Before he was drafted, he married Theresa. When he was old enough to be drafted into the service, it was his mother, who worked at the Draft Board, who actually did his induction. Talk about a tough Mom. While in the Army, which he hated, he was trained as a Boiler Fireman, an unknown fact to most of us. In time, he was able to be transferred into a band unit. He used to tell stories of being overseas and how the people who hated having the Army there would throw things at them while they performed for Americans and service personnel. He said he was lucky that he was able to hide behind his big bass drum. He also recounted being in the service with Stan Getz, who always wanted to play with the band but they would tell him to leave them alone and go practice.
When he was discharged he continued to live in Mt Vernon until they bought the house on Hillview Place in Elmsford. He continued working in Brooklyn every weekend for several years in a mob-owned restaurant/bar called Monte’s. When pressured to become the house band, they knew that would be a dangerous mistake; so he and his band-mate friends, Tom Cioppa and “Riff” Nardone, declined saying it was too far to travel daily and began performing locally. He quickly became busy performing in the tri-state area and teaching privately. He was often called on short notice to fill in and play at shows because of his ability to sight-read and perform complicated scores. He was a regular drummer for the Hanneford Circus for many years while they toured in this area, performing at the Westchester County Center.
He often played with many performers who became his friends. Two such area friends were Cab Calloway who always wanted him to tour with his band, and Milt Williams whose company he looked forward to at the NYSFSTA dinners. Having started as a teenage drummer during the vaudeville days, he grew up working with other artists such as Paul Winchell, Lorne Greene, Buddy Hackett, Morey Amsterdam and others. He had many students who later went on to work with such notable performers as Buddy Rich, Diana Ross, The Jackson 5 and Walter Murphy.
He is survived by his wife Theresa (Shevetone) Bock of Elmsford, NY two sons Thomas (Susan) Bock of White Plains, NY and Robert (Deborah) Bock of Mahopac, NY. Three Grandchildren Christine (Brian) Rafferty, Michelle (Zac) Campione, and Cameron Bock. One sister Mary Ann Balze of Maryland. Reposing Monday 3 PM - 8 PM Hawthorne Funeral Home where services will be held Tuesday 10 AM. Interment Kensico Cemetery, Valhalla, NY.
Hawthorne Funeral Home
21 West Stevens Avenue
Hawthorne, New York 10532