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