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In Memoriam: Janis Hocker, 1948-2012

150 150 James Cameron

We sadly share the news that Janis Hocker, former STC President (1987–1988), passed away last week. Janis was a longtime member of STC and gained the rank of Fellow in addition to becoming President. We reprint below the obituary notice written and shared by her husband, Joe, and offer our condolences to her family.

Janis Raymond Hocker, beloved wife and mother, passed away peacefully on 14 January 2012 surrounded by her loving family—husband Joseph, daughter Haley, and son and daughter-in-law Harrison and Gabriela. She was preceded in death by her father, mother, and brother: Harry Raymond, Dorothy Raymond, and Ronn Raymond.

Texas would never be quite the same after Janis was born in Houston at St. Joseph’s Hospital on 10 June 1948. Everything she did had a unique Janis quality to it, like combining English and mathematics to graduate with a double major from the University of Houston. She was never afraid of taking on a challenge, working as a geophysical analyst when secretaries were the only other women in research centers of major oil companies. Clear-eyed and logical, she could whip any organization into shape, as a manager in a gas company, as national president of the Society for Technical Communication, or as president of the PTO of her children’s school. But Janis did it with such humor that everyone followed with delight.

The humor, that’s what everyone will miss the most. No one but Janis could transform a traumatic experience with chemotherapy in rural Indonesia into a hilarious email about adjusting to and loving life in a different culture. No one else could take a dull subject like technical writing and turn it into two days of improvisational comedy while teaching engineers to write. She could make friends laugh hysterically with her jokes and stories.

She fought the cancer that ultimately took her life with grace, with courage, and, always, with humor. She accomplished much professionally, but it is her children who are the greatest evidence of her strength of character and immense ability to love.

Her friends and family know she is in heaven but cannot help grieving their own loss of this real Texas woman. Hers was a good life, well led.

Visitation with the family will be held at the Settegast-Kopf Funeral Home at 15015 SW Freeway, Sugar Land, Texas, from 5:00­–8:00 PM on Friday, 20 January 2012. A memorial service will be held at the Sugar Grove Church of Christ on 11:00 AM Saturday, 21 January 2012.

  • The humor. Yes, it was definitely the humor. Mixed in with an uncommon lot of wisdom. All in quintessential Texas style.

    Joe, you have my sincerest condolences – and my thanks for sharing this with us in STC.

  • What a beautiful tribute! Thanks, Joe, for sharing it with us. Condolences for your loss.

  • I’d like to add my rememberances of Janis and her kindness to a newby at the international level. I had been active in the Puget Sound chapter, but was taking on some responsibilitis at the international level. I remember her gentle support, her humor, of course, and how welcome she made me feel. The world is certainly a better place for having had her in it.

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