Jim Brock, aged 88 years, died before dawn Monday morning, July 23, 2012, following a brief struggle with cancer. Lori Judd, his dearly loved companion, was by Jim’s side as she had been for several years.
A Bishop resident for more than 52 years, Jim and his beloved wife, Pat, owned and operated Brock’s Sporting Goods from 1959 until 1989. Those first years were a struggle, which he and Pat faced by working harder, smarter, and longer hours. Pat predeceased her husband in 2004.
Jim not only joined the Bishop Chamber of Commerce, he was involved. He was also the quoted source for the Los Angeles Times sports section, bringing fisherman to the Eastern Sierra.
Retirement wasn’t for him, and within days, Jim was at Mac’s Sporting Goods, where he worked with owner Dale Miller, April to November for close to 23 years. Jim “worked” as the 2012-fishing season opened, as he had done for 52 years.
Jim was a Lifetime Member of the Deer Association, supported the Laws Museum, and the SPCA. These are but a few, for over the years he quietly gave, aiding friends and family, asking only that it be “just between us.”
His was a life lived fully, well and “his way.” Jim’s history prior to Bishop may be unknown to many, as he had that rare ability to live each day in the present.
Jim was born June 15, 1924 in Worcester, Massachusetts. His parents relocated the family in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey where his father was a mechanic with the Fokker Aircraft Corp. of America from 1927 to 1933. North American Aviation had acquired the Fokker plants, and in 1934, all operations transferred to Southern California. Thus, at 10 years old, Jim arrived in the state he would forever call home.
After graduating from Santa Monica High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he was a tail-gunner in action at the Solomon Islands. Returning to Santa Monica at wars end, Jim became an apprentice plumber with Barnett Plumbing, and two short years later was issued his Journeyman Plumber license. He then joined Hardeman Plumbing, Inc., and within one year was promoted to foreman. Hardeman, then the sixth largest government contractor, received a $6 million contract at Twentynine Palms Marine Base where Jim supervised all mechanical installation. As Project Superintendent in charge of the installation for three missile launch complexes at Vandenberg, he proudly watched as the first Atlas Missile launched September 9, 1959.
December 1, 1959 with the last project “above ground and three months ahead of schedule” Jim resigned, and following their dream, he and wife, Pat, moved to Bishop and opened Brock’s Sporting Goods. He was issued his first business license for a fee of $1.00 on December 31, 1959.
Twin daughters, Mary Brock of Bishop and Jean Lewis of Santa Cruz, and daughter Ronda McLehaney of El Cajon survive Jim. Also daughter-in-law Terry Brock, widow of Jim’s son Ken who predeceased his father in June 2011, and mother of grandson Darrell Brock. Surviving as well are five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
He is also survived by all who knew and thought of him as friend, and by the children of Lori Judd, and their spouses, whom he loved.