William “Bill” Herbert Stoecker, 65, of Benton died Wednesday, March 20, 2013.
The son of the late Herbert Carroll Stoecker and the late Rubye Clark Stoecker, he was born in Ballenger, Texas, and grew up in Marianna. He graduated from T. A. Futrall High School in 1965. He earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Arkansas A & M College in Monticello in 1969. He began his teaching career as a band director in Dewitt, from 1969 until 1973.
In 1973 he moved to Malvern and was the band director at Malvern High School. Under his direction, the Malvern High School Band was selected as the Bicentennial Band of Arkansas, as proclaimed by the governor, David Pryor. As such, the band performed in Washington, D.C., in the Parade of States Celebration.
From 1979 to 1984, he was the owner of Stoecker Plumbing Company in Malvern. In 1985, he developed the first band program at Glen Rose Public Schools, and directed bands in Glen Rose through 1991. Bill then became the director of Bands for the Hot Springs Public Schools from 1991 to 1995. His Hot Springs High School Band was invited by President Bill Clinton to march in the inaugural parade in Washington, D.C.
After leaving Hot Springs, Bill returned to Dewitt Schools as director of bands from 1996 to 2006. From 2006 to 2007 Bill spent his final years directing band at Hampton Public Schools. He concluded his love for education by working for the state of Arkansas Department of Career Education as the Education and as Instruction Coordinator in Apprenticeship Plumbing from 2007 until his death.
In recent years Bill expressed his love for the musical arts by participating in the North Little Rock Community Band. Bill always felt deeply honored to have played a role in cultivating a love for music in so many young people’s lives.
He was an avid duck hunter and fisherman. He proudly served on the board of directors for the Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest Scholarship.
Bill is survived by his wife, Mary Stoecker of Benton; his daughter, Katrina Gangluff of Bryant; his son, Eric Stoecker of Malvern; five grandchildren; a sister, Kaye Richardson of Big Spring, Texas; a brother, Steven Stoecker of Benbrook, Texas; a sister, Becky McReynolds of Abilene, Texas; and a sister, Ruthie Kissick of Weatherford, Texas.
A graveside service will be held at noon Saturday, March 23, at Pinecrest Memorial Park in Alexander. A memorial service will follow at 2:30 p.m. at Salem United Methodist Church, 1647 Salem Road, Benton.
Visitation is set from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 22, at Roller-Ballard Funeral Home in Benton.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Chick & Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Scholarship Fund in care of Pat Peacock, 2203 Shady Grove, Stuttgart, AR 72160.
Online guestbook: www.rollerfuneralhomes.com/ballard