John Michael Hocker (TGAPJH), 55, loving husband, father, friend, and mentor peacefully transitioned to the great beyond on September 22, 2021. His family was by his side.
John was the youngest of the five children born to Earl and Janet Hocker. He was born in 1966 in Ancon, Panama Canal Zone, while Earl was a US Contractor. They lived there until John was 2 years. He fondly remembered the banana trees in his back yard.
In 1972 the family moved to their permanent home in Sierra Vista where John attended Carmichael Elementary, the original Sierra Vista Middle School and Buena High School on Fry Blvd. 1984 was his graduating class. There isn’t any place in Sierra Vista where John wouldn’t know what used to be there. His family are some of the founding members of the Sierra Vista United Methodist Church.
John’s first job was a Pinball Repairman at the Lamplighter. It was there that he fell in love with the Williams Machines, specifically Firepower and Black Knight which are in his personal Williams Pinball Machine Collection, currently.
At the age of 19 he married the love of his life, Heather. They just celebrated their 35th Wedding Anniversary on August 23rd. They spent it in their favorite place- Sedona.
Their love affair brought into the world three beautiful sons, Joel, J.Wesley and Jacob. John loved his sons dearly and took every wayward young man under his wing and taught them a skill of working on cars or parts or just being a solid male figure.
John served in the US Army at Dugway Proving Grounds, in Utah, as a Nuclear Biological Chemical (NBC) Specialist with an SQI of “R” added for Research and Development. He really enjoyed his time in the testing field earning his Driver and Mechanic Badge as well as his Expert Rifle and Good Conduct Medal.
After separating from the Army John followed his passion into Toyota trucks. He became a Toyota Master Parts Manager earning him the nickname TGAPJH. He loved Toyota Land Cruisers and has amassed quite a collection. As one of the top managers in the country he and Heather were blessed with trips around the world because of his accomplishments going to such places as Maui, a cruise to the Virgin Islands, Cancun, Chicago, San Francisco to name a few.
After the death of their son Joel 2011, John retired from Toyota to work with other bereaved parents. He became a Peer Mentor with his wife Heather. They started a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization in Joel’s name to support other Gold Star Families. Their Foundations most recent accomplishment being the Gold Star Families Memorial at the Southern Arizona Veterans Memorial Cemetery.
Years before the death of their son, Heather started a dog supply company which John and Heather worked after his retirement and in conjunction with the non-profit. The retail dog supply company had recently expanded into a Gun Store. The last year was spent primarily going to gun shows around the state of Arizona.
The last few months before his unexpected passing John and Heather spent quite a bit of time traveling and taking time to just enjoy life together. It was truly a blessing.
John is survived by his wife Heather; sons J. Wesley and Jacob Hocker; mother-in-law Hester McClelland; sisters BJ Twiss and Caroline Northrup; numerous nieces and nephews. He is proceeded in death by his son WO1 Joel P. Hocker (Marisela Lugar) ; brothers Tommy Hocker, David Hocker; parents Earl and Janet Hocker.
Visitation will be held Sunday, September 26 from 2-5 PM at Hatfield Funeral Home.
Funeral will be held Monday, September 27 at 9:30AM, at the Sierra Vista United Methodist Church on Buffalo Soldier Trail. Military Procession to follow to the Southern Arizona Veterans Memorial Cemetery with Military Honors at 11:00 AM.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the WO1 Joel P. Hocker memorial foundation. Link Https://squareup.com/store/GSMCC
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