Tribute to Mom
In all the world you couldn’t find a mother as great as my Mom, Charlotte Hanok. Mom passed away on her 91st birthday on Oct. 7, 2012.
The funeral service for Charlotte was held on Oct. 10, 2012, in Cedar Park Cemetery in Paramus, N.J., where Charlotte joined her husband of 69 years, Al Hanok, who passed away in May 2011.
Along with her son, Mark; Charlotte is survived by her three sisters, Mimmy, Norma and Jackie, all of whom are doing well. Mimmy and Norma reside in Carmel, Calif., Mimmy is 93 years old, and Norma is 88. Jackie, in Rutherford, N.J., is 83 years old. We are planning a memorial service for Mom, in Pelham. early next year.
Everyone who ever knew Mom loved her very much. I was indeed fortunate to call Charlotte my Mom, who always put her family first, caring about her family and friends more than about herself. Mom was always very kind, thoughtful generous and a great humanitarian. Mom was also a great advocate for children, spending over half a century in the child care field.
Mom began her career in early childhood education in the early 1950s in some of Brooklyn’s poorest neighborhoods. Then Mom worked at Crestwood Lake Nursery School in Yonkers, and in the 1960s she became the director of Maywood Nursery School in Hartsdale and the Rye Community Center Nursery School in Rye.
During the summer of 1970, Mom founded Pelham Day Care Center in southern Westchester County. This was a remarkable achievement with almost no money, and for a day care center to specialize in serving the very poorest families who simply couldn’t afford day care.
When I was only 8 months old, I was adopted by my parents. From the very beginning, Mom was as loving and caring as any mother in the world. When I was 2 years old we moved to a wonderful home high atop a breezy hilltop in White Plains. We spent many very happy times together, including memorable vacations like the legendary excursions to the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone in 1969, and to Quebec in 1972. During those very happy days in the late 1970s through the mid-1980s, I went to many places with Mom and Dad, and the best vacations included Cape Cod in 1979, California in 1981, and Arizona in 1987. I was very lucky to be able to spend so much time with Mom and Dad.
Mom, Dad, and I relocated to a magnificent home in Hawthorne in 1979, and after Mom and Dad retired, we all moved upstate to Otego in 1989. Mom and Dad continued to be very active during retirement, pursuing many hobbies and traveling to many places on their own, including Caribbean and Alaska cruises.
We lost Dad in May of last year, after Mom and Dad had been happily married for 69 years. Mom was in reasonably good shape until the last three months of her life, driving and going up and down stairs. We still went places together, and it was a gift just to get those months taking Mom shopping and to other places around town. I was glad to get more opportunities to tell Mom how much I loved her. Mom will be greatly missed.
Expressions of sympathy may be sent to www.lhpfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements were under the guidance of the Lewis, Hurley & Pietrobono Funeral Home, 51 Dietz St., Oneonta.