Tony Hawk’s Mother Nancy Dies from Alzheimer’s On Christmas Eve

Getty Tony Hawk and his mother Nancy Hawk

Retired professional skateboarder Tony Hawk posted a moving tribute to his mother Nancy Hawk after she died on Christmas Eve. She was 94 years old.

Nancy was suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease for the past 10 years, but instead of dwelling on the past, Hawk shared a series of photos showcasing the major highlights throughout the decades of his mother’s life.

To his 5 million followers on Instagram Hawk 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.”

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My mom died peacefully this afternoon after a decade-long battle with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. 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: 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. 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. She taught me to treat everyone equally, to embrace diversity and help those in need. 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.  My oldest sister recently found our mom’s “end of life” wishes from when she filled out the form in her cognitive days, and her last two answers resonate: “How do you want to be remembered by others?” Her response: “She was funny; adored life, friends, and family.” “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. Before I forget: fuck Alzheimer's, give to @hilarityforcharity

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With pride, the 51-year-old retired athlete, who’s married to fourth wife Catherine Goodman, and has four children — three sons and a daughter — from his other three previous wives, explained why he found his mother to be so amazing. Nancy truly lived a wildly inspiring life.

“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,” Hawk wrote. “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.”

Hawk also wrote a moving tribute to his father, who died of lung cancer back in 1995. To read about Frank Hawk’s equally incredible story click here.

Hawk continued in his tribute post to say the Nancy was always his No.1 fan, and wished he was more careful while skateboarding. Hawk turned professional in 1982 and retired in 1999 with dozens of titles and championships under his belt. He was first skater to land a “900” back in 1999, and the ageless wonder nailed the trick again on June 27, 2016, at the age of 48.

“She worried when I got hurt skating, but never discouraged me from doing it because she understood the unparalleled joy it brought me. She taught me to treat everyone equally, to embrace diversity and help those in need. 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.”


Hawk Encourages His Followers To Donate To Hilarity For Charity

Hawk closed out the tribute to his mother by writing Nancy’s final wishes. He shared, “My oldest sister recently found our mom’s ‘end of life’ wishes from when she filled out the form in her cognitive days, and her last two answers resonate: ‘How do you want to be remembered by others?’ Her response: ‘She was funny; adored life, friends, and family.'”

“‘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. Before I forget: fuck Alzheimer’s, give to @hilarityforcharity.” Hilarity For Charity is a foundation created by Seth Rogen and his wife Lauren to provide caregiver support, promote brain health and inspire a new generation of Alzheimer’s advocates.

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