By Jodi Marze, Lifestyles Editor
The Picayune Item
Dr. James L. Schrock, who died Wednesday, Sept. 26, graduated from Picayune High School and served in the U.S. Navy on the destroyer USS Stormes during World War II.
He was a native of Goodman, Miss.
His ship saw action in the Pacific. The ship was heavily damaged by a Kamikaze plane off Okinawa. He lost 21 shipmates. Dr. Schrock attended Tulane University for pre-dental and Washington University School of Dentistry in St. Louis, Mo. He was a member of The American Dental Association, Mississippi Dental Association, and The Academy of General Dentistry. He practiced dentistry in Picayune for 38 years.
He was known for his love of community and his wife of 64 years, Charleen. The couple were very close and he loved her very much. He often said that without her love and support he would not have accomplished anything.
He was an advocate for both Picayune and the state as he was active in the community and traveled throughout the world. A common theme which ran through his life, was his passion for making a difference through whatever he might be doing.
“We love this town, our state and our country. We place stamps with the words ‘In God We Trust,’ and it is also stamped on the back of each letter or correspondence that goes out of the house. We stay busy with our community work. It is how we enjoy spending our time. Sometimes we don’t get to make it to all of the group meetings that we would like to attend; but we are loving our life, each other and this great town,” said Dr. Schrock, during a recent interview with the Picayune Item.
He was a member of the Joppa Temple, Masonic Lodge #111, and the Shriners. He served as President of the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Library, and was on the Board of the Pearl River County Library System.
He was a good sport for charity’s sake. On Nov. 30, 2012, he agreed to be the subject of a fundraising ”Roast” which was optimistically termed a “Boast” for Friends of the Crosby Library. The event proved to be a great success for the library through ticket sales and Anniversary cook book sales.
He was a member of the board for the Senior Center for Lower Pearl River County since 2007 and was serving as vice president at the time of his death.
“It is with heavy hearts that we have lost a wonderful and Godly man as Jim Schrock. He was a true champion for our senior community and put his heart and soul in the Senior Center for many years in all its activities and fundraisers. No job was ever beneath him and many times, he and Mrs. Charlene would clean tables or wash dishes. He would tell me in reference to his travels that a lot could be said for a city by what amenities were made available for seniors and the youth. Dr. Schrock was a strong advocate for both. I personally will miss his quiet demeanor, his words of wisdom and all the support and encouragement he has personally given me as executive director these past five years,” said Senior Center Executive Director Darlene Adams.
He was very active in the Lions Clubs on the local, state and international levels. Through the Lions Clubs the couple traveled to England, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia among the 19 international conventions they have taken part in.
He was inducted into the Mississippi Lions Hall of Fame and he has served for years on the Mississippi Lions All State Band Committee as well as the Peace Poster committee. Dr. Schrock served on the All State Lions Band Committee.
Lions member Jack Weiss said, “He lived the meaning of the Lion’s motto: We serve.”
Pastor Keith Warden said, “Our community lost an incredible man with the passing of Dr. James Schrock. He’s not only been a great inspiration and example to his family and our church, but we know him as someone who has made a lasting impact on this community. He cared about people. He cared about students and their education. Dr. Schrock just helped to make Picayune a great place to live. We will miss him dearly.”
Education has always been important to the couple; in 1999 they established the Dr. and Mrs. James Schrock Perpetual Scholarship Fund for high school graduates who are interested in pre-dental, pre-medical school or a health profession.
Dr. Schrock said of the donation, “We both graduated from PMHS and appreciate the advantage that a good, basic education can provide. We know what a financial struggle it is for some families to get students through high school. We want to support students who put forth effort but may be in jeopardy of furthering their education due to lack of financial resources.”
School District Superintendent Dean Shaw said, “He has always been very supportive of public education and our Picayune school District. Not only will he be greatly missed not by our Picayune school district but the community also.”
Funeral Services are Saturday at noon at First Baptist Church of Picayune. He was preceded in death by his parents, Hal Maurice Schrock and Sallie Mae Hunter Schrock; and his brother Maurice Hunter Schrock.
Visitation is 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at First Baptist Church of Picayune.
Burial will be in New Palestine Cemetery under the direction of McDonald Funeral Home.
Dr. Keith Warden will officiate the service.
Survivors include his wife, Charleen Furr Schrock; his sons, Dr. Kurt Schrock and wife Cindy, and Dr. Hal Mark Schrock and Pam; 4 grandchildren, Dr. Benjamin Leon Schrock and wife Erica, Kevin Ross Schrock, Daryl Brent Schrock, and Kristen Michelle Schrock; 1 great grandson, Parker Reed Schrock; and his sisters, Marcia Schrock and Gaye Schrock Phillips and husband Robert.
Memorial contributions may be made to The Picayune Lion’s Club or the charity of you choice.