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1932 Robert 2021

Robert Bock

February 1, 1932 — August 31, 2021

On Aug. 31, 2021, Robert H. Bock passed away at Attic Angel Place after a brief illness at the age of 89.  He was born on Feb. 1, 1932 in Chicago Ill., the son of Ralph Bock and Gertrude (Lux) Bock.

In 1954, he married Sharon Lee Ambler.  Together they raised three children.  In addition to applying himself to his career during those early years, he dedicated himself to his family organizing camping trips in the mountains and boating adventures, coaching soccer teams and being a scout master.  He was widowed in 1978.  In 1979, he married Sheila Dean and they remained married for almost 39 years.  Of his interests, it was sailing that wove itself through his life from his early years on Lake Michigan to his later years on Lake Mendota.

Robert Bock was a man of intellect and integrity.  He graduated with distinction from Purdue University where he received his bachelor of science degree in engineering and was the student body president.  A year later he received his master’s degree in industrial engineering from Purdue with a minor in statistics.  He was awarded his doctorate in industrial administration from Purdue in 1960 with a minor in economics and statistics.  In 1996, Purdue University presented him the John S. Day Distinguished Alumni Academic Service Award.

Other than a two-year stint as a US Air Force lieutenant stationed in Morocco, his career was firmly anchored in university administration   In the early 60’s he was a faculty member in the graduate school of business at Northwestern University.  In the late 60’s he was vice president and dean of faculty at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma Washington.  After spending a few years as a business school dean at the University of Miami he came to the University of Wisconsin-Madison and served as Dean of the School of Business for 12 years.  After stepping down as dean, he returned to teaching and taught graduate courses in strategic planning, corporate ethics and corporate social responsibility.  He lectured widely at universities and corporations in the US and Europe.  He also worked with the Wisconsin Investment Board and UW Board of Regents on ethical issues in investing.  During his lifetime, he served as a director on the boards of several insurance, banking and manufacturing businesses including many years as a director of the Nicholas Funds.

In addition to being an active member of his local church he served for 20 years as the treasurer of the Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ and 10 years as the treasurer of the Wisconsin Council of Churches.  His contributions to both organizations gave him great satisfaction and life -long friends.

He is survived by his children, Mark (Mary) Bock of Fredericksburg VA, Andy (Karen) Bock of Rochester Mn, Natalie (Dan) Erdman of Madison WI, eleven grandchildren, and five great grandchildren as well as a brother in law Dave (Mary Kate) Ambler.  He is preceded in death by his parents, his sister and brother in law Eleanor (Bob) Steiger, his first wife Sharon and his second wife Sheila.

There will be a private service for family to celebrate his life.  In lieu of flowers, gifts may be given to the University of Wisconsin Foundation in support of the Wisconsin School of Business Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Scholarship Fund. This fund supports scholarships for undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds at Wisconsin School of Business.  Please include a memo or note that the gift is being made in Robert’s memory. Checks should be made payable to:  University of Wisconsin Foundation, US Bank Lockbox 78807, Milwaukee, Wi 53278

Any other condolence cards may be sent to Cress Funeral Home, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison, WI 53705 in care of Robert Bock.

He was a kind and gentle man and we wish him fair winds, following seas and safe passage.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert Bock, please visit our flower store.


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