Mr Karl T. Von BockFebruary 20, 1941 ~ January 19, 2018 (age 76)
Obituary for Karl Torsten von Bock
Karl Torsten von Bock, a longtime resident of East Setauket, passed into the presence of God on January
19, 2018 at the age of 76 after a long battle with multiple sclerosis (MS). He is survived by his brother
David, his sister in law Pamella Bock, nieces Heather Bock and Angela Bacon, nephew Jay Bock, nine
great nephews and nieces, and his stepson Mark Lakefish, his wife Heather, and their two children. He
was predeceased by his wife Sharon von Bock in 2003, a former Dean of Administration at the Stony
Brook University Dental School.
Karl was born February 23, 1941 in Rexburg, Idaho to Carl Birger Bock and Alice Ruick Bock. His
paternal grandparents, Karl Frederick Bock and Julia Hjerpe Bock, emigrated from Sweden to the United
States in 1910. His maternal grandfather, NM Ruick, was a prominent attorney in Boise, Idaho in the
early part of the 20th century.
Karl grew up in Eastern Idaho, graduating from Idaho Falls Senior High in 1959. He earned a Bachelors
Degree in English Literature from the University of Utah and a D. Juris from the University of Oregon.
Karl had a brilliant mind and enormous curiosity. He read widely throughout his life; even at the time of
his death, his home was filled with new books waiting to be read.
During his university years, Karl spent his summers working for the Forest Service and Bureau of Public
Roads in the Sun Valley, ID area. In graduate school, Karl’s love of the sea and sailing drew him into
temporary work in the merchant marine and in oceanographic research. Eventually, he worked full time
as a marine technician for the University of Washington in Seattle, and, after moving to Long Island in the
early 1970s in connection with his wife’s career, Karl worked for Brookhaven National Labs on various
ocean research projects until becoming permanently disabled with MS in the late 1980s.
Karl suffered from a particularly aggressive form of MS and spent the last 35 years being cared for at
home by an amazing group of nurses, some of whom worked with him for over 20 years. A deeply
committed Christian, Karl bore his disability with courage and grace. He was surrounded by loving
friends, particularly his ‘church family’ from Three Village Church, who visited him regularly, met in his
home for Sunday School, enjoyed Bible studies and meals together, and supported him with countless acts
of friendship and love.
Karl required frequent treatment for multiple conditions related to his MS, and over many years benefited
enormously from excellent care at Stony Brook University Medical Center, for which he was always
Memorials for Karl can be made through donations to either or both of the following organizations:
• The Missions Fund at Three Village Church, 322 Main Street, East Setauket, NY 1173
The National MS Society (www.nationalmssociety.org)