Lewis Dee Hocking, 67, of Raymond and formerly of Franklin, died Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, at his home. He was born June 30, 1946, in Franklin, the son of Mary E. Mansfield Hocking. Dee was married to Sharon E. Cox for 28 years and she preceded him in death in 1998. He later married Linda R. Krager in 1999 and she survives.
Dee is also survived by four daughters, Michele (husband, Brian) Lay of Ramsey, Mary (husband, Richard) Henry and Holly (husband, Jon) Whalen, both of Franklin, and Kara (husband, Ben) Leak of Downs; twelve grandchildren, Mallory, Sydney, and Emily Lay, Maddie Henry, Hannah, Natalie, and Lewis Wallbaum, Kate, Caroline, and Evie Leak, and Kelsey and Kacie Whalen. He is also survived by one brother, Wendell (wife, Norma Faye) Hocking of Springfield, one sister, Norma Jean (husband, P.K.) Johnson of Newport, North Carolina, and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his mother and his aunt, Eloise Mansfield Baker, who helped raise him. He was also preceded in death by three brothers, Jim, Milt, and Bob Hocking, and one sister, Elizabeth Richards.
Dee graduated from Franklin High School in 1964 and attended Western Illinois University. WIU requested that Dee terminate his college career and was then invited to join the United States Army
during the Vietnam War
. He served his country from 1966-68. He was wounded in battle and was awarded the Bronze Star
, Silver Star, and Purple Heart
for his service. Following his discharge from the Army, Dee began working as a letter carrier for the United States Postal Service. He remained there for 39 years, eventually serving as postmaster in Auburn and Jacksonville.
Dee served on the Franklin School Board for 17 years, six of them as president. He was a member of the Franklin Lions Club, American Legion, Postal Union 80, Franklin Methodist Church, and Franklin Christian Church.
Dee was an avid sports fan, following the St. Louis Cardinals and his beloved Franklin Flashes. His daughters were raised at the Little League field and Flashes gymnasium, where Dee served as announcer for the Flashes. He loved watching his granddaughters in their sports and his namesake, Lewis, play Flashes basketball just as he had in high school.
As his cancer progressed, Dee and Linda moved to Raymond to be near her family and friends. In the short time that Dee lived in Raymond, he became well-known in all the local hangouts. Linda's close friends became his as well. Dee enjoyed his time there, but remained true to his motto "Once a Flash, Always a Flash!"
A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday at Williamson Funeral Home, with burial and military honors at Franklin Cemetery. The family will meet friends from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday at the funeral home. Memorials are suggested to Franklin Cemetery or the Raymond-Harvel Ambulance. Condolences may be left to the family online at www.airsman-hires.com.