NOBLEBORO — Beverly Hancock rarely said no to anyone. Even when she was asked if she wanted to ride in the sidecar of her friend’s German-made, Russian-designed motorcycle, she still said yes.

“She couldn’t say no,” said Britt Hatch, her niece. “She hopped in and was nervous as hell. She ended up having the best time. That was just awesome.”

That wild ride came just a few weeks before her death Wednesday. She was 83.

Born by Caesarean section in her grandparents’ living room in Nobleboro, Mrs. Hancock always said that was her “claim to fame.”

“If anyone knows Nobleboro, they know there’s no hospital,” her niece said, adding that Mrs. Hancock’s brother was also born in that living room four years later.

After attending the one-room schoolhouse in Nobleboro and graduating from Lincoln Academy in Newcastle, Mrs. Hancock continued her education at the Maine School of Commerce.

1947, she was teaching typing, shorthand and office practices at Erskine Academy in South China. Her niece said all of her students there loved her.

“She was right out of school herself. I think some of it was she was so close to their age. She was also very outgoing,” Hatch said.

There was no bus service at the academy, so Mrs. Hancock often picked up her students on the way to school, her niece said, adding to the connection she had with them.

After 15 years, Mrs. Hancock took a job in Freeport, teaching similar skills. During her time there, she also obtained her business degree from the University of Southern Maine. Her niece said Mrs. Hancock was named Maine Business Educator of the Year and Maine Vocational Educator of the Year during her 41-year career.

Her niece remembers how thoughtful her aunt was. Although they shared many times together, their school shopping trips were most memorable.

“Her famous line was: ‘If you see something here that you can’t live without, then we’ll get it,”‘ Hatch said. “I do that now when I see something,” she said, often catching herself asking if she could live without the item in mind.

While teaching in Freeport, Mrs. Hancock met “the love of her life,” Douglas Hague, Hatch said. They never married, but their relationship lasted decades until Hague’s death.

When her niece asked her why they never married, Mrs. Hancock said they never had the time.

“They were always working and traveling and wrapped up in what they were doing,” Hatch said.

Part of the time they shared together was at their cottage on Fortunes Rocks Beach in Biddeford. They rented the cottage to tourists during the summer, but the family enjoyed the spring and fall months there.

“It was a wonderful place to run away to,” Hatch said, remembering all the times they shared there. “Sometimes I could hang out just with them, and sometimes it was a bunch of family members and friends.”

Whoever was visiting, Hatch said Mrs. Hancock waited on them hand and foot.

“She loved to have people there and entertain,” she said.

 

Staff Writer Emma Bouthillette can be contacted at 791-6325 or at:

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