Norman G. Hock Jr. was looking forward to two things: his forthcoming marriage to his childhood sweetheart and opening a home remodeling business.
Instead, friends and relatives gathered Thursday at an East Baltimore funeral home to remember Mr. Hock, 31, who was killed Sunday night when the moped he was riding was hit by a van in the 2600 block of Fleet St. He died at the scene.
"We were going to get married May 31 and after the honeymoon go downtown and get a home improvement license and go into business full time," said Angie Jaworski, his fiancee. "He was going to do the work, and I was going to handle the business end."
Mr. Hock of the 600 block of S. Belnord Ave. in Southeast Baltimore was the neighborhood handyman who never turned down a call for help to free a stuck door or repair a sagging porch.
His mother, Mary Alice Hock, recalled that while he was living with the family on Bank Street in 1994, a nearby house caught fire with children inside.
"The house was two doors away from our home, and when he heard the screams, he raced down the alley and jumped over a fence and into the burning house. He was able to save two children and their father," Mrs. Hock said.
"There wasn't a person in this neighborhood that he hasn't helped one way or the other," said Barclay Hastings, a neighbor. "He'd change a tire on the old lady's car who lived up the street, or he helped me put in my air conditioners.
"One time he even chased away a Peeping Tom and told him to 'get out of this neighborhood and don't come back.' He was a good guy to have around, and I know we're all going to miss him."
Known as "Bochie," Mr. Hock was born and raised on Bank Street and attended city schools.
"He was hyperactive and left school when he was 15," said Mrs. Hock, who taught him at home. "He then took up carpentry and was good at it."
For the past three years, Mr. Hock was a production worker on the night shift at H&S; Bakery in Fells Point. He did home remodeling work during the day and on weekends.
"He rebuilt his parents' entire house and installed new electricity, plumbing, walls, floors and even a deck. He even built a fireplace with old Baltimore cobblestones," Ms. Jaworski said.
Other neighbors, including Jenny Macek, remembered Mr. Hock as a person who "enjoyed a good neighborhood party and could dance like a snake."
Bill Fakas, owner of Nicholas's Fleet Street Shell station in the 600 block of S. Luzerne Ave., described him as a "real good guy who was high-spirited."
Since Mr. Hock died, Mr. Fakas, who said traffic accidents frequently occur in the area, has been collecting signatures for a petition to get stop signs or traffic lights at South Lakewood Avenue and Fleet Street and South Luzerne Avenue and Fleet.
"People have been coming into the station and signing, and I'll go door-to-door if I have to," Mr. Fakas said. "We've got to do something to stop the speeders. If we had done something earlier, this man would still be alive.
"He had everything in the world going for him. He was going to get married. He had a good job and had just bought a new house and then this. Everything he dreamed for and wanted ended abruptly," Mr. Fakas said.
Mr. Hock, who was a parishioner of St. Brigid Roman Catholic Church at Ellwood Avenue and Hudson Street, was buried in Sacred Heart of Jesus Cemetery.
Other survivors include two sons, Norman G. Hock III and Trevor Hock of Baltimore; his father, Norman G. Hock Sr. of Baltimore; a brother, Gordon P. Hock of Baltimore; and two sisters, Janice LaRue Garratt of Sykesville and Elna M. Shaffer of Baltimore.
Pub Date: 4/26/97