SANFORD – More than 125 people are expected to attend Monday’s funeral service for Ward T. Hanscom, a prominent attorney and family man who practiced law in Sanford for about 60 years.

Mr. Hanscom died on June 8 at age 91.

In 1948, he joined the law firm Willard & Willard, which later became Willard, Hanscom, Nickerson & Kellis.

He left the firm when he was in his early 60s. But instead of settling into retirement, he opened his own law practice. He later was an associate of Gregory McCullough.

Mr. Hanscom handled a range of legal work, from estate planning to real estate and business law.

His son, Stephen Hanscom, a lawyer who lives in Camden, said Wednesday that law was his father’s passion.

“He really enjoyed meeting people and attempting to help them,” he said.

At age 83, Mr. Hanscom promised his wife he would retire. Five years later, he followed through and retired in August 2007.

“I just don’t think he wanted to retire,” his son said. “He enjoyed what he was doing too much. I don’t think (my mom) ever really complained. She was pretty busy herself.”

Mr. Hanscom lived in Sanford nearly his entire life. He was married to Nancy Hanscom, a longtime teacher in Sanford who died Feb. 17 at age 92.

The couple raised two children. In addition to his son, Mr. Hanscom also leaves a daughter, Elisabeth Hanscom of Huntsville, Ala.

He was remembered by his children Wednesday as a great father who was active in their lives and taught them by example.

“He was always there,” his son said. “He helped me with homework when I needed it and was a pretty stern disciplinarian when I needed it, too. He was very, very involved.”

Mr. Hanscom was also active in the community, serving on dozens of boards for local organizations, including the York County Chamber of Commerce and the Sanford Rotary Club, where he served a stint as president. He was also chairman of the Sanford-Springvale Red Cross chapter and chairman of the Sanford-Springvale United Way fund drive.

He was an active member of St. George’s Episcopal Church, where he served on the vestry and filled in as organist.

The Rev. Susan Murphy, rector at the church, said Mr. Hanscom took an interest in school and church programs for at-risk youths.

“He was so involved in the community,” Murphy said. “Ward was a gentleman to a T. He loved life and lived it to its fullest.”

Mr. Hanscom and his wife had a passion for traveling. The couple traveled throughout the United States and took many trips to Europe. They enjoyed skiing, playing Scrabble and bridge, and spending time together at their Emerson Street home. Stephen Hanscom said his parents were best friends. They would have celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary on June 12.

“I believe my mom was saying, ‘Ward, it’s time to come home,”‘ his son said. “Knowing what a strong-willed woman she was, I wouldn’t put it past her that she reached across the divide to bring him home.”

The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at St. George’s Episcopal Church. A special burial service for Mr. Hanscom and his wife will be held afterward at Oakdale Cemetery.

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at:
[email protected]