Remembering Katie Hancock

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A photo, surrounded by signatures and memories, shows a person that will be missed dearly by friends, family and the community. Southwest Minnesota State University students, faculty and staff remember Katie Hancock, who gave over 15 years of service to the school and who will always be remembered as part of the SMSU family.
Katie passed away on Feb. 20, 2012 at her home in Minneota, Minn. She was born and raised in Tracy, Minn. where she graduated from high school in 1987. Katie went on to attend Alexandria Vocational and Technical School and she also attended the Vocation-Tech School in Sioux Falls. She was married to John Hancock on Aug. 24, 1991.
She was recognized last spring for 15 years of service at SMSU. She was employed as a general maintenance worker (GMW) during her time here at the college. For a time, she worked in the Bellows Academic (BA) area of the school.
“Her husband was a trucker who happened to win a bunch of Slim Jims and Katie brought in a bunch for us during the summer one time,” Jim Swartz, retired art professor at SMSU, said.
She was known as a hard-working and friendly individual. She was always on the go and would always greet those she saw; an authentic people person.
“She was a real positive person. She was friendly and it was fun to visit with her. Always very nice, she would always be interested in everyone and what and how they were doing,” Swartz said. “I respected the way she went about her job, she was a very hard worker.”
Katie was known to enjoy rural life and animals; she mostly liked cats.
“She was quite the character. It’s real sad and I know we are going to miss her, she lit up the room. I was always glad to see her…even waving from a distance. It really is the people who make the place, there’s mortar and brick, but it’s the people who make the place,” Swartz said.
Katie will be remembered by many here at SMSU and many will miss her. Her friendliness, her hard work and her vibrant personality will never be forgotten. From the many people here at SMSU and all those who know Katie – she will be missed.

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