St. Joseph's faculty member dies unexpectedly

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Dr. Thomas Hancock of Casco. 

STANDISH — The Casco and Saint Joseph’s College communities were dealt a blow Thursday with the unexpected death of Dr. Thomas “Tom” Hancock. 

According to a statement from college president Dr. James Dlugos, Hancock, a Casco resident, “was taken ill” while on campus Thursday afternoon and did not recover. 

“It is with great sadness that I share the news of Dr. Thomas Hancock’s sudden passing this afternoon,” Dlugos said in the statement. “Dr. Hancock was a faculty member in the Education Department who taught both campus and online courses.” 

“Tom’s larger-than-life personality, the perpetual twinkle in his eye, and his booming laugh will stay with all those colleagues, students, and friends who knew and loved him,” Dlugos continued. “While we grieve together, our hearts especially go out to Tom’s family. I know you will keep them in your thoughts and prayers.”

Dlugos also said that first aid was “quickly administered” by community members and then EMTs, but the efforts were ultimately unsuccessful. 

The statement also said the school is continuing to communicate with the Hancock family before sharing more information. 

“In the coming days, as we continue to communicate with Tom’s family and learn more about their wishes for memorializing him, we will share that information as it becomes available,” Dlugos said. “And after the College community gathers in the fall for the next academic year, we will have an opportunity to come together to remember and to celebrate the life of our friend, colleague, mentor, and teacher —Dr. Thomas Hancock.” 

Background on Hancock provided by the college says that he spent 15 years in the school’s Education Department, twice recognized with an “Outstanding Faculty” distinction.

The information provided by the college also says that he was a “loving husband, father, and grandfather known as an avid reader and gardener.” 

Dr. Thomas Hancock of Casco. 

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