Donor - Marian Mullin Hancock

Marian Mullin Hancock was an intelligent and caring woman who exemplified greatness in all its manifestations to tremendous benefit of our community. Like Mrs. Hancock, her husband, Captain George Allan Hancock, was no ordinary man, and together the two provided leadership and philanthropic energies which profoundly influenced Marian Regional Medical Center and the Santa Maria Valley.

Mrs. Hancock had a specific vision for community health care due to her great respect and gratitude to the Sisters of Saint Francis' mission of wellness, health and healing.

Sister Marilyn Ingram, OSF, was a friend of Mrs. Hancock's and a longtime administrator of Marian Hospital and its predecessor Our Lady of Perpetual Help Hospital, affectionately called Sisters' Hospital by community members. Sister Marilyn recounts, "She was a very good friend to me, the sisters and the hospital. She and her husband built the first X-ray Department at the original Sisters' Hospital and when the community had grown beyond the capacity for the original building, I immediately called upon Marian Hancock to help."

The very same day Mrs. Hancock was made aware of the Sisters' need, she invited Sister Marilyn into her Cadillac and the two drove around Santa Maria looking for potential property for the site of a new hospital. When Sister Marilyn saw the property which is now home to the current Marian Regional Medical Center, she said to Mrs. Hancock, "I'd like some of that." Mrs. Hancock replied, "You'll get it."

As the story goes, Mrs. Hancock posed a very important question to her husband, Captain George Allan Hancock, while out on a Sunday drive. She explained the Sisters' need for a larger hospital to serve the community and that a parcel of land on Church Street would make a desirable location. When Captain Hancock turned to his wife and asked who owned the property, she replied, "Why, you do."

What was once a 10-acre tomato field belonging to the Hancocks was soon deeded to the Sisters of Saint Francis and Marian Regional Medical Center was established. After her husband's passing, Mrs. Hancock assumed the role as manager of her husband's many enterprises, and like her husband, she had the true heart of a philanthropist, particularly when it came to community health care.

Personal friend, business associate and financial advisor Sue Sword says, "She never met a stranger or enemy in her life, everybody loved her. Her faith was very important to her, and she was often seen at services at Sisters' Hospital Chapel. It was there that she struck up a friendship with the Catholic sisters and priests who ministered at the hospital and she continued to give generously to the hospital over the years, playing a significant role in the history of the hospital."

It was the early 1990s when the medical center embarked on a project to build a new Heart Center. Mrs. Hancock once again stepped in and took the lead as honorary chair of the heart fund drive. Since 1994, the Marian Mullin Hancock Charitable Trust has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars to the health care ministry of Marian Regional Medical Center and it is Mrs. Hancock's trust that provided $3.25 million to Marian Regional Medical Center's Cornerstone Campaign to build a new hospital for the growing community.

Mrs. Hancock's philanthropic legacy has left a tremendous impact on the people of the Santa Maria Valley and each and every day her exceptional generosity is still making a positive difference in the lives of Marian Regional Medical Center patients and families.

Sue adds, "She was always giving. She would often comment, 'Some people have so very little and I have been blessed with so very much."' She felt it was her duty to see that peoples' needs were met. I always considered Marian Hancock Santa Maria's very own angel."