James Earl Bocock (Jim) passed from the arms of his family into the arms of Jesus on Wednesday, March 16, 2022. He was born February 12, 1939, in Maysville, KY to the late James Isaac and Oma Claudine (Lamb) Bocock. Jim’s musical and intellectual abilities displayed themselves early; he started school and violin lessons at age 5. Jim’s love of learning and agile mind led to his compressing grades to graduate high school and enroll at MIT at age 16. Jim would quickly add that he only stayed at MIT for one semester before transferring to the University of KY, closer to home and more suited to his 16-year-old maturity level.
Jim graduated from UK in 1959 with a degree in mechanical engineering and subsequently attended the Oak Ridge School of Reactor Technology for nuclear engineering. His career focused primarily on nuclear applications, including support of the McMurdo Station nuclear power plant in Antarctica, the V.C. Summer nuclear plant near Columbia, SC, and as a civilian for the U.S. nuclear navy.
He also thoroughly enjoyed and took part in the arts, a true renaissance man. He loved to sing, dance (folk and ballroom), play violin and trombone, take and develop photographs, and act in community theater. Jim and his wife, Gilda, met at Town Theatre in Columbia while Jim was performing, and Gilda was working in the stage crew. After their marriage, life revolved around family, friends, work, and church. Lifelong friends were made during 17 years at Holiday Park Baptist Church near Pittsburgh, PA, and the past 22 years at Spring Valley Baptist Church in Columbia. Jim sang in the worship choirs, many musical and drama performances, men’s quartets and ensembles, and the SVBC Valley Voices. He also played violin and trombone as long as he was able.
Jim is survived by his wife (Gilda) of 41 years, daughters Charlotte and Georgia, and son James. He was preceded in death by his parents and an older sister, Claudine Louise, who passed in infancy but was never forgotten. His gentle spirit, kindness, generosity, smile, and rich bass voice will be missed by all.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Spring Valley Baptist Church Music Ministry, 91 Polo Road, Columbia, SC, 29223.