CARTHAGE, NY – Jimmy Allen Rocker, 81, formerly of Avery Road, Carthage, passed away on Tuesday evening, Dec. 7, 2021, at Carthage Area Hospital, after a brief illness.
Jimmy was born on June 14, 1940, in Lowville, NY, the son of the late Eugene and Nellie Mae (Dority) Rocker. He attended various schools in Port Leyden.
Jimmy started out working as a logger with his father, and this work continued with friends until the end. He also worked for the Carthage Department of Public Works for a time and was later employed with Clark Minerals in Natural Bridge, retiring after many years of dedicated service.
On July 15, 1967, he married Theresa Countryman. The couple recently celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary.
Jimmy was a friend, a mentor, an accomplice, a jokester, a husband, a dad, and a Poppa.
He had the biggest heart in the world. If he knew someone was struggling, he would do anything he could to help. If you needed groceries, he would fill you a bag from the pantry. If you needed gas, he would make it happen. If you needed somewhere to have a Christmas dinner, you had a spot at his table. If he saw a wounded animal, he would bring it home to rehab it. If there was an animal on the side of the road, he would check for more and bring them all home. At one time he had 30 dogs and puppies, and he found homes for every single one of them.
During the 1991 and 1998 ice storms as well as the 1995 microburst, Jimmy donated food from his own freezer and cupboards to help the Natural Bridge community. He always donated wood to the Natural Bridge Fire Department for the chicken barbeques. He was just that kind of man.
Jimmy loved fiercely. He loved his wife for 54 years and they were the best of friends. He pushed all her buttons, “just to make sure she still worked.” He loved his kids, biological and “adopted.” If you were lucky enough to be one of them, you never had to doubt how much you were loved. He wanted the best for them all. He wanted them to spread their wings and find their places in life, but they always knew that they had a safe place at home to land.
As much as he loved being a dad, he really loved being a Poppa. He loved his grandchildren beyond measure, and he was always proud to show them off.
Jimmy loved nature and animals of all kinds, and one of his favorite past-times was driving around looking for deer in the fields.
He also loved a good prank. When you saw those blue eyes start twinkling, when he started to fidget in his chair with excitement, you knew a prank was about to go down. He would look at you with waggled brows and say “watch.” He lived for the shock factor.
He loved going to stores at this time of year. He would walk around and see the excited faces of the young children, feeling the magic of the Christmas season. He would simply smile and wave. He was approached many times to play Santa for Christmas gatherings because he just had that kind of spirit.
Jimmy will be missed by all who knew him. The imprint of his love will forever be with his friends and family.
Survivors include his beloved wife, Theresa; his children, Renee King of Carthage; Darlene Rocker Shultz of South Carolina; Jimmy Rocker Jr. of Watertown; and Carla (Brian) McGowan of Washington State; his grandchildren, Cheyenne, Destiny, Zyna, Dakota, Hailey and Kylee; his great-grandchildren, Scarlett, Walter III, Aeila, Paisley, Leonidas and Kalista; many nieces, nephews and cousins as well as many acquired stray children.
He was predeceased by his parents as well as 11 siblings, Mildred, Homer, Norman, Madeline, Marjorie, Mary, Ellen, Gladys, Robert, and Phyllis.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, no public services will be held. A celebration-of-life gathering will be held in the spring.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Theresa Rocker’s name, C/O Carthage Savings Bank, 313 State St., Carthage NY 13619. Sympathy cards may be sent to 40802 County Route 40, Carthage NY 13619.
Arrangements are with Lundy Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Inc.
Condolences may be made online at www.lundyfuneralhome.