William Bernard Stocker
William Bernard Stocker
  • June 18, 1923 - August 10, 2017
  • Springfield, Missouri

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Dr. Bill Stocker


“Doc Bill”, 94, of Springfield, passed away peacefully in Columbia, MO on Thursday, August 10, 2017 at Candlelight Lodge assisted living facility .

Bill was born June 18, 1923 in Monett, MO to Will and Jessie Stocker. He would follow in his uncle’s footsteps and become a dentist, graduating from Washington University School of Denistry in St. Louis.. He fulfilled his pre-dental requirements at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. In 1945, he married Eleanor Davis, his high school sweetheart, and they shared a remarkable and loving marriage together for 72 years. Upon completion of his DDS degree, he was commissioned a 1st Lt. in the Army Dental Corps during WWII and was stationed at Fort Riley, in Junction City, KS. After his honorable discharge from the Army, Bill moved his family to St. Louis, where he opened a dental practice in suburban Webster Groves, and was also a part-time instructor at Washington University. He believed so strongly that the best dental practice was based upon prevention, that he moved to Springfield in 1953 where he became the first dentist there to limit his practice to children. He subsequently became the third dentist in the state of Missouri to become Board Certified in Pediatric Dentistry. His patients gave him the nickname of Doc Bill.

He had always hoped he could somehow leave the world a little better from his earthly efforts that he served in the following civic, dentistry and charitable organizations: One term member of the School Board for SPS, Meals on Wheels, RSVP Reading Buddy through the public schools, Red Cross/AFES member, and numerous committees in his church, Spfg. Park Board member and advisory/planning committee for Jordan Valley Park, board member for Friends of the Zoo (Spfg.), Greene County Heart Association and Springfield Art Museum .In 1968, he was invited and served three months aboard the charitable hospital ship of Project HOPE, moored in Sri Lanka. Bill was recognized for exceptional service to the field of dentistry by his alma mater and was an inducted fellow of the American College of Dentistry, the International College of Dentistry and Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. He served as president of the Missouri Dental Association, Springfield Dental Society and Washington Univ. School of Dentistry Alumni Association. He retired from active dental practice in 1993.

Often called the “energizer bunny” by his children, he found time to enjoy golf, tennis, quail hunting, fishing, ballroom dancing, travel and reading. Having perfect pitch, he sang in church choirs and with his family on a regular basis--always singing in harmony. He also played the trumpet, harmonica and banjo. Bill always said, though, that his greatest enjoyment was time spent with his wife Ellie and their three children.

He was preceded in death by his wife Ellie Stocker, who passed away in January of 2017. He is survived by his children, Deedee Schlichting (Harley) of Columbia, MO; Roger (Laura) of Seattle, WA, and Don (Margaret) of Naples, FL; four grandchildren: Cavin (Binita) Stocker of Seattle, WA; Aaron (Patricia) Collison of Tampa, FL; Shannon (Brett) Long of Bonner Springs, KS; and Maegan (Rob) Nelson of Parkville, MO and six great-grandchildren (Skyelar, Emily, Maevry, Owen, Saunjay and Amishi). There will be a small private internment/memorial service later in the fall at Kings Way United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be considered to the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Missouri, 9370 Olive Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63132.

Online condolences may be left for the family at memorialfuneralhomeandcemetery.com