A couple of weeks ago I interviewed Carolyn and Rod Hock to do a joint article about them, but it soon became evident they each merited stand-alone profiles. They've made an impact on the community individually even though they're frequently seen together.
Carolyn shows up in a number of settings around Evergreen, but Church of the Hills might be the place where – historically – she’s spent the most time. She and Rod, Evergreen’s first eye doctor, were married there in 1966, a year before they moved to the mountains; and it remains their home for worship.
“That’s when we started our love affair with Evergreen,” she says. The Hocks found themselves to be about 10 years younger than most young couples in Evergreen but were welcomed in. “There was just one stoplight in town then; now there are nine.”
Carolyn has been an elder and a deacon at Church of the Hills, and she used to serve meals there when the church held community suppers.
She was an obvious leader in her early years (class president, editor of school newspaper and yearbook, sorority president, to give a few examples), and she’s made use of those leadership skills while volunteering with many support organizations later on. Being supportive seems to be in her nature.
With a degree in teaching, it was only natural that she’d want to be home with her three sons as they were youngsters, and natural too that she would take on the presidency of the PTAs at each of the schools her sons attended as they progressed through the public school system in Evergreen. She chaired the After-Prom Party at Evergreen High School in the mid ‘80s when parents created a fun and safe way for students to be occupied until the wee hours of the morning after the prom.
Prior to the creation of Conifer High School, Evergreen had been one of the largest high schools in Jefferson County. Carolyn was one of several parents tapped by the school district to help with conducting a feasibility study when a new high school was being considered for Conifer. The committee made recommendations on whether or not another high school was needed and where it might be located.
There was a time when there was an extremely active auxiliary presence in Evergreen for Children’s Hospital. Carolyn was leader of the guild for a term and chaired its annual rummage sale called Bargains Unlimited, a gigantic collection of used items, collected over several weeks and intended to be sold in a single day.
When the Blue Jeans Orchestra relocated to Evergreen in the1970s and became known as the Colorado Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO), Carolyn was right there as part of the auxiliary, taking on the presidency along the way. The CPO brought the brightest young musicians together from all over the country to practice and perform as an orchestra for an entire summer. They were housed in Marshdale at a former dude ranch, now home to Bears Inn and The Bistro. “We cooked some of their meals, cleaned up after they left and occasionally invited them to our homes for a meal,” she recalled.
Her own experience of having been an exchange student in Sweden prompted her to be involved in bringing foreign students to Evergreen High School and placing them in homes for the year; she chaired the Evergreen chapter of International Cultural Exchange. The Hock family hosted a female exchange student form Sweden one year.
Carolyn’s been president of the Colorado Optometric Association Auxiliary and president of her PEO chapter, an international organization promoting women’s education.
More recently, she’s volunteered at the food bank and resale shop for Evergreen Christian Outreach and served as a buddy at Camp Comfort, the grief camp for children who have lost loved ones. “The growth was mind-boggling,” she said of children attending the two-and-a-half-day camp in Empire. “The kids didn’t know one another before arriving, but they would bond immediately.”
During its early years, Carolyn served on the board for the Evergreen Jazz Festival and was a board member for several years (and president for a term) of Evergreen Scholarship/Bootstraps about the time the two organizations merged; the name would later be reduced to just Bootstraps. And along the way she chaired the Channel Six Auction for the Georgetown/Idaho Springs area for several years, soliciting donated items and also working the auction where she answered the phones accepting bids.
Carolyn and Rod can often be seen volunteering together – perhaps at the Freedom Run on the Fourth of July or selling tickets at the Jazz Festival later in July. Or maybe packing treats for servicemen in Afghanistan with other members of the church. Or frequently ... with grandkids in tow.
Career wise, Carolyn taught French and Geography at the middle school level in Jefferson County before getting married, worked as a reservations agent for Continental Airlines (to satisfy her yen for travel), and managed the office for Evergreen Vision Clinic when her husband’s practice became full time in Evergreen. In more recent years she could be found working with a catering business, In Good Taste.
Even those who know her might not be aware that in college Carolyn played the bagpipes with an 80-member, all-female band called the Iowa Scottish Highlanders. The band performed at Big Ten games and in Europe as well. And – surprise, surprise – she was selected to be the drum major!
With a background like Carolyn's, she could well serve as the historian of Evergreen for the past half century!