Betty Lou Hanke, 90 of North Kingstown, passed away peacefully surrounded by the love of her family on Monday, March 12, 2018. She was the wife of the late John Warren Hanke and together they shared 51 years of marriage. Born in Lincoln, Nebraska on September 25, 1927, she was the daughter of the late Ralph Clyde and Grace Elizabeth (Long) Kennedy.
Betty was a vibrant person who enjoyed living life to the fullest. She worked in various positions across the country including being a reporter for the Spokesman Review in Spokane. She was a librarian at the William and Gayle Cook music library at Indiana University, recognized as one of the largest academic libraries in the world. She was a secretary in the history department and later, secretary to the chairman in the department of speech and communicative disorders at the University of RI. She was a bright woman who loved to test her intellect while watching Jeopardy. She had many talents to include acting in several plays at URI but her true passions could be found in her Japanese garden and her Star Trek collections. Her Japanese garden was frequently selected to be a part of the annual Wickford Garden tour. And to say that she was a Star Trek fan would be an understatement. She loved everything Star Trek and collected memorabilia from the show. Most importantly, she loved her family and will be dearly missed by all who knew her.
She leaves her children Bruce Hanke and his wife Janette of CA, Virginia L. Hanke of Westerly and Veronica Hanke-Dacey of NH; her grandchildren Jacqueline, Jennifer, Joshua, Christopher and Breanna; her great-grandchildren Rayne, Dakota, Kaleb, Samantha, Jade, Kieran, Lucas, Jacob, Nicholas, Owen and Samantha; and her dear neighbor and friend Damon Rivard who made sure to help as he could which allowed her to stay in her own home until she was 90, as well as her dear friends, Jimmy and Dale Grogan who were her official escorts to her appointments, and her sounding boards.
A celebration of Betty’s life will be held later in the spring. Buckler- Johnston Funeral Home, 121 Main Street, Westerly, RI 02891 is assisting the family with arrangements. Memorial donations can be made in her name to the North Kingstown Free Library, 100 Boone St., North Kingstown, RI 02852
For online condolences, please visit www.buckler-johnston.com