Captain Joan Rhodes Hankey, 83, U.S. Navy (ret.) of Gettysburg, died Sunday, June 7, 2020, at Menno Haven Rehabilitation Center, Chambersburg, Pa.
Captain Hankey was the daughter of the late Donald Laird Hankey, Esq., and Sarah Rhodes Hankey of New Kensington, Pa.
Following graduation from New Kensington High School, Captain Hankey received her bachelor of arts degree from Wilson College in Chambersburg in 1959. She received her master of science degree from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., in 1969, and was awarded an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters from Wilson College in 2000.
She enlisted in the U.S. Navy in June 1959, and was commissioned as an ensign in August of that year. Her 24-year career took her to duty stations in Newport, R.I., San Francisco, Calif., San Diego, Calif., Norfolk, Va., Monterey, Calif., New Orleans, La., and Washington, D.C. During those years she distinguished herself with several “firsts” for a women officer of that time, including serving as the commanding officer of a command not solely for women. She also served as staff to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Following retirement in September 1983, Captain Hankey pursued a wide variety of hobbies such as oil painting, designing and building her own LEGO creations, genealogy, and quilting. For many years she donated hundreds of lap quilts to hospice patients in the Gettysburg area. She volunteered for The Friends of Gettysburg and the Gettysburg Foundation.
A resident of Gettysburg since 1992, she served on volunteer boards with Wilson College Alumni Association, the National Genealogical Society, and the Adams County Historical Society for which she prepared many published indexes of historical records.
Captain Hankey is survived by her sister, Susan Hankey Cribbs (Christopher) and two nephews, Christopher Laird Cribbs and Donald Reed Cribbs.
Funeral Services and burial in Evergreen Cemetery will be private.
Online tributes and condolences can be made at monahanfuneralhome.com.
Memorial contributions may be given to the Hankey Center Endowment, Wilson College, 1015 Philadelphia Ave., Chambersburg, PA 17201; or Gettysburg Foundation, 1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, PA 17325; or Adams County Historical Society, P. O. Box 4325, Gettysburg, PA 17325.
The Monahan Funeral Home in Gettysburg is assisting with the funeral arrangements.