Emil William Bock, of Cedar Falls, died in the early morning hours of April 7, 2008, at Sartori Memorial Hospital, family members by his side. His family would like to thank the physicians and staff of Sartori for the extraordinary medical care they provided in his final days and thank the community of Windhaven for the care and friendship extended to him during the last phase of his life.
Emil was born in Oak Park, Illinois, on June 25, 1917, to Ukrainian emigres, Michael and Emily (Bernatska) Bock. He became an accomplished violinist in his teens, playing solo with the Grant Park Orchestra in Chicago in fall 1939. He received his formal musical training at Eastman School of Music and Northwestern University (B.A. and M.A.). Having taught at Northwestern and Shorter College in Rome, Georgia, he joined the faculty of Iowa State Teachers College in fall 1939. In summer 1942, he married his favorite violin pupil, Ila Loraine Anderson of Dike. During World War II, Emil completed basic training at Fort Sill and served in the 87th Infantry Division in communications, deciphering code signals and running telegraph wire in combat. He carried his violin in the European theater and often played for his fellow troops. After the war, he returned to ISTC, raised a family, and expanded his field of expertise, receiving a Ph. D. in musicology from the University of Iowa, writing on "The String Fantasies of John Hingston." During the balance of his career, he developed courses in music history, ethnomusicology, and the psychology of music. He served briefly as head of the music department and for many years as both director of graduate studies and concert master of the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra, for which, later in his career, he composed program notes. He retired, the senior professor at the University of Northern Iowa, in 1984.
In his active retirement, Emil continued to perform sonatas for violin and piano with his lifelong friend, Russ Baum. He raised orchids, collected shells, and grew his own vegetables. But he will be remembered most as a loving husband, father, and grandfather, and as a kind and helpful friend.
He is survived by his wife, Lori of Cedar Falls; a daughter, Pam (Kirk) Fry of Palo Alto, California; a son, Marty (Carol) Bock of Duluth, Minnesota; and grandchildren, Chris Fry, Emily Fry, Nina Bock, and Jeff Bock.
He is preceded in death by a brother, Dan Bock of Chicago.
A brief memorial service will be on Friday, April 11, 2008, at 2 p.m. at Richardson Funeral Home. Private interment will follow.
Memorials may be directed to the UNI Foundation for the Emil Bock String Scholarship.
Condolences may be sent to Windhaven Assisted Living Center, 5500 S. Main St., Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613.
Copyright Waterloo Courier, April 9, 2008, page A6.