Mardell Hancock, 83, of Waverly, formerly of Indianola, died Saturday, October 8, 2011, at her home in Waverly.
Ailsa Acker was born November 23, 1928, in Atlantic, Iowa. Her parents Arleigh M. Acker and Joy Wissler Acker, lived on a farm southwest of Anita at the time. A few months later the family moved to the Henry Wissler farm on "County K Road" – 1 ½ miles SE of Wiota, where she lived all the childhood and teen years. She was employed as secretary for the Wiota School for two years. She attended Simpson College as a liberal arts student for two years.
She was active in the life of the Wiota Methodist Church, becoming a member at 11 years of age. She attended camp, Institutes and Youth Fellowship, played the piano for worship for several years, helped with services in her home church as well as in other United Methodist Churches.
She was married to Lester J. Hancock on June 25, 1950; the couple moved to Boston, Mass., where she was employed at the Goodwill Industries Book Store and Day Care Center and the Boston University Evening Division Office while Lester attended the School of Theology. They returned to Iowa in 1953 to begin a life of service in the ministry of the United Methodist Church in the then South Iowa Conference. She shared this life in churches in Oakville-Kingston, Lanesboro, Woodward, Pleasantville and Hartley.
Mardell was active in community life in each town where they lived. She served as Room Mother at school, Cub Scout den mother, District Craft leader for Cub Scout leaders, Band Parents Treasurer and was a member of a school re-organization committee. The boys were all Scouts; Lester was a Cubmaster and Scout Master. She was active in Women's Society which later became the United Methodist Women, serving several offices on the local level as well as District Literature Secretary.
Mardell was employed as church secretary in Pleasantville, helped with a school census and was in charge of the School Snack Bar during winter tournaments for three years. The family lived there for 11 years; the boys all graduated from high school there.
Upon moving to Hartley, she found employment at the Coast-to-Coast and was a charter member of the Hartley Business and Professional Women.
Mardell moved to Indianola and began working at the TG&Y Family Center there in Feb, 1977. Her marriage ended that year. She was a member of Indianola Business & Professional Women and the First United Methodist Church. She spent a few years as a night-time sitter for the school-age children of a friend who worked as a night-shift nurse. She has ridden with Ben in his 18 wheeler. She lived in Waverly since 2006, and was a member and volunteer at Heritage United Methodist Church.
Buying a camera was an important part of her becoming a grandmother She enjoyed bottles, antiques, plants, and musical events at Simpson College.
During her work at Wesley Woods Camp , she collected cans and bottles and removed the tabs for Women's Prison, donating the proceeds to the Camp Scholarship Fund. She volunteered at 1st United Methodist Church at Bidwell-Riverside and the church headquarters in Des Moines.
She is survived by three sons; John (Jane Sloan) Hancock of Spokane, Washington, Craig (Elizabeth) Hancock of Waverly, and Benjamin (Cindi) Hancock of Chariton, Iowa; 18 grandchildren, and 13 great grandchildren.
A Memorial Service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, October 17, 2011, at Heritage United Methodist Church in Waverly. A graveside service will be held on Monday, October 17, 2011, at 5 p.m. in the Memorial Garden Cemetery, Atlantic. A gathering with refreshments will follow, at the Farmers' Kitchen, on Walnut St. in Atlantic. Memorials and messages may be sent to 1717 2nd Ave NW, Waverly, IA 50677. Online condolences may be left at www.kaisercorson.com