Fred H. Stocking, 94WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Fred Holly Stocking, 94, of North Street died Tuesday, July 21, 2009, at home. He was the Morris Professor of Rhetoric, emeritus, at Williams College.
Born in Detroit in 1915, son of William Redfield and Stella Holly Stocking, he went to high school there and graduated from Williams College with the class of 1936. He earned his doctorate from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor after World War II. He made his home in Williamstown, where his father grew up and his grandfather was minister at White Oaks Congregational Church.
Mr. Stocking taught at Williams for more than 40 years, retiring in 1983. Known for his charm and intellectual vitality, he taught many different courses; two favorites were Shakespeare and Victorian literature. He served Williams tirelessly in various capacities, such as secretary of the faculty, as a member of the Committee on Appointments and Promotions, and coach of student speakers at graduation. He spoke around the country to elementary and secondary school educators, to alumni and to colleagues in the humanities.
Over the years, he helped to build the 1753 house at Field Park, volunteered at Recording for the Blind, and he served on the governing board of the Williamstown Historical Society. After his retirement, he enjoyed learning how to paint, performing music with his wife, the former Carol Brawley, reading and engaging in animated discussions about politics and philosophy. He also enjoyed giving lectures on literature and art, taking photographs and participating in the cultural life of the seaside village of Lubec, Maine, where he spent his summers and built a family compound. His hunger for art and intelligent discourse was insatiable, right up to his final days, said family.
His married his first wife, the former Sarah Louise Noble, in 1938 and raised a family.
He married his second wife, the former Lois Wildes, in 1961.
Besides his wife, whom he married in 1980, he leaves three children, Sally Elizabeth Stocking of Chicopee, David Warner Stocking and his wife, Cynthia, of Noblesville, Ind., and Kathryn Holly Stocking-Koza and her husband, Frank Koza, of Windsor; five grandchildren, Elizabeth Holly Cacciola and her husband, Joseph, of Wrentham, John William Maconga and his wife, Marisa, of Wellesley, Philip Nathan Stocking and his wife, Sunita, of Mansfield, Sarah Louise Harvey and her husband, John, of Amherst, N.H., and Catherine Noble Stocking Whelan and her husband, Frank of Fishers, Ind; 11 great-grandchildren, Kaitlyn and Christopher Cacciola, Mark Harvey, Carson, Thatcher and Sage Maconga, Charles and Zachary Stocking, Jessica, James and John Whelan, and five stepchildren, Karen Hunter, Susan Rodman, Lisa Brawley, Hunter Brawley and Bruce Brawley.
FUNERAL NOTICE — A memorial event for Mr. Stocking will be held on Sunday, Aug. 16, at the Williams Faculty House at the corner of Park and Main streets in Williamstown. This celebration of the great, good gift of life will begin at 11:30 a.m., and a reception will be held afterward at the same location.
Contributions can be made in his name to VNA & Hospice of Northern Berkshire, 535 Curran Memorial Highway, North Adams, MA 01247 or to the Quoddy Regional Land Trust Inc., U.S. Route 1, P.O. Box 49, Whiting, ME 04691-0049. Flynn & Dagnoli-Montagna Home for Funerals, West Chapels, is in charge of arrangements.