Benito & Azzaro Pacific Gardens Chapel
1050 Cayuga St
Santa Cruz, CA 95062

Ted Bockman

1929 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences Gallery
Ted Bockman Obituary
Ted Bockman
February 14, 1929-June 10, 2014
Santa Cruz, California
Ted Bockman passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of June 10, 2014 following a hard fought battle with cancer. He was 85.
Ted was born on February 14, 1929 in Evanston, Illinois to Theodore and Ruth Bockman. He attended school in Evanston with brief stops in Texas, California and Mexico following his father's employment as a chemical engineer with Universal Oil Co. He graduated Evanston High School in 1946 then attended the University of Illinois where he was in the Army ROTC program, a member of the swim team and a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. He graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor's in Physical Education in 1950 and a Master's in Physical Education in 1951. It was at the University of Illinois that Ted met his wife Carol Merriam Bockman and they married in 1950. Their son Peter was born in 1951. Ted spent 1952/53 serving as a 1st Lt. in the U.S. Army and was deployed to Korea. Where he was in the Armored Calvary Division and served as tank commander.
Ted moved the family out to California in 1953 taking a teaching and coaching job at Antelope Valley College in Lancaster California. He coached a variety of sports during his time there such as football, baseball, wrestling, and swimming. In 1957 he and Carol welcomed a daughter Kimberly. While living in the southern California desert he developed a lifelong passion for the outdoors taking the family and friends on many backpacking and fishing expeditions. He instilled this passion in his children and grandchildren. Ted was working toward his Doctorate Degree at USC until Santa Cruz came knocking in 1961.
He moved the family north in 1961. Ted was hired at the newly opened Cabrillo College. The first year was spent in Watsonville while the current Aptos location was completed. He was hired as a Physical Education Instructor and became the first swim and water polo coach. In 1963 he founded the Cabrillo Thresher Swim Club, where he served as head coach for 12 years. In 1966 the family welcomed a second daughter Kerry, and 1969 a second son Chip. Ted was an active member in the community serving on the committee to develop the current Simpkins Family Swim Center. He retired from Cabrillo College in 2001 serving 40 years at the college. He enjoyed the friendships he developed from teaching and coaching and maintained them through out his life.
Ted never actually "retired", he volunteered at Cabrillo College assisting current coach Josh Thomas with water polo and swimming programs. He volunteered and assisted at Soquel High School with the water polo and swim teams up until 2013. He really enjoyed working and his friendships with coaches Marcelo Adas and Ryan Chapette at Soquel High School. Ted's true passion was helping to share his knowledge with the kids. During the annual family trips to Kauai he volunteered for a month helping coach the Kauai High School Swim Team. He had one last hurrah this past December and January in Kauai with the team, it was his 12th year coaching there. He and Carol also volunteered at the National Tropical Botanical Gardens in Kalaheo, Kauai during their annual visits.
Ted was a huge sports fan and spent many years at Candlestick Park tailgating and watching the 49ers. He was also a Giants fan, and actively followed his Alma Mater Illinois and his other favorite, Northwestern. You could also find Ted at Manuel's Restaurant in Aptos, where he enjoyed the food and people that work there! He was an avid reader and always took the time to flag an article for people he thought might be interested in it. Ted AKA "Pops" enjoyed spending quality time and sharing adventures with his nine grandchildren.
Ted was preceded in death by his parents, Theodore and Ruth Bockman, and his brother David Dorow Bockman (Linda Wilson). He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Carol Merriam Bockman, son Peter, daughter Kimberly (son-in-law Charles Cox), daughter Kerry (son-in-law Ray Agarpo), and son Chip (daughter-in-law Amanda) He is also survived by grandchildren, Erin and Colin Bockman, Eric and Chris Williams, Rachel, Christian and Nicholas Agarpo and Kathryn and Grace Bockman and a large group of extended family and friends.
A Celebration of Life, or what Ted wanted a "Party", will be held at a later date, further information please email In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Cabrillo Threshers/Carol and Ted Scholarship Fund at Cabrillo College, 6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos, CA 95003.
Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on June 22, 2014
Read More