Individual Record 5

Name}   Hancock, Warren Samuel (Bud) Family History} Hancock             
  Title}   Race} White Sex} Male
Birth:   Date} Exa  18 May 1915 Place} Canary Cottage, Calistoga, Napa, California
Marr1: Date} Fam 19 Mar 1939 Place} Presbyterian Ch., Rafael, Marin, Calif. (Link)
Marr2: Date} Exa  27 Sep  1957 Place} Carson City, Ormsby, Nevada               (Link)
Death: Date} Exa  10 Nov  1995 Place} 2959 Woodcrest Drive, Napa, Napa, California
Burial: Date} Exa  14 Nov 1995 Place} Chapel of the Chimes Mem. Park, Hayward, CA
  Grave Marker} Yes
Source 1}   444 = Birth certif
Source 2}   848 = Birth record
Source 3}   306 = 1920 USA cen
Source 4}   445 = Diploma
Source 5}   746 = 1930 USA cen
Source 6} 1600 = City directory
Source 7} 1601 = Voter register
Source 8} 1598 = Marriage rec
Source 9} 1587 = 1940 USA cen
Source 10}1187 = Draft regist'n
Source 11}  443 = Divorce rec
Source 12}1586 = 1950 USA cen
Source 13}  446 = Diploma
Parents:} Wilfred Charles Hancock & Nora Agnes Samuels
   Relationship No.}   4
1st Household No.} 50 = Canary Cottage, Calistoga, CA
      Occupation 1} Teamster/truck driver
       Occupation 2} Driller
       Occupation 3} Distiller
       Occupation 4} Fruit/cannery worker
       Occupation 5} Supervisor/foreman
Spouses:    First} Williams, Viola Clide (Vi)
              Second} Lair, Viola Mae (Vi)
 Total Number of} 2
Source 14}      85 = Family hstry
Source 15}    858 = Biography
Source 16}    908 = Marriage rec
Source 17}  1594 = Public index
Source 18}    268 = Obituary
Source 19}    441 = Death certif
Source 20}    418 = Death certif
Source 21}  1588 = Cemetery rec
Source 22}  1599 = S.S. record
Source 23}    861 = Death record
Source 24}    419 = Obituary
Source 25}    420 = Funeral rec
Source 26}    701 = Photographs
Source 27}    733 = Photographs
Source 28}    734 = Photographs
Source 29}    735 = Photographs
Source 30}    737 = Photographs
Source 31}    751 = Photographs
Notes:  Warren Samuel Hancock, known as Bud, was born 18 May 1915 at Canary Cottage, Calistoga, Napa, California.  He was the third child of Wilfred Charles Hancock and Nora Agnes Samuels.  The family moved to Napa about a year later and briefly resided at 824 Pine Street.  Bud's sister Ruth was born there in 1917.

Click to enlarge When Bud was about four years old (see photo at the right), his family moved to 2425 Second Street in Napa.

In the 1920 US census, Warren, 4, was living with his parents Wilfred, 27, and Nora, 27, on Second Street, Napa.  His father was an electrician for a store.  His siblings were Leola, 7, Bee, 6, and Ruth, 2.  Also living with them was his mother's sister, Mildred Samuels, 23. Bud went to Shearer School, then spent two years at Intermediate School.  While there, he took a woodworking class at Oak School and made a leather-covered wooden foot stool (which he kept until his death).  Bud told of his father taking him and his sisters on Sunday rides in the family's Overland automobile.  Leola and Bee often got car sick as a dog.

Bud was always interested in airplanes and dirgibles.  His scrapbook of magazine photographs and articles paints a vivid record of the development of aviation and flying from the mid-1920s to the late 1930s.  His first airplane rides were from Stewart's Dairy in Napa.  His first flight was on a biplane with a 12-cylinder engine.  He also flew in a three-motor Ford airplane.  These flights cost a penny a pound.

In the 1930 U.S. census, Warren, 14, was living with his parents, Wilfred, 37, and Nora, 37, on Second Street, Napa.  His father was an electrician in a radio store.  His siblings were Leola, 18, Bee, 16, and Ruth, 13.

Bud went to Napa High School for four years.  He was suspended once for smoking.  He took auto shop and drafting.  He was one of the few in high school who had an automobile — an old 1924 Chevrolet that he got from his father.  He put a radio in the back end (this was before radios were put into automobile dashboards).  Click to enlarge Click to enlarge He later had a cut down Ford with bucket seats and a hopped up engine.  It had a special rear end, a Chev 3-speed transmission, aluminum pistons, and would do 65 miles per hour.  The first photo at the right shows Bud with his sister Bee in Napa by a car in 1932.  The right-most photo shows Bud in 1933.  Bud graduated from Napa High on 16 June 1933.

After high school, Bud worked for Shell Oil Company as a driver of gasoline trucks.  He worked for six months out of San Rafael, six months out of Willits, and about 2½ years out of Napa.  The Shell trucks had two transmissions and governers that limited their speed to 42 miles per hour.

Bud married Viola Williams on Sunday, 19 Mar 1939 in the Presbyterian Church, San Rafael.  They went to the World's Fair in San Francisco the day after they were married.

In the 1940 U.S. census, Bud, 24, and Viola, 19, and their son Daniel, 5 months, were living at 1206 Banks Avenue.  They owned the house, valued at $4,000.  He was listed as a salesman for a wholesale oil company.  The marriage was effectively ended on 15 Sep 1941 when Vi obtained an Interlocutory Decree of Divorce.  Bud was awarded the custody of their child and also their Ford coupe.  Vi was awarded visitation rights and their house.

Bud stopped working for Shell because his management wanted to put him in a service station for awhile.  He refused and quit.  His brother-in-law, Otto Martin, then recommended that Bud apply for work at Mare Island Naval Shipyard.  Bud was hired as a driller's helper at Mare Island in May of 1940.  He was assigned to use air-driven drills to cut holes about one inch in diameter (but occasionally up to three inches) — usually to make holes for hatches in the decks of submarines.  He was promoted in about a year to a first-class driller.

Bud registered for the WWII draft on 16 Oct 1940 in Napa.  At age 25, he was described as 6ft., 175 lbs, with blue eyes, dark brown hair, and a birthmark on his left wrist.

Bud was riding with his father-in-law Simeon Williams in Simeon's Packard when they heard that Pearl Harbor had been attacked.  Bud soon thereafter received his Army draft notice and orders to report for duty.  He turned in his tools and checked out of Mare Island, but just before he left, the Navy notified him that he was deferred and to remain at Mare Island.

During his years at the "yard", he worked on one submarine tender (left photo) and 18 new, just-launched submarines (right photo).  When drilling larger holes, the drills were so powerful that they had to be chained down.  During the war, his work week was 13 days long followed by a Sunday off.  At the height of the war, 44,000 persons worked at Mare Island.  Bud was laid off in mid-1946 when servicemen returning from the war reclaimed their prior jobs at the yard.

After about a month, Bud went to work for Hedgeside Distillery as their distiller.  He received dried, mashed potatoes and processed them to produce industrial alcohol.  Bud stayed with them until the distillery closed down when the price of alcohol dropped to 50 cents a gallon.

He soon got a job at the old California Cherry Company plant in Napa after they asked him if he could color cherries.  Bud said "Sure, I can learn."  So they sent out a chemist for two days to train him.  Thus he began a long career in the cherry business.  He purchased fresh cherries (from the Stockton area), bleached them, and stored them in brine in barrels.  Later he colored them red and turned them into Maraschino cherries.

In the 1950 USA census Bud, then 34, is listed as a fruit packer.  Now divorced, Bud and Daniel, 10, were living with his parents, Wilfred and Nora Hancock, at 243 Church Street, Napa.

Bud worked with FMC designers from Texas to help them develop electronic cherry pitting and sorting machines.  After a few years the California Cherry Company was merged into Fruitvale Canning Company and all operations moved from Napa to Oakland.  Bud also moved and remained at that job until he retired.  He enjoyed his work, was a supervisor for 25 years, and refused several offers of promotion to higher non-union management positions.

Bud was a member of the Teamsters union and a lifetime member of the Native Sons of the Golden West — although he rarely attended their meetings.  Bud was also an avid shortwave radio listener (SWL).  He kept a log beginning in the 1940s of the distant stations he heard.  In the mid-1950s he helped his son set up antennas and an amateur radio station.  In later years he often monitored the local fire, police, and ambulance radio traffic.

Bud married Viola Mae Lair on 27 Sep 1957 in Carson City, Ormsby, Nevada.  Bud and Vi traveled the world extensively, and were married for almost 35 years.  The photo at the left shows Bud as he was about to board the Napa Valley Wine Train on Father's Day in June 1993.

Bud had a number of medical problems after his retirement.  He had two heart attacks which led to surgery to put a pig's valve in his heart.  The medication that he took thereafter may have been partly responsible for his high blood pressure.  Then he was diagnosed with diabetes.  Poor circulation in his feet resulted in his having surgery to insert a plastic vein from his groin to his right foot.  Then chronic renal failure caused him to have to dialysis several times each week.  Finally, he had surgery to add a plastic vein in his left leg.

In 1995 Bud decided that the pain of dialysis was excessive and that he would cease further treatment.  He passed away at home the next day at age 80½ years.  He is buried next to his wife in the Chapel of the Chimes Memorial Park, Hayward, California
Time of Birth} 2:30 A.M. Time of Death} 12:00 Noon Fraternal/Social} Native Sons
Baptism Date}   Place}     Click to enlarge
Confirm. Date}   Photo} Bud circa 1953
Immigr'n Date} N/A Port} N/A
Education: Grade} High school diploma
Military: Service} None
Health Condition} See Notes above
 Cause of Death} Heart disease
Last Updated
by} Karen Hancock
Date Updated}   6 Han 2023
Date Created}  31 Dec 1984
Copyright © 2006, 2018 by Daniel W. Hancock and 2022, 2024 by Karen L. Hancock.  All Rights Reserved.

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