Frederic T. Bockoven
1921 - 2020
{ "" }
Share Frederic's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Frederic Bockoven of Hampton passed away Friday after a long and full life. He was born on April 30, 1921 on the U.S.S. Sherman near the Philippines.

During his life, he lived in the Philippines, Panama, Japan, Turkey, Germany, and at least 7 states. He graduated from the University of CA at Berkeley in 1941 and entered the Army as a Lieutenant. During WWII, he fought at Bastogne and the Remagen Bridge among other battles, earning a Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Upon his return, he was happily married to Helen Spinner until her death in 1986.

In 1995 he married Erma Henry, to whom he was devoted until his death.

Fred served in the Army for 21 years, reaching the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. During that time, he fought in the Philippine Hukbalahap conflict, spent 2 years in the CIA in Turkey, and fought in Korea, earning a Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He commanded the 13th Cavalry Armored Battalion in Germany, winning many awards. At one point during this tense time, he was ordered to mobilize his unit to reopen the route to West Berlin but luckily, an agreement was reached with the Soviets, averting war. After retirement from the Army, he worked briefly as a realtor at Drucker and Falk, and then was a highly regarded science teacher at Jeff Davis Jr. HS, Vice Principal at Kecoughtan, and Principal at Spratley, Pembroke and Jeff Davis.

He was an active member of St. John's Episcopal Church where he served as an usher, Chairman of the Worship Committee, and occasionally taught adult Christian formation class.

In retirement, Fred became an avid sailor, spending many happy days on the waters of Hampton Roads with best friend, the late Lorraine (Armie) Armstrong and others.

Fred Bockoven was a wonderful man, truly brilliant, accomplished, energetic, friendly and caring. He was a great father, husband, grandfather and friend.

He is survived by his daughter, son-in-law, and their children, Marti Sturm, Paul Sturm, Mark (wife Sherri), Andy, and Jenna (husband Thomas)Bonhmam; his son, daughter-in-law, and son's children, Neil Bockoven, Denise, Kim (Shelton), Alison, Eric, Scott, and Ryan; his wife and her children, Erma Henry, Michael (and wife Diane) Henry, and Greg (and wife Vicki) Henry. Cherished grandchildren are Cristin Henry, Carlyn (husband Jamey) Menser, Ben (wife Jill) Henry, Aston Aune, and Amy Martin. Great grandchildren are Samuel Sturm, Wyatt & Willow Menser, Penelope & Iris Henry, Lucas and Cole Bonham, Kristen Martin, and Olivia Aune.

Proceeded in death by his Father Colonel Frederic Harold Bockoven, his mother Aileen Smith Bockoven and grandson Charles M Henry Jr.

Memorial services will be held at St. Johns Episcopal Church at a later time and interment will be at Arlington National cemetery at a later date. The family wishes expressions of sympathy to take the form of contributions to Boy's Home, Covington, VA, or Wounded Warrior Foundation.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Daily Press on Oct. 26, 2020.
Please consider a donation, as requested by the family.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
9 entries
November 3, 2020
Grove of 100 Memorial Trees
Plant Memorial Trees
Sympathy Gift courtesy of
Penelope Sullivan
October 29, 2020
I had the privilege of having Mr. Bockoven for my science teacher at Jefferson Davis Jr. High School. I was not very interested in science, but he made science fun and was such a nice person and GREAT teacher that I looked forward to science class every day. He was one of my favorite teachers from all of my years of schooling. I have never forgotten him. I was saddened to read that he had passed, but couldn’t help but smile because it brought back happy memories. The obituary was beautiful and I am happy to hear that he lived a long happy life. He made an impact on so many lives.
Terry B. Brubaker
October 29, 2020
Our deepest sympathy for the loss of Fred. We met Fred through our good friend Armi Armstrong. We spent many hours enjoying sunsets, sailing the Bay, and listening to Live History from WWII with Armie (whom flew in Africa (USAF) and Fred with his TANK division (USARMY)- in Europe). Their combined energy, wisdom, and logic, bonded in the American Spirit which made each of them an American Treasure. We cherish our times with them, our many delicious meals (made by Larri), and always ending the night with a stiff Glenfiddich. Fred was a wounded POW in WWII and his experiences during the war were part of Mitchell Woods' Eagle Scout Project, (he interviewed about 36 WWII Veterans and created a film about their experiences which is at the Library of Congress. We salute Fred whom served so valiantly, with stellar dedication, and continued to serve his community after retiring from Service. Our prayers to his wife, Erma, family, and all of his fellow Veterans. His large gracious family is a tribute to his life, - and as they look up at night - they will see another STAR shining brightly - with Fred's loving heart!
John/Barbara Friesz
October 29, 2020
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow. The Chesapeake retirement community sends their condolences and prayers. Chaplain Uwe Scharf
Uwe Scharf
October 26, 2020
The first time I actually talked to Fred and Army Fred was in a bosun chair, at the top of the mast on his sailboat, swinging around crazily! I knew then that he was special. And for all the years since, he was a treasure of knowledge, as well wisdom and laughs. He will be missed. Love and condolences to Erma and family.
Carlos mize
October 26, 2020
Rest in Peace, Mr. Bockoven.
William Le
October 26, 2020
What a lovely person. Fred always made my day. The world is not quite as bright without him. Peace be the journey. Love and sympathy to all the family.
Leslie E. Crandol
October 26, 2020
So sorry to hear about your loss. You know that God and Jesus are in the best position to comfort us when we lose a loved one in death.
October 26, 2020
As an educator, Fred Bockoven and my path crossed numerous times over several years: we taught at Jeff Davis Jr. High school as "new" teachers (learning a profession we knew then was a calling). Years later
I was honored to have Fred as my principal while teaching at Pembroke High - he never lost his love for education and respect for the young students he encountered. Always the gentleman and a natural leader! May he rest in peace.
Ross Kearney
Ross Kearney
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences