Charles Franklin "Rock" Rockey, Jr., Whitewater, WI (1918 - 2012)
June 21, 1918 - December 23, 2012
Charles Franklin Rockey, Jr,, known as “Rock”, age 94, of Whitewater, died on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, at Fairhaven in Whitewater. Rock was born in Oak Park, IL, on June 21, 1918, the son of Dr. Charles F. and Ada (Nichols) Rockey. At an early age, he became interested in ham radio, earning his amateur radio license at age 16. Operating as W9SCH for more than seventy years, he made contact with ham radio operators all around the world. In 1996, he was inducted into the QRP Hall of Fame. Rock graduated from Oak Park-River Forest High School in 1937. He enrolled in Elmhurst College, but interrupted his studies in 1942 by enlisting in the U. S. Navy. He served as an aviation electronic technician in Port Lyautey, French Morocco, and in Naples, Italy. After World War II, he returned to Elmhurst College, graduating in 1947.
Rock worked at Walhenius Institute instructing brew masters, then in the early 1950’s, taught at Milwaukee School of Engineering. From 1955–1979, he taught chemistry, physics and electronics at New Trier High School in Wilmette, IL. He was also the faculty sponsor of the student radio station WNTH.
On retirement, Rock and his wife (the late Frances) moved from Deerfield, IL, to Albany WI. Rock became friends with the local farmers in Green County as a milk tester for the Wisconsin Dairy Herd Improvement Association. In addition to contributing many articles to radio and scientific magazines, Rock wrote two books: “Electrons, Atoms, and the World: Chemistry for the Young in Heart" and "Secrets of Homebuilt Regenerative Receivers.” He greatly enjoyed playing polkas on the accordion.
Rock is survived by his son, Joseph (Jane) of Highwood, IL; and two grandsons, Jonathan (Meghan) of New York City, and William (Alexandria) of Esparto, CA.
A Memorial Service was held at Fairhaven in Whitewater. Memorial contributions are requested to Fairhaven Senior Community, 435 Starin Road, Whitewater, WI 53190.
OLSEN FUNERAL HOME in Whitewater assisted the family with arrangements.