James Hocker, 90, of Bynum passed away Wednesday, March 25, 2020. Private family services will be held. Mr. Hocker will lie in state from 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. Saturday, March 28, at Marshall & Marshall Funeral Directors in Hillsboro.
James was born on January 9, 1930, near Bynum, to August and Haddie (Radke) Hocker. He was baptized on February 9, 1930 at St. Peter Lutheran Church – Walling near Malone and was later confirmed there on April 14, 1946. During the Korean War, he served his country in the United States Army and was honorably discharged on March 12, 1953. On November 1, 1953, James was united in marriage to Vera Piel at Salem Lutheran Church near Malone. James began his farming career in 1953, he farmed in Malone, Bynum, and Ryenzie areas in Hill County for 37 years. In 1963 he was named Hill County’s Outstanding young farmer by the Hillsboro Jaycees. In 1965 he was selected by the Texas Research Foundation as one of two farmers from Hill County to be a operation / demolition in a 6 year program using the Renner Farming System. He was Vice President of the Hill County Farm Bureau, vice chairman of the Extension Service Committee, and a board member of the Farmers Co-Op Gin in Malone. He served 12 years as a trustee on the Bynum ISD School Board. James was known throughout the community for his amazing talent for Barbequing brisket. His love for B-B-Q led him into the role of volunteering for the Bynum FFA, Bynum and Malone Fire Departments, and the Bynum Little League B-B-Q fundraisers. He proudly held that role for 15 years.
He was an avid fastpitch softball pitcher, hunter, fisherman, and gardener. After retiring from farming in 1990 he enjoyed creating various crafts from wood and iron. He had a unique creative side, consistently trying to design and build the perfect Bar-B-Que pit.
He was a very devoted grandfather and great- grandfather. His grandchildren and great grandchildren will cherish all of their many special memories of Gramps/ G Pop. His funny sayings and infectious big laugh will be greatly missed.
He was a life-long member of St. Peter Lutheran Church, the church his grandfather started.
Preceding him in death were his parents; brother, Pete Hocker; son-in-law, Billy Widner; and brother-in-law, Leonard Kaddatz.
Survivors include his loving wife of 66 years, Vera Hocker; three daughters, Linda Polley, Cindy Wells and husband, James, and Brenda Widner; sister-in-law, Emma Lee Kaddatz; grandchildren, Landrah Polansky and husband, Mark, Lerin Lockwood and husband, Trent, Jordyn Giddens and husband, Blake, and Jameson Wells and girlfriend, Ashley Petkas; great-grandchildren, Jadyn Polansky, Bowie Lockwood, Lola and Mason Giddens; niece, Kim Wise and husband, T. J.; and two great-nieces, Hadley and Emery Leech.
Memorials may be made to St. Peter Lutheran Church, Walling Cemetery, or Bynum VFD.
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