Geoffrey Dean Hancock
61, of Chandler, Arizona, died peacefully at his home March 3, 2013 with family members at his side, under the care of Grace Hospice. Geoff was one of 6% to survive pancreatic cancer for more than two years, and he put up a valiant fight against recurrent pancreatic cancer, never losing his legendary sense of humor. Geoff was born Aug. 13, 1951 in Odessa, Texas to James Clay Hancock and Dorothy Green Hancock, and traveled as a "military brat" with his parents to bases including in Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, New Jersey, Canada and Bitberg, Germany. While overseas, he worked for JBL Speakers and Fender Guitar, joined a rock band and played bass guitar for 10 years in Bitberg, Luxemburg and Berlin before returning to the United States to get his degree in broadcast engineering at the College of the City of New York. Among his employers in the U.S. was a survey company, and the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area in Mammoth Lakes, CA, where he worked as a lift operator, building chair lifts and drove a shuttle bus and taxi for the ski resort. He moved to Tucson to be near his parents, who had retired, and worked in computer sales there and in Phoenix. Geoff later was employed at ITT Technical Institute in the broadcast program before joining Telemation in video and film production sales. He was promoted to general manager when the company changed owners and its name to Production Masters Inc. (PMI). He later started his own business offering video assist services to commercial film productions, and traveled around Arizona and the west for more than 10 years working on national, regional and local television commercials for Toyota, BMW, Nike, NBA, Budweiser, United Bank of Switzerland, Merck Singulair, Wrigley's Spearmint Gum, Bridgestone, Circle K, Cox Cable, SRP, APS, Phoenix Zoo, Peter Piper Pizza and Arizona Republic Newspaper with Steven Benson, Rose Mofford and Herb Drinkwater, among others; and worked with directors Spike Lee, Tom Scott, George Jecel, Steven Hood, Harry Karidis, Michael Kucharo, Joe Rassulo, Walter Smith and many others. A match-making colleague introduced him to his wife, Laurie, and they have one son, Devon. Geoff and Laurie celebrated 25 years of marriage in October 2012. Geoff and Laurie bought the former Ocotillo News, now the SanTan Sun News, and grew it to a well-read, 35,000 circulation community newspaper serving Southern Chandler. Geoff oversaw sales and distribution, delivered many papers personally and took thousands of photographs for the newspaper. Geoff served on the Downtown Chandler Community Partnership (DCCP) on Beautification & Safety Committee, among others. He was a great and generous supporter of local arts, ICAN, Chandler Salvation Army and other organizations and causes. Geoff loved his rescue cats, Jazz and Phantom, movies, hot tea, watching Lewis Black and classic rock videos, photography and traveling. A life-long "gadget guy," Geoff also was Laurie and Devon's "roadie" for their musical endeavors. Geoff was preceded in death by his parents, James Clay Hancock and Dorothy Green Hancock, and grandmother Louise Whitfield Lane of Oklahoma City, OKLA and Dallas, TX. He is survived by his wife, Laurie Fagen; son Devon James Hancock; mother- and father-in-law, Lani and Lowell Fagen of Prescott; brother-in-law, Lee Marshall Fagen of Berkeley, CA, his wife and Geoff's fellow "out-law," Sally Grant, and nephew Sam Grant Fagen; the SanTan Sun News "family" and many great friends. In lieu of flowers or memorial contributions, in his inimitable style, Geoff said, "Save your money. You'll need it, especially if you have kids going to college." However, his latest favorite cause was the Chandler Salvation Army, and Grace Hospice took very good care of all the family during Geoff's final month. Geoff served as a body donor for science research in a special U.S. Military project to reduce injury to soldiers. Geoff asked that his ashes be spread on Mount Brandon in County Kerry, Ireland. A celebration of Geoff's life will be held from 3-5 p.m. Sun., April 7 at Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 6400 W. Del Rio St, off Ray and McKemy in Chandler. Visit the Facebook pages for Geoffrey Dean Hancock or SanTan Sun News for details, and where online condolences may be made. In the film and video productionworld jargon, where Geoff and Laurie met, Geoff had a great dress rehearsal, a blockbuster film production, a wild cast party and now we say "that's a wrap." Observing his well-known sense of humor, a friend added, "And we'll be entertained by the reruns."
Published by The Arizona Republic from Mar. 17 to Mar. 20, 2013.