Simply Put

Simply put, I would describe my dad, Norman Hancock as,”What you saw was what you got.” Never flamboyant or complex, he was a quiet, unassuming man who could be counted on to do an exceptional  job at whatever he tackled.  Whether racing his friend and annual competitor Lowell Wheeler Christmas caroling from house to house, over the icy darkened sidewalks of Troy, New York or giving a much needed face lift to one of Lansingburg’s grand old lady mansions along Second Avenue, his reputation preceded him.  “If you hire Norm Hancock to paint your house, you can count on him to do an excellent job in record time and at a fair price.”  He lived his high school graduating class motto–‘Be fair; be square’.

Simply put, he was devoted to his God though he never preached a sermon from the pulpit or presented special music for the church service. Yet every Sabbath morning, through snow, sleet, blizzard and spring deluge, my dad arrived at the church at least a half an hour to forty-five minutes early to open the doors, fire up the furnace, and turn on the lights.  This was his calling. Once a visiting conference president commented that “Norm Hancock was the only man who ever beat him to church on Sabbath morning.”

Simply put, Norm Hancock cared for his family.  As a middle schooler I found the paint chips still under his nails on Sabbath morning embarrassing though each night I’d watched him scrub his hands with toxic cleanser until they bled.  I didn’t connect the bleeding cuticles and swollen knuckles with the poodle skirt and crinolines on my body or the bobby sox and saddle shoes on my feet.  His sharp mind became evident when playing Rook with his sons-in-law and grandson Ronnie.  He knew who held every card in their hands at any one time.

Dad couldn’t sing a note but on Friday nights he would sit on the sofa and listen as My mom, my sister and I would warble around the piano.  Once he told me that in heaven he would join a choir with 1000 soprano’s, 1000 altos, 1000 tenors and him, the only base needed to make beautiful music for the Lord.

The words dependable and consistent describe Norman Hancock.  If God needs someone to turn on heaven’s lights or fire up the furnace from Sabbath to Sabbath, my dad’s His man.  If  the Pearly gates need a fresh coat of paint, Norm Hancock will do it.  Simply put, whatever God intends for my father it will be simply put. Matthew 25:21, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.  You have been faithful over few things; I will make you a ruler over many things.  Enter into the house of the Lord.”

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2 Responses to Simply Put

  1. Linda says:

    What a beautiful tribute, Kay. Most of the godly men I know are those who work quietly, efficiently, and diligently in the background with little or no fanfare–they like it that way. God bless and keep your father and all those like him!

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