Editor's note: This version corrects the visitation times at Wisniewski Funeral Home for Mrs. Hock.
Virginia R. Hock, a lifelong Toledo resident who left high school to help support her family and later devoted her free time to sewing and crocheting hundreds of items for babies, as well as satin burial gowns for premature infants, died Friday at Ebeid Hospice in Sylvania.
Mrs. Hock, 96, was being treated for pneumonia when she died, said her daughter, Diane Gasiorowski.
She was a longtime volunteer for Care Wear, a national group of volunteers in Frederick, Md., who knit, crochet, or sew baby items that are donated to hospitals, which in turn give them to infants, children and their parents.
She attended Scott High School but left after her junior year to work at the Boss Glove factory. Her knack for sewing was manifested through her years of service to Care Wear; she also sewed her daughter’s uniforms when she attended St. Ursula Academy, Mrs. Gasiorowski said.
For more than 50 years Mrs. Hock volunteered at Little Flower Catholic Church, leading or working on committees, organizing rummage sales, the parish festival, blood drives, and other activities for the church and school, her daughter said.
“She was very, very active when we were growing up,” Diane said. “We were there to help other people.”
Mrs. Hock was born on May 3, 1916, to Alexander and Frances Wolff in a family of four brothers and three sisters.
She didn’t finish high school because “times were tough back then,” Diane said.
In 1939 she married Paul J. Hock, who served as fire chief for the former Adams Township’s No. 2 fire station. When he died 28 years ago, Mrs. Gasiorowski said, she thought her mother would ease back on some of her volunteer work, “but she didn’t stop.”
She learned how to knit and crochet from her daughter and the two of them crafted clothes for infants that were donated to hospitals throughout the area, Diane said.
Some of the items made their way to hospitals nationwide, which resulted in scores of thank-you notes from grateful families over the years, her daughter said.
After leaving the glove factory, she worked for the 7-Up bottling company in Toledo. Her initial job was to look for foreign objects in bottles moving down the filling line. In those times, bottles were returned to the soda company, cleaned, and refilled.
She worked her way up as a laboratory technician and became a union steward.
When 7-Up closed in 1969, she took a job in the lab at the Coca Cola plant in Toledo. She retired in 1975 when her husband Paul retired.
Over the years, Mrs. Hock had amassed a collection of 650 dolls over every sort. Many came from family members. They displayed in a spare bedroom, her daughter said.
As a parishioner of Little Flower, Mrs. Hock served as president of the Alter-Rosary Society and on the parish council.
She as a president, trustee, and a charter member of the Maumee V.F.W. Ladies Auxiliary Post 4615 and president of the Adams Township Ladies Democratic Club for seven years.
Mrs. Hock is survived by her daughter, Diane Gasiorowski; two granddaughters, four step-great-grandchildren, and brothers Henryk and Alexander Wolff.
Visitation at Wisniewski Funeral Home, 2426 N. Reynolds Rd., will be from 2 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, with a scripture service at 7 p.m.
Visitation Wednesday will be an hour before the 10:30 a.m. Mass of the Resurrection at Little Flower Catholic Church.
Memorials are suggested to Little Flower’s Seeds of Faith Program, the Franciscan Care Center, or Ebeid Hospice.
Contact Jim Sielicki at:
- Blondell Dixon (1948-2015): Lawyer spoke out about racism
- Teacher volunteered for after-school reading
- WWII submarine vet started running marathons at age 74
- John L. Bradley (1928-2015): Fortune 500 exec served on zoo’s board
- Jim Lambert: 1937-2015; Swanton coach led revival of village fest