We lived in Plainfield and there was a terrible snow storm the day we got the news. We could hardly make it on the highways to Mitchell and wondered if we'd be able to even park on my mother's inclining driveway. When we arrived, Jerry had it all cleared, as well as my in-law's driveway. What a wonderful memory of his kindness. I'm sure many other similar stories can be told of his thoughtfulness. Rest in peace, Jerry, you will be missed by so many.
  5. Guest: Max Timbrook | Mitchell, Indiana
    Date: April 13, 2022
    Jerry Lee Hancock, Sr. “Got R Done.” Thank you many times over, Jerry.
  6. Guest: Scott Kleindorfer | Bedford, IN
    Date: April 13, 2022
    Very sorry to hear this. My thoughts are with the entire family.
  7. Guest: Cindy Miller | Mitchell, Indiana
    Date: April 13, 2022
    Debbie, Cathy and Buck, Mitchell was a better place because of your Dad, he cared so much for this town and the people in it. I will always be grateful for him as a friend and neighbor. Go rest on that mountain Jerry until we see you again.
  8. Guest: Ginny McMinds | Evanston, Wyoming
    Date: April 12, 2022
    On behalf of the Peter J. McMinds family, past and present (Sr., Jr., III), I offer our sympathy to the Hancock family in the loss of Jerry. Since 1969, when the McMinds family broke ground for their retirement home in Mitchell, they and all our families have been blessed with the friendship of Jerry Hancock through the years. There are too many memories and blessings to name, and no words to express our sincere gratitude for Mayor Hancock’s efforts to ‘grow’ Mitchell to be the caring community it is today. To say, “Mitchell … a great place to call HOME” is his meaningful and rich lasting legacy. In memory, may his presence be a blessing to you all, as my family and relationship with Jerry blesses me, even today. Ginny McMinds
  9. Guest: Jerry Green | Cleveland, GA
    Date: April 12, 2022
    Jerry was, is, and will be for years the heart and soul of Mitchell. Job well done my friend, God's speed to your well- earned resting place. Those of us a couple of years behind you hope to catch you soon "down the road". May God Bless you and your family
  10. Guest: Donita Gwinnup (Ramey) | summerville South Carolina
    Date: April 11, 2022
    I have so many fond memories of Sir Jerry Hancock, May he rest in peace!! He made me laugh, I so appreciate his narley Demeanor! He was a man with a big heart and a caring soul!! My blessing to all of his family, he was a wonderful man I so enjoyed 8) Sincerely, Donita Xoxo
  11. Guest: Brian Cummings | Avon, IN
    Date: April 11, 2022
    My thoughts and prayers are for the entire family. Stay strong and hang on to the memories. Debbie, Cathy, and Jerry please know that Mitchell is a much better city because of your Dad.
  12. Guest: Patty Cottengain | Orleans IN
    Date: April 11, 2022
    I am so sorry for your loss. My Dad, Leroy Taylor and Jerry were great friends for a long time. My prayers and thoughts are with you all during this difficult time.
  13. Guest: Bobby Brown | Venice Florida
    Date: April 11, 2022
    Cathy, Buck, and Debbie, I’m sorry for the loss of your dad. He was truly a positive force for the city of Mitchell and it’s people. I hope you may find comfort in the time you got to have him in your life and peace he has now.
  14. Guest: Gloria Walker | Bloomington, IN
    Date: April 11, 2022
    My parents, Alan and Donna Walker, were active in politics with Jerry, so I remember many gatherings at the Hancock home. Jerry was always gracious and shared jokes with my sister and me. He was an asset to the City of Mitchell. I never thought of Mitchell without Jerry. Wishing all family members and friends who mourn to find love in the memories and peace by sharing them.
  15. Guest: Judy Paige | St Petersburg FL 33703
    Date: April 11, 2022
    I am Baxter Paige's widow (died July 2010). He was Mitchell H S Principal 1969-1975. We shared many social times and Persimmon Festival events. Our children were close in age. I worked occasionally in the office at the construction company. My sympathy to the family.
  16. Guest: Donald R Mann | Indianapolis
    Date: April 11, 2022
    Sorry to hear of the passing of Jerry, he was a great guy to talk to and visit with. Loved going out to the farm and fish several years ago. Our thoughts with be with all of you during this difficult time. Don, Katie and Allison
  17. Guest: Rachel Goldsberry | Mitchell
    Date: April 10, 2022
    Darcy Nick and family, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. You are all in my prayers. Rachel
  18. Guest: jerry rex burton | bloomington, indiana
    Date: April 10, 2022
    May Mayor Hancock rest in peace and his memory be a blessing to all who knew him.
  19. Guest: James and Sharon Nash | Mitchell, Indiana
    Date: April 10, 2022
    To the Hancock Family: Our condolences to each one in your family on the passing of Jerry Hancock. We will keep your family in our prayers. Jim and Sharon Nash
  20. Guest: m joan tirey reynolds | mitchell, indiana
    Date: April 10, 2022
    my brother, dan tirey, always enjoyed being w/jerry...
  21. Guest: Roy Myers | Mesquite NV
    Date: April 10, 2022
    Buck, My best to you and your family. God bless.
  22. Guest: John Hardman | Bloomington, Indiana
    Date: April 10, 2022
    Prayers of comfort for the family! Jerry was one of the good ones!
  23. Guest: Paula Williams | Liberty Township
    Date: April 10, 2022
    So sorry to hear of your loss. Jerry did a lot for the city of Mitchell. RIP
  24. Guest: Ronnie Smith | Mitchell. , Indiana
    Date: April 10, 2022
    Jerry hired me back in 86 One of the best jobs I ever had. Even helped him on the farm every once in a while Give you the shirt off his back. Very good man. Prayers to Buck an family RIP. Jerry
  25. Guest: Chris Clouse | Bloomington, In
    Date: April 10, 2022
    So sorry to hear of Jerry's passing. He had a life well lived. Prayers for peace to you all.
  26. Guest: Tammie Troxel Wray | Bedford In
    Date: April 10, 2022
    So very sorry for your loss. I remember the neighborhood "dad". And the "discussions " that my dad and Jerry had at Arby's. He will be missed!
  27. Guest: Jerry W. Allen | Mitchell
    Date: April 10, 2022
    Well Big Daddy time to rest awhile until the next part of our journey. Gonna miss you, thought about you often. Sorry I didn't make it out to talk to you more often. I always appreciated your concern for the people of Mitchell. You were a true town Father. I always appreciated seeing you at the funerals I would preach for people in Mitchell, and it didn't matter who it was you were there. You really cared for your people. Even my Mother used to say, "get a hold of Jerry, he will take care of it." RIP good friend, the rest of us will see you soon.
  28. Guest: Marla Salazar (Melton) | Mitchell
    Date: April 9, 2022
    Jerry would always stop and say hi to us. When my sister was little she fell and broke her arm . Jerry took her mom and dad to er in his car. He was a good man. And he will be missed .prayers for the family Marla Salazar (Melton)
  29. Guest: Chuck Cooper | Mitchell, Indiana
    Date: April 9, 2022
    What an individual ! Worked for Jerry 7 years, at his construction company and for the City of Mitchell. Jerry was also the Sponsor for "THE MARK S. HANCOCK" memorial Boy Scout Troop # 346. And what a sponsor he was ! He really cared about the boys. But now, It's time to rest, Jerry, time to rest. Chuck
  30. Guest: Charity Dotts | Bedford
    Date: April 9, 2022
    He was a great guy. Made Mitchell a good place to live when Mayor. Never meet a stranger. Our deepest condolences to the family.
  31. Guest: Dan p Sosh | Mitchell Indiana
    Date: April 9, 2022
    Rest in peace Jerry you've been a good friend. You be missed
  32. Guest: Sissy Terry Sproles | Mitchell, IN
    Date: April 9, 2022
    Great guy. He and my employer, "Teke" Burton, are reminiscing about now. Both great leaders in our community.
  33. Guest: William (Bill) Sallee | Orleans, Indiana
    Date: April 9, 2022
    To all the family I’m very sorry for such a loss. I pray our father in Heaven will give you comfort and peace knowing he’s now at peace with our lord
  34. Guest: Janet L. Little | Sebastopol, CA
    Date: April 9, 2022
    Debbie, Buck, Cathy, and the rest of the family: so sorry to hear the passing of Jerry. He was just one of those people one thought would never leave his beloved city and family. Keep all those happy memories of your times spent together and he’ll always be with you in spirit. I’ll be thinking of your family in the coming days and hope you will all cherish this matriarch of your family. Stay strong and help another through this difficult time together.