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Hancock ends 36 years of Ceres Fire Board service
Jerry Hancock
Jerry Hancock received a plaque of recognition upon his retirement from the Ceres Fire Protection District Board of Directors last week.

Longtime Ceres resident Jerry Hancock has retired after spending 36 years on the Ceres Fire Protection Board of Directors.

The Ceres Fire Protection District is in charge of fire suppression efforts immediately outside of the Ceres city limits. The district has dwindled in size over the years with annexations to the city of Ceres, such as the recent Whitmore Ranch annexation near La Rosa Elementary School. Since it has no personnel and equipment it has contracted with Ceres Fire Department for fire suppression services since the 1970s. The rural district encompasses the area southeast of Ceres outside of the city limits and includes about approximately 1,200 residents.

Ceres Fire Chief Kevin Wise has enjoyed working alongside Hancock and the board.

“It’s one of those things where serving on a board is a thankless position,” said Wise. “He had to commit to it every year and make all those meetings.”

Hancock, 82, graduated from Ceres High School in 1955 and was drafted into the Army at a time when the country was not at war. When he returned, he went to work in his father Rolla Hancock’s garage and eventually took the business when Rolla retired in 1978. Jerry’s shop was relocated to 3400 Moore Road where Hancock’s Farm Repair operated until Jerry closed it in 1998. The shop is now the Fifth Street Café.

Hancock is the grandfather of Bret Presson, who was recently promoted to rank of battalion chief with the Ceres Fire Department.

His retirement leaves only Robert “Bob” Rensted and Gary Marchy on the board, which meets about six times a year. A replacement is being sought to replace him. Any registered voter living within the district interested in filling the board seat may email Board Clerk Danielle Denczek at