James J. Mock | Morris Nilsen Funeral Chapel

February 15, 1943 - May 6, 2020


James Joseph Mock, Minneapolis, MN, passed away on May 6, 2020, after a 10-year struggle with Parkinson’s disease.

Jim was born February 15, 1943, to Vincent and Marina Mock in Geneseo, Illinois. He graduated from Geneseo High School and attended Monmouth College, in Monmouth Illinois. An accomplished athlete and student/leader, Jim was captain and quarterback of the football team, President and proud member of the fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon. He and his fraternity brothers reunited every other year for the past 25 years. While at Monmouth, Jim met Sharon Wehrs and they were married on December 17, 1967. After earning a Ph.D. in agronomy and plant science from Iowa State University in 1970, he remained there as a faculty member for 8 years. In 1978, he accepted the position of Director of Research at Northrop King Seed Company and the family moved to Northfield, MN.

Northfield was their home for over 15 years, and Jim volunteered his time as a member of the Sertoma Club and other civic organizations. Most important, he was a dedicated advocate and fan of athletics in Northfield, never missing an opportunity to cheer his children on in soccer, hockey, figure skating, tennis, baseball, and softball. He never missed a match or game!

In 1993, Jim and Sharon relocated to Wichita, Kansas where he worked as President of Hybritech Wheat Company, a conglomerate of Monsanto Corporation. Jim eventually started his own company, Crop Verify, LLC, before officially retiring in 2004. While in Wichita, he was founder and served as Board Chair of the Agri-Business Council of Wichita from 2005-2014. In addition, he was a life-long member of the American Society for Agronomy.

Jim’s greatest joy during his retirement was spending time with his five grandsons. They loved fishing with him at the lake, playing Mexican Train Dominoes, solving the daily crossword, and watching sports with him. In recent years, after moving back to Minneapolis, Jim was able to attend soccer games and special school events.

Jim is survived by his wife, Sharon, of 53 years; sons, Bryan (Kristen) Mock of Lake Mills, WI & Aaron (Kathy) Mock of Lake Mills, WI; daughter, Leigh Ann (Bill Garner) Mock of Minneapolis, MN; grandsons, Noah, Holden, & Daxton Mock & Liam and Landon (Red) Garner; brother, Ronald (Kim) Mock of Bradenton, FL; brother-in-law, Robert (Rosie) Wehrs, and eleven nieces and nephews. Preceding him in death are his parents, Vincent and Marina Mock.

A celebration of Jim’s life will be held in the fall of 2020.

Memorials are preferred to Struther’s Parkinson’s Center, Monmouth College, or donor’s choice.


14 Comments

  1. Larry G. Balko says:

    Sharon and family;
    My sincere condolences to you and family. Many fond memories of Jim that date back to my college days when he was a professor at ISU in the 70’s and continuing with our days at Northrop King.
    He was the best boss I ever had.
    He was a mentor and had my greatest respect.
    He was a friend.
    Sincerely,
    Larry G. Balko

  2. David Mies says:

    My condolences to the family. I enjoyed working with Jim at NK for many years.

  3. Julian Trangsrud says:

    Jim was a great father for Bryan, Aaron and Leigh Anne. I am so sorry Sharon for your loss I personally know how tough it is. I will always remember the good times we had. Julian Trangsrud

    • Aaron Mock says:

      Julian-

      Thank you so much for the kind note. My father was a great parent and mentor! We also had a great mentor in a fabulous coach! We played a lot of hockey for a lot of different coaches, but whenever reminiscing with my parents about those days your name always came up. In fact, if I remember correctly, you were so well respected by myself and my parents that after some particular transgression (there were quite a few so I can’t quite remember the circumstance) I found myself being driven to your house to apologize to my coach – that was a good life lesson in respecting others. This past week I can’t count the number of photos that I have shared back and forth with old teammates from our old Bantam days. I hope you are well. Aaron

  4. Gary Mock says:

    Jim, I am honored to be your cousin. I can remember watching you play football in Geneseo & Monmouth and the family dinners at Christmas & Thanksgiving. You have always been an exceptional role model and someone to look up to in my life.

  5. Mark Wall says:

    I was saddened to learn of Jim’s passing. Jim gave me the chance to start and lead the Production Research effort for Northrup King Co. I reported directly to Jim from 1984 – 1986. He was a strong leader and great mentor. I’ve now reported to 19 individuals during my 37 year seeds career, and Jim certainly lands in the top of that group. We shared a common bond of both receiving PhD’s from Iowa State University. No question his adherence to practicing sound science and inquisitive nature have stayed with me throughout my professional career.

    Mark Wall
    Eden Prairie, MN

  6. James Henson says:

    Jim and I grew up just around the corner from each other in Geneseo, Illinois. We went to kindergarten, St. Malachy’s Catholic School. Altar Boys, Boy Scouts, Little League and Babe Ruth baseball, and Geneseo High School sports together. He was a gifted athlete and student. He was always a lot of fun to be around.

    Although our paths diverged after high school graduation, when we did manage to communicate our conversations always seemed to come back to the halcyon days of our youth and growing up in Geneseo.

    Sharon and family, I know you will miss him very much as will I. You have our most heartfelt sympathy.

    Sincerely,
    Jim & Elaine Henson
    of Geneseo

  7. Lona Pribble says:

    Sharon and family: Jim was a classmate of mine, class of 1961 Geneseo. When Jim came to the yearly reunions my husband, Ray, and Jim struck up quite a friendship. Every time we would have a reunion coming up Ray always wanted to know if Jim was coming. Jim had to quite coming because of his Parkinsons. Ray died last September, perhaps they are having that reunion in heaven.
    My love and sympathy to you all.
    Lona Pribble

    • Rodger Bayless says:

      I’m sitting here thinking about all the good times us kids had growing up in Geneseo. It was the best of times. Jim was a good friend. He was a pitcher for the Hulting Hybrid White Sox, and I played for the Edward’s Redi-mix
      Cardinals. I got my first hit off of him. I was ecstatic. Our senior year(fall of 1960), it was our first football game of the year against Monmouth Zippers. Jim thru a long pass to Dean Hungate on the first play of the game for a touchdown. Our success went down hill after that. I am proud to say “Jim Mock is a friend of mine”. God bless you and all your family, Sharon.

  8. Rodger Stenzel says:

    I was a classmate of Jim’s in Geneseo. We competed together in most sports all the way to college. Jim was very smart and certainly a leader in the class of ‘61. We will miss him greatly. Our heartfelt sympathy to Sharon and family.
    Sincerely,
    Rodger and Linda Stenzel

  9. I feel so sad to lose Jim, he was my best friend in high school. We spent a lot of time together, sometimes camping, water skiing, horsing around with the group of us, sometimes spending the night at each other’s homes, and of course through athletics (mainly basketball as I was not on the football team). We commiserated about our girlfriends (probably not nearly as much as they commiserated with each other about us!). He stood out as a good man, even at that young age, the moreso for befriending me who was a newcomer and auslander in Geneseo. I only saw Jim again, after graduation, very occasionally at one class reunion or another, as my own life took me hither and yon across the continent. Jim was a combination of good laughs and a certain stoicism that accepted things philosophically. I never saw him during his struggle with Parkinson’s but I’ll bet my impression held true though those years. God bless Jim on his way, and God bless Sharon and the whole family. (Rev) Rick Chrisman, Ph.D. Boston, MA.

  10. Mary Stohl Pellizzari says:

    My deepest sympathy to Sharon and Family,
    Seems like a hundred years have passed since Jim and I walked up together in our graduation line. Jim was a very good and solid man with many talents and achievements throughout his lifetime. His greatest legacy is family. You all were his treasure. For an accomplished athlete to suffer from Parkinson’s was an even greater cross. I call it the “the final polish” on God’s masterpiece, Jim. May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.
    Love and prayers,
    Mary Terese Stohl Pellizzari, GSHS Class of “61

  11. Bonnie Morgan says:

    Sharon and Ron, I’m so sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you both and your entire family. Bonnie Morgan

  12. Richard Schweninger says:

    Sharon and Ron,

    I am truly sorry for your loss. I had only one brief phone conversation with Jim while he lived here in Wichita. Thoughts and prayers, Richard Schweninger

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