Cover photo for Anthony Hance's Obituary
Anthony Hance Profile Photo
1932 Anthony 2009

Anthony Hance

August 19, 1932 — July 31, 2009

Anthony James Hance passed away peacefully on July 31, 2009, in Davis, California. Jim Hance and his family were Davis residents for 41 years, after moving from Mountain View in 1968.

Born August 19, 1932, in Bournemouth, England, Jim Hance was a dedicated and gifted scholar, and was the first in his family to attend college. As a schoolboy, he was also an avid athlete and musician, and was proud of his trombone playing in celebrated regional bands.

At the University of Birmingham (Birmingham, England) he was awarded a BS in Zoology and earned his PhD in Experimental Psychiatry. He emigrated from England to California in 1958 and worked on the academic faculty at the Schools of Medicine, first at the University of California Los Angeles, then Stanford University, then the University of California Davis, from which he retired in 2004.

Jim Hances graduate education foucused on neurophysiological and neuropharmacological techniques for studying the effects of drugs and chemicals on brain function. He was especially involved in studying the mechanisms involved in the actions of anesthetic, analgesic and cataleptic agents; and the influence of circadian and seasonal variations on their actions. He published numerous research studies over the years at UCLA, Stanford, and UCDavis, some in collaboration with Drs Wallace Winters and Keith Killam.

He was a pioneer in developing computer hardware and techniques for analyzing the acquired data collected in studying brain function. Jim Hance was an early convert during the computer revolution, helping build first-generation mainframe computers. He was among the first to acquire a personal computer, and maintained his enthusiasm for the computing world throughout his adult life.

Widely read and astonishingly knowledgeable, he was regularly queried by family and friends to explain and educate about the natural and man-made world. Jim Hance was a creator, builder and fixer of all sorts of practical (and impractical) household appliances, educational displays, bicycles, gadgets, puzzles and toys.

Jim Hance was also a skilled and adventurous cook, and loved baking bread. He was a cheerful, affable and interesting man, with an unflagging interest in new things, and the friendly openness to talk with anybody about anything.

Jim Hance was preceded in death by his father, Watler Edwin Stanley Hance (1990) and his mother, Jessie Irene Hance (nee Finch, 1997).

He is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Ruth Anne Hance, and three sons: David Anthony Hance (of San Luis Obispo, California), Peter Andrew Hance (of Silverdale, Washington), and Stanley John Hance (of Placerville, California). He is also survived by Carrie Sellar and Jon Sellar, the children of his son Peters wife Merridy Hance, and by Brittnie Roediger and Kyle Roediger, the children of his son Johns wife, Lisa Hance.

There will be a remembrance gathering for family and friends on Saturday, August 15, 2009, drop in between 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, at the family home, 1103 Radcliffe Drive, Davis, California.

Donations in A.J.Hances memory can be made to the Explorit Science Center, P.O.Box 1288, Davis, CA 95617, or visit

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Anthony Hance, please visit our flower store.


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