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Tony Hawk’s Mom Dies After Alzheimer’s Battle: Read the Pro Skateboarder’s Touching Tribute

Tony Hawks Mom Dies of Alzheimer
Tony Hawk with his mother Nancy. Courtesy of Tony Hawk/Instagram

Tony Hawk revealed on Monday, December 23, that his mother, Nancy Hawk, died after enduring a decade-long battle with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

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In Tony’s Instagram update, the 51-year-old pro skateboarder noted that his mother “died peacefully” following her years-long fight. “We watched helplessly as she slid away — mentally and physically — in rapid decline over the last few years,” he wrote. “With each visit, it became less likely that there would be any signs of recognition.”

Instead of “dwelling” on the tragedy of her passing, Tony chose to highlight “the successes” that Nancy achieved throughout her life. His mother, who grew up in the Great Depression era, held two jobs at age 14 and later wed the athlete’s father, Frank Hawk, after he joined the U.S. Navy during World War II. Nancy earned a doctorate degree in business management, and Tony shared that his mom “managed to raise four kids on a meager budget while providing us with plenty of encouragement and confidence” to them.

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Tony regarded his mother as “a beacon of warmth” who never discouraged him from becoming a professional skater, even when she got “worried” when he injured himself in the process.

“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,” he continued. “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.”

He concluded his post by asking his followers to donate to Hilarity for Charity, an organization cofounded by Seth Rogen and his wife Lauren Miller Rogen in 2012 after the actress’ mother was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s.

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Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that slowly deteriorates one’s memory and ability to function without assistance. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.8 million Americans are living with the illness.

Tony last addressed his mother’s battle with the disease in October, when he candidly spoke about how his mother’s diagnosis with Alzheimer’s impacted not just her but their entire family. “She is 94 now … I think it was about 15 years ago when you could tell that she was not remembering very basic information,” he told the Detroit Free Press. “Her driving was the first thing to go … It was just clear she wasn’t really safe on the road and she was a danger to others.”

He continued, “My siblings and I offered to get her transportation. That was a battle because she didn’t want to lose that freedom. And then she started losing touch with reality in certain aspects, where the things she would say were more concerning. They were … I can’t explain it. She would mention things that were not real, and we knew that something was off.”

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