March 10, 1932 ‒ May 28, 2017
MANSFIELD: “Bill” Rock never new a stranger and would strike up a conversation with anyone he would meet. A wonderful sense of humor, “Skip” (as nicknamed by his grandfather) was fast to share a joke, smile and laugh with family and friends. He was also known to have a beautiful, lyrical whistle and tenor singing voice that was recognizable when out and about by those who knew him well. Now he is singing and whistling in heaven as he was called home on May 28, 2017 after a long, heroic fight with cancer.
Born in Mansfield, to parents William Rock and Viola (Searfoss) Rock, Bill was the oldest of four siblings. Times were tough and he was not able to finish high school at Mansfield Senior because of a need to help support himself. He began work at age 12 as a pin setter at Colony Bowling Alley in Mansfield and also worked during this same time as a caddie at Westbrook Country Club. You could say Bill developed a strong work ethic at an early age.
At the age of 15, Bill worked for All State Freight Trucking in the evenings until midnight and at this time continuing High School became too difficult. At the age of 17, Bill began a new job working at Richland Shale. A few years later he met the love of his life and from the moment he set eyes on her told a friend “she’s the girl I’m going to marry”.
To be able to better support a family, he began a new position working at The Tappan Company. During this same year on November 28, 1952, he married “the love of his life”, Jean Inscore. Bill worked at the Tappan Company for 37 years, beginning on the assembly line but eventually because of his hard work, he was promoted to supervisor and then to Division Forman where he remained until retirement. Even though Bill’s life was difficult as a child, he always wanted to provide a better life for his family and supported his wife returning to school to achieve a teaching degree and both of his children’s graduation from college.
Bill also loved music and sang country on the radio in his younger years. He liked to play harmonica, guitar and drum set and although he had no formal musical training, he put together his own country band that practiced in his home. Later in life Bill had quite a setup to record his singing with taped accompaniments, which he gave out to family and friends. He had a beautiful, lyrical tenor voice and his family, friends, neighbors and nurses were often entertained by his recordings. He also loved to fish and made many fishing trips with his buddies and family to Canada.
Other hobbies included golfing (2 hole in ones), bowling (bowling a perfect 300 game in a champions tournament) and pitcher on fast-pitch softball teams (winning numerous Mansfield City Fastpitch Tournaments). Bill also enjoyed working in his yard and was a talented landscaper after he retired. His wonderful neighbors would stop by to visit and admire his yardwork. Along with wife Jean, Bill was also a diehard Ohio State, Cleveland Browns and Indians fan. Even with all his hard work and hobbies, Bill loved having his family close by and always had time to spend with his wife and children, attending all of his two children’s music, sports and special activities. After retiring he became very active in his children and grandchildren’s lives attending their events and many times providing taxi service to their practices.
Bill was always a generous, caring man who showed his family unconditional love at every opportunity. As his wife Jean battled with serious medical issues through the later years he was always by her side. Through their 64 years of marriage they showed their love for one another not only through words, but in the way they unselfishly took care of each other. They were truly devoted to each other in every way and always put family first.
Bill is survived by his wife L. Jean (Inscore) Rock of Mansfield, his children William Randall (Kristi) Rock of Springboro, Ohio and Cindy (Randy) Heidlebaugh of Lexington; grandchildren Emily (Robbie) Cottingim, John Rock, Lindsey (Chris) Musselwhite, Chelsea Heidlebaugh; great grandchildren Jacob Musselwhite, Benjamin Musselwhite and Zachary Musselwhite; numerous nieces and nephews
He was preceeded in death by grandparents William Rock I and Rolessie (Ewing) Rock; William Searfoss and Francis Searfoss; parents William J Rock and Viola (Searfoss) Rock; siblings Robert Rock, JoAnn Adams, Jesse Rock and Sandy King.
The Rock family will receive friends Thursday evening, June 1, 2017 from 5-7pm in the Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Home where William’s memorial service will be Friday at 1:30 pm. Pastor Andrew Jones will officiate. Burial will follow in Mansfield Memorial Park.
The Rock family would like to thank their many friends and family, the staff at the Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center and the wonderful Ohio Health Hospice Staff for all their help and support.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Ohio Health Hospice and Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center.
Online condolence to the family may be made by visiting:SnyderFuneralHomes.com