The 51-year-old skateboarding legend told the world via a sweet Instagram post that included several pictures of his mother at various stages of her life.
“My mom died peacefully this afternoon after a decade-long battle with Alzheimer’s and Dementia,” Hawk wrote in the caption of his tribute post. “We watched helplessly as she slid away – mentally and physically – in rapid decline over the last few years. With each visit it became less likely that there would be any signs of recognition.”
After describing the sad decline of his mother’s health, Tony explained that he wanted to focus on all the amazing accomplishments she achieved during her long life, including supporting Hawk’s life-long passion for skateboarding.
“Instead of dwelling on the painful disease that took her away from us, I would like to honor her with acknowledgement [sic] of the successes in her life,” Tony continued. “She grew up during the Great Depression, had two jobs by age 14, married my father after he enlisted in the Navy during WW2, and managed to raise four kids on a meager budget while providing us with plenty of encouragement and confidence to follow our passions.”
Tony listed several amazing successes, including earning a doctorate in business management at a later age, being a “surrogate mom” to Tony’s friends, and embracing diversity.
“She worried when I got hurt skating, but never discouraged me from doing it because she understood the unparalleled joy it brought me. She taught me to treat everyone equally, to embrace diversity and help those in need.”
Hawk explained that his mother had a great sense of humor and she actually asked for her family to play hip hop at her memorial service.
“So if you knew Nancy Hawk or just want to celebrate her life with us, please raise a glass and play your favorite hip hop tune in her honor. Thanks for everything mom, we love you and we are thankful for your guidance,” Tony declared.
He ended his message by encouraging his millions of fans to take action and support Seth Rogan‘s charity which fights Alzheimer’s.
“Before I forget: f**k Alzheimer’s, give to @hilarityforcharity.”
Mrs. Hawk, thank you for raising a skateboarding pioneer that inspired millions of kids. RIP.