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"HOC" 2007 Obituary


HOCKEY 2007-01-08 published
HOCKEY, William Donald " Don"
With his family by his side, it is with sorrow that the family of the late William Donald (Don) HOCKEY of Tillsonburg announce his passing at the Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital on Sunday, January 7, 2007 at the age of 81 years. Beloved husband of Edna HOCKEY (nee: ROBBINS.) Don is the son of the late William John HOCKEY (1970,) and the late Myrtle M. (HONSBERGER) HOCKEY (1968.) Dear uncle of William (Marie) SERVICE of Dwight, Fred McLELLAN of Thamesford, George (Audrey) McLELLAN of Saint Mary's. Don was predeceased by a sister Marion Irene HOCKEY (1982,) and his cousin Ivan JOHNSON. The family will receive Friends at Ostrander's Funeral Home 43 Bidwell Street, Tillsonburg (519) 842-5221 on Tuesday, January 9, 2007 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Funeral service for Don will be held in Ostrander's Funeral Home Chapel on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 at 1: 00 p.m. Reverend Margaret MURRAY of Avondale Zion United Church, Tillsonburg officiating. Interment Tillsonburg Cemetery. In Don's memory at the family's request memorial donations (payable by cheque) may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society or to a charity of your choice. Personal condolences may be sent to

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HOCKIN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-05-31 published
He was decorated for 'gallantry and leadership' at Battle of Falaise Gap
He seldom spoke of his experiences and chose not to take part in Remembrance Day ceremonies
By Allison LAWLOR, Special to The Globe and Mail, Page S8
Halifax -- Facing continuous enemy shell and mortar fire in northern France in August, 1944, during a operation that would become known as the Battle of the Falaise Gap, John HOCKIN was decorated by the French and Belgians for "qualities of gallantry and leadership."
The Falaise Gap was the area between four towns near Falaise, France, where Allied forces tried to destroy the German Seventh Army and the Fifth Panzer Army. The operations took place as part of the Battle of Normandy, which unfolded after the D-Day invasion of Europe. For months, the Germans had prevented the Allies from breaking out of Normandy; for a time, it even appeared the invasion might fail. Eventually, a German commander made a strategic error and moved the bulk of his forces to the west when they should have retreated east to a stronger position. The mistake left them weakened and the Allies seized on the opportunity to mount a classic encirclement.
The job of the closing the gap was given to the Canadians and Americans, but a delay of several days by U.S. forces allowed an estimated 100,000 German troops to escape. The Canadians fought on almost alone; in one famous engagement, a force of 200 under the command of Major David CURRIE of the South Alberta Regiment captured and wounded about 3,000 enemy soldiers. (He was later awarded the Victoria Cross for his leadership.) In closing the gap, the Allies took roughly 50,000 prisoners and killed another 10,000. The Germans also left behind thousands of vehicles and heavy weapons. It was also a deadly battle for the Canadians, of whom more than 18,000 were killed or wounded.
Having commanded 16 Canadian Light Anti-Aircraft Battery throughout its operations in France, from July 10 to July 21, 1944, Mr. HOCKIN's battery was deployed in the area of Carpiquet, in northern France.
"During this time, all his gun positions, some of which were under enemy observation, were subjected to continuous shell and mortar fire. Throughout these trying days, Major HOCKIN displayed qualities of gallantry and leadership which were outstanding. Regardless of his personal safety and though many times under fire, he was continuously on the move around troop positions, encouraging his men and on several occasions taking part in successful engagements," reads his citation for the Croix de Guerre with Gilt Star.
The Croix de Guerre, a military decoration of both France and Belgium, was awarded to individuals who distinguished themselves with acts of heroism in combat with enemy forces. Awarded during both world wars, the medal was also commonly bestowed on members of foreign military forces allied to France and Belgium.
"On the night of August 13, 1944, directional fire with tracer shells was required for 5 Canadian Infantry Brigade, which was attacking from Barbery to Clair Tizon through wooded country," the citation reads.
"Major HOCKIN, in complete darkness and under enemy shell and mortar fire, personally deployed two of his guns to mark the axis of the brigade advance. Directional fire was required for a period of five hours. Although his gun positions were shelled continuously during this time, this officer personally supervised the shooting and kept his guns in action throughout the whole period. His personal supervision of the directional fire, while showing complete disregard of enemy retaliation, on the 13th of August directly contributed to the success of 5 Canadian Infantry Brigade in that operation."
John Murray HOCKIN's grandfather arrived in Canada from Cornwall, England, and opened a general store in the small town of Dutton, Ontario, southwest of London. Growing up, John spent many hours in the T. Hockin Company Store, which sold everything from groceries to dry goods to shoes.
Filled with wanderlust, he dropped out of school and fled Dutton at 17. Fascinated by the sea, he boarded a ship headed for Europe. "He couldn't shake the dust of Dutton off his feet fast enough," said his son, also named John. "He was never a person who liked small towns."
His early travels in Europe included touring Ireland on foot and staying at boarding houses along the way. He eventually returned home to attend university, hoping to study biology, but was persuaded instead to study commerce at the University of Western Ontario. While at university, he joined the cadet corps. During his second year, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Artillery.
When Mr. HOCKIN informed his stern English grandfather that he was leaving for Europe, the old man demonstrated little emotion. "Well, good-bye," he said, barely looking up from his newspaper.
After training in Petawawa, Ontario, Mr. HOCKIN set off from Halifax for Europe in December, 1940. According to a family story, they missed connecting up with their convoy and had to travel via Iceland to miss enemy U-boats. Caught in rough, winter storms, one night Mr. HOCKIN and the captain were the only ones on board who made it to the mess at mealtime.
Although he returned home from the war without any major wounds, Mr. HOCKIN suffered hearing loss due to his close proximity to the guns. While in England, he was blown off a motorcycle and had to spend a week in hospital; in Belgium, he was hospitalized for jaundice.
In 1945, he retuned to Canada and went into the investment business with his uncle. Two years later, on a blind date in Toronto, he met a young woman named Jean. It was love at first sight, and the couple married in Toronto the following year.
"Before we married, he said, 'I want six children with red hair," said Ms. HOCKIN, adding that the reference was to her reddish hair.
In fact, the couple eventually had seven children. "He loved kids," Ms. HOCKIN said. "He would always stop in the street no matter what was happening when little people were coming by."
With nine people around the dining room table, meal times were always chaotic, as was travelling anywhere. Mr. HOCKIN refused to buy a station wagon - instead, he drove a Mercedes-Benz. Before the days of strict seatbelt laws, all seven kids would pile into the luxury car's back seat.
"He had an endless appetite for fine things," said his son.
After spending a few years living in Ontario, where Mr. HOCKIN worked in sales for the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co., the family moved to the East Coast in the mid-1960s. In Nova Scotia, Mr. HOCKIN worked as a senior manager in a number of companies specializing in building products, then as a consultant, before retiring in Described by his family as intensely curious and a true romantic, he loved to travel and had a large library filled with books on everything from military history to religion to cooking and wine. "With recipes, he used to say, 'You never try the same thing twice.' You always had to try new things with him," his son said.
Despite being a decorated veteran, Mr. HOCKIN chose not to join the Royal Canadian Legion or to take part in Remembrance Day ceremonies. He almost never spoke of his wartime experiences, but near the end of his life, the memories flooded back. During his last five years, as he struggled with Alzheimer's disease, he spoke more openly about the war; he was often haunted by his experiences.
John HOCKIN was born in Dutton, Ontario, on July 29, 1916. He died at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax on January 22, 2007. He lived in his Halifax home until three days before his death. He was 90. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Jean. He also leaves children John, Anne, Sheila, Harold, Andrew and Gerald; sister Margaret; six grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his daughter Nora, who died in 2001 of pancreatic cancer.

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HOCKIN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-07-03 published
COOPER, Mary Helen (née PICKERING)
1905, at London, Ontario on Friday, June 29th, 2007, the day following her 102nd birthday. Dear daughter of the late Elizabeth and George PICKERING of Toronto, Ontario. Beloved wife of the late Ashley Colin COOPER. Predeceased by a sister, Mrs. D.P. COLLINS, and three brothers. Loving aunt of Elizabeth (deceased) and Tom CROTHERS, Toronto, Frances Cooper PRITCHARD of Boca Raton, Florida, Jean and John (deceased) HOCKIN of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Nora and Franklin PROUSE, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and their families.
Dearly loved aunt by affection Diane and Ronald (deceased) JONES of London and family - Wendy, Susan, Vicki, Mark, Ian and Leslie.
Cremation has taken place. A Family Memorial Service to celebrate Mary's life will be held in September at New Saint_James Presbyterian Church, London, followed by interment at Woodland Cemetery.

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HOCKLEY o@ca.on.grey_county.artemesia.flesherton.the_flesherton_advance 2007-08-15 published
HOCKLEY, John " Jack"
To our brother-in-law who passed away August 18, 2006.
A good man, husband, father, grandfather, neighbour and friend
You are missed by many.
- Remembered always by the MacDonald families.
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