Oct. 30, 1931-May 14, 2023
Palo Alto, California
Joan Hancock passed away peacefully at home in Palo Alto, on Mother’s Day, May 14, 2023. The oldest child of Margaret (Meg) and Roger Egeberg, she and her three siblings were raised in Cleveland, OH and Los Angeles. After graduating from U.C. Berkeley in 1953, she lived in Grand Mere, Quebec before settling back into the San Francisco Bay Area where she taught Elementary School in Daly City and Pinole. In the late 1950’s she moved to Sherman Oaks Apartments in Palo Alto, where she met her future husband Bill Hancock, a Cardiologist at Stanford, after hearing his piano playing in the apartment building. Bill and Joan eventually settled into a house on Tennyson, where they lived together for over 50 years.
Joan will be remembered by her prolific artistic output, spanning seven decades. Her portraits and landscapes, which depicted both the fantastic and the real, were filled with playfulness and joy. She saw beauty and form everywhere, which was evident even walking through her house. She showed her work at galleries across the Bay Area and opened her own Blue Skies Studio in the 1980s. She painted numerous murals in houses and businesses across the peninsula, including both the Country Sun health food store and Burger King in Palo Alto. The home she created was a memorable gathering place for many in the community and was particularly known for hosting large and fun parties, including an annual Christmas party where Bill made his legendary Fish House Punch; a memorable Chaucer party from the 1970’s; and numerous other readings and performances associated with the Stanford Faculty Wives.
Joan leaves a legacy of friends, family and artwork. She is survived by her daughter Nancy and sons Will, Nelson and Adam; eight grandchildren: Allison, Robert, Freddy, Eliza, Leilani, Lila, Hendrix and Sam; great-grandson Cashel; and her sister Sara McEre. The family gives special thanks to Liz Pahulu who cared for Joan in the last year of her life.