Gary John "Sparrow" Bockhop, 69, of Belmont, passed away on Monday, January 21, 2013 at University Hospital in Madison.
Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m. Friday, January 25, 2013 at the Melby Funeral Home & Crematory, Platteville. Pastor Peter Berg will officiate. Friends may call from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Thursday at the Melby Funeral Home & Crematory or from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service on Friday at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to the Gary J. "Sparrow" Bockhop Memorial Fund. Online condolences may be made at www.melbyfh.com.
A native of Belmont, Gary was born in Platteville, Wisconsin on October 10, 1943, the fifth child of Wilbert and Grace (Eustice) Bockhop. He married Nancy Dolphin on February 6, 1961. Together they raised four children. Gary began driving milk truck for his father when he was 14 years old, and spent his career driving semi. Since retiring, Sparrow drove occasionally for First Capital Salvage and Truck Co., plowed snow for Rural Excavating and Lee McCarville, and particularly enjoyed driving the event bus for Jack Runde. Gary was an early member of the Belmont Fire Department and the Belmont Timberwolves and in recent years belonged to the Badger ATV Club, where he and Nancy were ATV Safety Educators and Trail Patrol, and was a lifetime member of the GWRRA Chapter I. Sparrow enjoyed taking yearly trips on the Gold Wing with close family and friends, ATV riding, and camping. Family was very important to him and he especially enjoyed the yearly Bockhop and Dolphin Reunions. He truly loved his kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids.
Sparrow is survived by his wife, Nancy and four children, Tim (Cherene) Bockhop of Arizona; Sharon (Roger) Buss of Belmont; Jim Bockhop of Madison; Bruce Bockhop of Sun Prairie. He is further survived by six grandchildren, Rory, Ryan and Jenna Buss, Amber (Eric) Russell, Amber (Chip) McNett, Andy (Ali) Bockhop, and their mother Cris Bockhop; great-grandchildren, Camden, Paige, Maddux, and Harper Russell; Addison, Griffin and Dane McNett; and Tenleigh Bockhop. He is also survived by his brothers and sisters, Ronald (Margaret) Bockhop, Wayne (Eldeen) Bockhop, Karen (Roger) Nodorft, Mark Bockhop, Gayle (Daniel) Speth, and Dan (Kathy) Bockhop; sister-in-law, Carol Bockhop; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Wilbert and Grace; in-laws, Ted and Melva Dolphin; brother, Clifford Bockhop; and sister, Beverly Lapp.
A special thanks to his longtime cardiologist Dr. Tom Ansfield, Dr. Peter Mason, Dr. Michael Connolly, and the staff at Platteville Hospital, Meriter Hospital, and UW Hospital.
These are the bookends of a great man's life, but in between was a life filled with family and friends, love and loss, laughter and tears, travel and home…