Sergeant 1st Class, John Paul Bock died after battling with a yearlong illness, on Monday, Oct. 12, 2020 in Stanford Hospital, Palo Alto, California. He was 49 years old when he went to glory.

He was born in Braham on June 30, 1971, and grew up in Grasston. He attended the Braham area schools, graduating in 1989. He worked in masonry for a year before joining the U.S. Army in 1996 as an infantryman and served 24 years on active duty. A two-time Bronze Star recipient, he held every position from riflemen to platoon sergeant and last served as the senior non-commissioned officer in charge overseeing defense support to civil authorities in the western United States. As an airborne ranger infantryman, he served with distinction in the most difficult assignments to include three years in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan leading infantrymen as a squad leader in the 10th Mountain Division, a team leader in the 4th Infantry Division’s Long Range Surveillance Detachment and a 40-plus man platoon in arduous combat operations in the storied 173rd Airborne Infantry Regiment. No small feat. He was specially selected and served as a ranger instructor to the U.S. Army Ranger School; he was a jump master, a pathfinder and a sniper. He took the tough road, never quit, always pulled his weight and served where most would not.

He served the U.S. Army at home and abroad. As a young soldier, he was stationed in Washington and North Carolina. He met the love of his life, Flory, when he was stationed in Hawaii. He then moved to New York, anticipating his deployment to Iraq, having to leave her in Hawaii with her family during her pregnancy with Kyra.  

The family then moved to Colorado after coming back from deployment, where they were united in marriage. He was then sent to Georgia and his family stayed in their new home, providing Kyra a more stable childhood. At this point, Fe (Flory’s mom) was living with them. Realizing that he needed his family with him, he moved them to Georgia and on to Italy a year later, while expecting Zechariah. They enjoyed their family travels while in Italy for three years.  The family was delighted to find out that they could continue their European adventure when John was assigned duty in Germany.  After six years in Europe, they relocated to California where his family still lives.

He loved spending quality time with each of his family members. He and his wife loved spending time creating delicious home cooked meals together, while he and Kyra bonded through their love of watching shows such as Supernatural. He loved fishing, shooting, playing football and various sports together with Zechariah.

A long distinguished military career punctuated by selfless service in war, he could not have done this alone without the strength and support of his wife, children and family. In addition to his two Bronze Stars, he was also awarded two Meritorious Service Medals (one posthumously), three Army commendation medals, seven Army achievement medals, eight Army good conduct medals, the Global War on Terror Expeditionary and Service Medal, two NATO medals, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Expert Infantryman’s Badge, Ranger Tab, Senior Parachutist Wings, Pathfinder Badge, the Air Assault badge, as well as many other military achievements.

He left a great void and will be greatly missed by his family, friends and colleagues.

He is survived by his wife; children, Kyra and Zechariah; mother, Thelma; father, Larry Sr. (Carolyn); siblings, Lisa, Larry (Tracy) and Eric; three nephews; three nieces; also by many friends and other family.   

A graveside service with full Military Honors was held on Tuesday, Oct, 27, 2020 at the Grasston Union Cemetery in Grasston. At 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, his unit will honor him with a memorial service at the chapel in Camp Parks in Dublin, California. A celebration of John’s life will be held at 3 p.m. at his home in Mountain House, California for family and friends. Local arrangements were by the Akkerman Ingebrand Funeral Home of Mora. Condolences may be posted

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