Jim Stocker, 92, passed away on Wednesday, October 25, 2017.
Jim was born November 17, 1924 in San Antonio to Arthur Ames and Willie Berry Stocker. His father worked for the Texas Highway Department building roads around the San Antonio area. His mom was primarily a homemaker, but also worked as a Sunbeam appliance store demonstrator for many years. Jim’s main focus as a child was Boy Scouts. Most of his friends were either from his neighborhood or from the Scouts. With the Scouts, Jim was able to attend the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. He attained the rank of Eagle Scout, with several Eagle Palms, and earned over 60 merit badges. Scouting fit right in with his other interests, which revolved around outdoor activities. He loved hunting and fishing.
After graduating from Alamo Heights High School in 1942, Jim went on to Texas A&M University. He left in 1943 to join the Army during World War II. He returned to A&M after the war and received his Bachelors of Science degree in Civil Engineering in 1948 and then his Masters degree in 1949. He continued his service through the Army reserves for 20 years, teaching anti-aircraft missile classes and other matters until he retired at the rank of Major.
His father’s influence showed when his first work after graduation was with highway and bridge construction. He was employed at A&M in 1967 teaching engineering classes in the Engineering Technology department until he retired in 1989. He loved teaching and he loved the students. Jim was also extensively involved working for Texas Transportation Institute, where he was the head of their car crash program. He became an expert and a consultant for accident reconstructions.
Jim met the love of his life, Mavis Novosad while attending Texas A&M. They were married on September 4, 1948 and were blessed with three children, Mike, Charles, and Tom. His children, wife, and extended Novosad family meant everything to Jim. He loved being part of the Novosad family and enjoyed all the family holiday gatherings and campouts. Jim was the provider of the family, allowing Mavis to stay at home with the kids until their youngest, Tom, got older. They enjoyed a good life together, taking many family camping trips. He loved sharing his passion for the outdoors with his sons as they went hunting, fishing, and water skiing together. The family was also able to combine work with fun when Jim was teaching classes in Washington D.C. and El Paso with the Army Reserves. Jim and Mavis were fortunate enough to be married for almost 50 years, until Mavis passed away from cancer in 1998.
The church played a big role in Jim’s life. He was blessed to find love again with a widow he knew from St. Andrew’s, Jo Halsell. Their marriage lasted from 1999 until her death in 2014. He served the Episcopal Church in various capacities throughout his life. He was a lay reader, Junior and Senior warden, and was often involved with the Bishop of Texas.
The family wishes to sincerely thank Kayron Matthews, Jim’s caregiver and dear friend of the family in the final years of his life. She enriched Mr. Jim’s life with love and compassion.
Jim is survived by his three sons and their wives: Mike and Susan, Tom and Darla, and Charles and Joann; his four grandchildren Carrie, Charlie (and his wife Kelsey), Mallory, and Tyler; and his four great-grandchildren: Alex Cornelius, Callie Stocker, Macie Stocker, and Layne Stocker. His grandchildren Charlie, Carrie, Mallory, and Tyler will be joined by Buz Storey, Dan Novosad, Bobby Kopetsky and Avery James in serving as pallbearers.
There will be a visitation from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Sunday, October 29, 2017 at Hillier Funeral Home of Bryan. Funeral services will be held on Monday, October 30, 2017 at St. Andrews Episcopal Church at 10:30 am with a reception to follow at the church. Interment, Masonic Rite, Aggie Honors and Final Military Honors will follow at Wheelock Cemetery at 1:30 pm.
Memorial contributions are encouraged to be made in Jim’s honor to Brazos Valley Hospice, or St. Andrews Episcopal Church endowment fund.