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Tony Hawk's mother Nancy 'died peacefully' after a battle with Alzheimer's disease and Dementia


Tony Hawk’s mother, Nancy Elizabeth Hawk, ‘died peacefully’ on Monday afternoon after a decade-long battle with Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia.

The former professional skateboarder made the somber announcement on Instagram with a heartfelt tribute praising his mother’s tenacity and sharing gratitude for her wisdom throughout the years.

‘My mom died peacefully this afternoon after a decade-long battle with Alzheimer’s and Dementia,’ he wrote. ‘We watched helplessly as she slid away – mentally and physically – in rapid decline over the last few years. With each visit it became less likely that there would be any signs of recognition. Instead of dwelling on the painful disease that took her away from us, I would like to honor her with acknowledgement of the successes in her life.’

Sad: Tony Hawk's mother, Nancy Elizabeth Hawk, 'died peacefully' on Monday afternoon after a decade-long battle with Alzheimer's disease and Dementia

Sad: Tony Hawk’s mother, Nancy Elizabeth Hawk, ‘died peacefully’ on Monday afternoon after a decade-long battle with Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia

‘She grew up during the Great Depression, had two jobs by age 14, married my father after he enlisted in the Navy during WW2, and managed to raise four kids on a meager budget while providing us with plenty of encouragement and confidence to follow our passions,’ he shared. ‘She earned her doctorate in business management at an age that most would choose to retire from work altogether. 

‘She was a surrogate mom and a beacon of warmth to many of my misfit friends with weird hair and difficult backgrounds. She worried when I got hurt skating, but never discouraged me from doing it because she understood the unparalleled joy it brought me.’

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Hawk is known as one of the most influential skateboarders of all time and is the founder of skateboarding brand Birdhouse.

‘She taught me to treat everyone equally, to embrace diversity and help those in need,’ he added. ‘She was constantly smiling, had a quick wit and made everyone around her feel special. She adored her grandchildren, and they adored her back. She knew the value of gathering people together, and often planned or hosted big parties for our extended friends and families. She touched many lives with her kindness and I believe she left the world a better place for countless others.’

Family: The former professional skateboarder made the somber announcement on Instagram with a heartfelt tribute praising his mother's tenacity and sharing gratitude for her wisdom throughout the years

Family: The former professional skateboarder made the somber announcement on Instagram with a heartfelt tribute praising his mother’s tenacity and sharing gratitude for her wisdom throughout the years

'She grew up during the Great Depression, had two jobs by age 14, married my father after he enlisted in the Navy during WW2, and managed to raise four kids on a meager budget while providing us with plenty of encouragement and confidence to follow our passions,' he shared

‘She grew up during the Great Depression, had two jobs by age 14, married my father after he enlisted in the Navy during WW2, and managed to raise four kids on a meager budget while providing us with plenty of encouragement and confidence to follow our passions,’ he shared

Tony wrote that his oldest sister happened upon Nancy’s ‘end of life’ wishes, which were written with her usual wit and whim.  

‘”How do you want to be remembered by others?” Her response: “She was funny; adored life, friends, and family,”‘ he shared.

‘”Would you like any music, songs or readings at your memorial service?” Her response: “Hip Hop music might be nice.”

‘So if you knew Nancy Hawk or just want to celebrate her life with us, please raise a glass and play your favorite hip hop tune in her honor. Thanks for everything mom, we love you and we are thankful for your guidance.’ 

'"How do you want to be remembered by others?" Her response: "She was funny; adored life, friends, and family,"' he shared

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‘”How do you want to be remembered by others?” Her response: “She was funny; adored life, friends, and family,”‘ he shared

'She was a surrogate mom and a beacon of warmth to many of my misfit friends with weird hair and difficult backgrounds,' he wrote. 'She worried when I got hurt skating, but never discouraged me from doing it because she understood the unparalleled joy it brought me'

‘She was a surrogate mom and a beacon of warmth to many of my misfit friends with weird hair and difficult backgrounds,’ he wrote. ‘She worried when I got hurt skating, but never discouraged me from doing it because she understood the unparalleled joy it brought me’

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services defines Alzheimer’s as ‘an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.’ 

It’s estimated that the disease affects as many as ‘5.5million Americans age 65 and older,’ with many younger generations suffering from symptoms related to Dementia.

Tony mentioned that fans should give back with donations made to Hilarity For Charity, an Alzheimer’s nonprofit founded by Seth Rogen and wife Lauren Miller Rogen. 

The Hawk family gathered around the Christmas tree on Wednesday morning with Nancy’s photo taking a prime position at the top of the tree. 

‘Happy Holidays from ours to yours,’ Hawk wrote. ‘Thank you for all the kind words about my mom; she is the star on top of our tree. Hug your parents and hug your kids (ours are awesome btw). Let’s all make the world a better place in 2020.’ 

Peace: The Hawk family gathered around the Christmas tree on Wednesday morning with Nancy's photo taking a prime position at the top of the tree

Peace: The Hawk family gathered around the Christmas tree on Wednesday morning with Nancy’s photo taking a prime position at the top of the tree

 

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