Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory

Gordon J. Hocker

7/29/1930 - 11/30/2017

PEKIN ~ Gordon Jeremiah Hocker, 87, of Pekin, passed away at 12:40 a.m. Thursday, November 30, 2017 at UnityPoint Health – Pekin.

Born July 29, 1930 in Colchester to Thomas Clayton and Flora Irene (Harpe) Hocker, he married Violet M. Tyler on June 6, 1965 in DeKalb, Illinois. 

Surviving are his daughter, Denise Hocker of Pekin; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents and three sisters, Loretta Jones Degitz, Hannah Lucille Turner, and Lolita Hocker.

A United States Air Force veteran of the Korean War, he served from January 12, 1951 to January 11, 1955.  He attained the rank of Staff Sergeant.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Education in 1958 and a Master of Science degree in Education in 1966, both from Western Illinois University in Macomb.

From 1958 to 1968, Gordon served as a teacher, coach, superintendent and principal in Mapleton and Laura, Illinois.  In 1968, he began with Pekin Public Schools District 108 as Principal of C.B. Smith.  He spent the last three years of his career back in the classroom teaching physical education at Jefferson School.  He retired in June of 1988. 

Following his retirement, Gordon worked for Mike Fahnders Auction in Pekin for several years and assisted with the Pekin AMBUC Charity Auction for several years.  He had a lifelong of sports especially the Chicago Cubs.  In his youth, he was an exceptional athlete earning the nickname as “The Little Giant” in high school.  Gordon was an outdoorsman with hunting, fishing, and mushrooming as particular favorites.

A service celebrating Gordon’s life will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, December 9, 2017 at First United Methodist Church in Pekin.  The Rev. James McClarey will officiate and military rites will be accorded by the United States Air Force.  The family will receive friends following the service at a gathering in the church fellowship hall.  Burial will be at Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Colchester at a later date.

Arrangements are by Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to First United Methodist Church, 1315 Court Street, Pekin, IL  61554.

To express condolences online, visit www.preston-hanley.com

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