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Claremont Courier - A Local Nonprofit Newsroom

Jack Newton Pocock

Beloved father and grandfather

Longtime Claremont resident Jack Newton Pocock died peacefully at home on October 6, 2014. Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, December 5, 2014 at 343 W. 12th St. in Claremont.

Born on March 30, 1935 in Prairie City, Oregon to Edith and Jack Pocock, Jack spent his early years in Seneca, Oregon, where his father was employed. Early in WWII, the family moved to the Arthur Begg Ranch in the John Day Valley, named after Jack’s maternal grandfather. There, Jack started at the Beshaw School across the road from his home. Because he lived so close, he was given the job of chopping wood and starting the fire for the one-room schoolhouse on cold winter days. Considered big and strong for his age, young Jack was soon put to work on the ranch, haying, riding horseback and helping in all areas of ranch life. Jack and his friends did a lot of hunting, not always within the law, but kept the family well-supplied with venison. His family noted that Jack got his first deer when he was just 10 years old.

Jack’s family moved to John Day, Oregon in 1946 after the ranch was sold. There, he attended junior high and Grant Union High School where he excelled in sports and participated in other nefarious activities, giving Jack many stories to share in his later life with family and friends.

When his father became seriously ill in 1948, his mother went back to work teaching school. During his father’s extended illness, Jack went to Izee to work for the Joe Officer family, where he was said to be taken in as a family member. His years spent there were the most influential of his life and these relationships, along with those he developed when he worked piling lumber on boxcars as he grew older, were lifelong and some of the most important to him.

Mr. Pocock’s football success enabled him to attend Boise Junior College along with fellow Grant Union High School grad Bill Gardner. The team was very successful and several members of the team, including Mr. Pocock, transferred to the University of Oregon where he played football his junior and senior years before graduating in 1958. He treasured the friendships he made there the rest of his life and always considered himself an Oregon Duck, faithfully watching the Ducks play up until his passing.

After graduating from the University of Oregon, Mr. Pocock moved to San Francisco in 1959 and went to work for the Cummins diesel engine dealership, Watson and Meehan. This started his career in the trucking industry and is also where he met his future wife, Judith Conner, who worked there while she was attending college. They married in 1962 and moved to Walnut Creek, California where they started their family. A son Jay was born in 1963, followed by daughter Jennifer, born 11 months later in 1964. The family moved to Reno, Nevada in 1968 where Mr. Pocock started a new dealership as general manager with Watson and Meehan. Their third child, a daughter Jill, was born in 1968.

In 1971, the family moved back to Walnut Creek after Mr. Pocock took a position with Reliance Sales Co. in San Francisco with Don Ling, who became a business partner and lifelong friend. Wanting to open his own trailer sales company in 1975, Mr. Pocock moved the family to Eugene, Oregon where he started Alloy Trailers of Oregon. He sold the company after several years and moved to Claremont in 1979.

Once settled in Claremont, Mr. Pocock opened Reliance Trailer Co. in Los Angeles with Mr. Ling. In 1983, Mr. Pocock acquired Superior Trailer Works from the founding family and moved the company to Fontana, where he continued to build the business. His son Jay joined him in operating the business in 1985. Semi-retired in 2005, Mr. Pocock spent more time traveling, golfing and seeing his longtime friends before suffering a stroke in 2007.

Mr. Pocock is survived by his former wife Judi, his children Jay Pocock (Kimberly) of Claremont, Jennifer Pocock of Mill Valley and Jill Pocock Betz (Stephen) of Telluride, Colorado and eight grandchildren; Olivia, Claudia, Christian and Lucas Betz; and Emily, Courtney, Amy and Jerred Pocock and by his sister Mary Mascall MacArthur of Dayville, Oregon.

A memorial service will be held in Oregon at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 29, 2014 at the John Day Golf Club.

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