SOUTH THOMASTON - Arnold True Hocking, 91, went peacefully to his heavenly home on Sunday, February 17, 2019, after a valiant battle with a long illness. With his passing, he leaves an enduring family legacy of unconditional love, unceasing devotion, selfless dedication, and many delightful memories.
The cherished son of Alfred Cushman Hocking and Gladys Belle (Barter) Hocking, Arnold was born on March 8, 1927, in St. George, Maine, where he began his scholastic endeavors attending a one-room schoolhouse alongside his twin sister. Valedictorian of St. George High School in 1945, Arnold continued his education at Maine Maritime Academy, graduating in 1947, then served as third mate on several tankers for the Texas Oil Company. Returning to the University of Maine in 1949 to pursue his degree in mechanical engineering, he became a bastion of support to his mother after the sudden death of his father in 1951, which not only changed the course of his life but also cultivated the character of a man who would care for so many throughout his lifetime.
Graduating with his degree in 1953, Arnold returned to the Rockland area to marry his beloved Sylvia in June. Arnold’s father had adored Sylvia, unabashedly encouraging his son to marry her, and their union lasted nearly 61 joy-filled years. Two months after they married, Arnold was called to active duty with the Navy where he served as the engineering officer on the USS Tarawa. Arnold left the Navy in 1955 to return home to Maine to begin his own family, tend to his widowed mother, and work alongside his brother at the Hocking Granite Quarry on Clark Island, which they successfully operated until a fire devastated the business in 1969.
Following the fire, Arnold worked as construction project manager at cement plants around the country, eventually becoming plant engineer for the Martin-Marietta cement plant in Thomaston. After the plant was sold, he worked as an engineering consultant for Federal Marine Colloids in Rockland, officially retiring in 1999. He also served on the local school board, was a town selectman, and was active in the Lions club for many years. He was an accomplished pianist, enjoyed playing cribbage, and was adept at training geese, ducks, and squirrels. During his retirement years, Arnold remained active in the community and frequently gave interviews and speeches on the history of the local granite industry.
God blessed Arnold with a generous heart, bright mind, and keen wit that naturally flowed to others. His devotion and kind-heartedness in caring for people impacted both young and old, and doing what was right regardless of the cost was the substance of his life. The loss of his father at a young age made him a quick study in human nature, and those lessons followed him throughout life.
Arnold leaves behind two loving and devoted sons and their wives—Steven and Elise, Bryan and Janet. He was affectionately called “Pop” by his four grandsons, Christopher (Nancey), David, Nathan (Karisa), Ian, and his great-granddaughter Victoria. Arnold will also be missed by the many nieces and nephews he greatly loved. His wife Sylvia, his parents, brother Darold, and twin sister Erdine preceded him in death. Proverbs 20:7, “The righteous man walks in his integrity; his children are blessed after him.”
Arnold’s life will be remembered with military honors, Saturday, March 2, 2019, 11:00 am, at Burpee, Carpenter, and Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland, with the Rev. Wayne L. Sawyer officiating. Private interment will be beside his wife at the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Augusta.
To share a memory or story with Arnold’s family, please visit their online Book of Memories at www.bchfh.com.