Eleanor J. Hoch

June 28, 1926 - April 10, 2012

Hoch, Eleanor June (nee Conklin), born June 28, 1926, died April 10, 2012 after illness with brain cancer. Her husband and family members were at her side.

She is predeceased by parents Howard Peter Conklin and Avis Elizabeth Shumaker Conklin, brother Charles Edward Conklin, and grandson Joshua Luke Hamner.

She is survived and dearly missed by her husband, Emil Henry, of 61 years; daughter Heidi Lynda Hoch. of Castile, NY; daughter Holli Dyanne Hoch (John) Hamner of Greenvile, SC; granddaughter Sarah Elizabeth Hamner of Nashville, TN; grandson LTJG Joel Lawrence Hamner, USN. of Waipahu. HI; and two great grandsons, Ashton Luke and Hunter Logan Hamner. Also surviving are a sister Janice Conklin Schroeder of Buffalo, NY, Eugene Howard (Dawn) Conklin of Castile, NY., and many nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, and great-great nieces and nephews.

Mrs. Hoch taught for 50 years (Castile, Silver Springs, Cattaraugus, and Nunda, NY; Muncie, IN; Silver Spring, MD; and Williamsville, NY). She was Castile H.S valedictorian, Class of 1943, and held a degree in Music Education (Fredonia-SUNY), and a Masters degree in Elementary Education (Geneseo-SUNY). She composed hundreds of songs and taught thousands of students. Her life-long love of music was recognized early by loving parents when during the Great Depression her father traded a cord of wood for her first piano. In the early 50s she gave her label-salesman uncle a pumpkin pie recipe for Libbey’s which has stood the test of time and graced millions of families’ holiday tables. She was an expert seamtress and in 1960 won the Grange sponsored New York State Sewing Contest. She enjoyed world travel and opened her home to countless exchange students, Her stalwart frugality allowed her to be generous to others. She loved philosophy, politics and current events. She adored her grandchildren and teaching. She believed education is “the seeking of truth” and often said “each of us can become our own best teacher.” She will be remembered for extraordinary creativity spanning many disciplines, for her zest for life, for her wisdom, her wit, for her love of words, language, and a good story.

Friends may call Thursday 6:30 – 8 PM at Harmon-Watson Funeral Home, 35 N. Main St., Castile. A service will be held Friday at 12 PM at Castile United Church of Christ, Castile. Burial will be in Grace Cemetery, Castile. Online condolences at

In lieu of flowers donations in her memory may be made to
The Castile Historical Society, The Cordelia Green Library, Castile, The Arts Council for Wyoming County or Pike Volunteer Fire Department.

Important Dates

April 12, 2012 : Calling Hours for Eleanor J. Hoch - 10:30 PM to 12:00 AM

April 13, 2012 : Funeral service for Eleanor J. Hoch at the Castile United Church of Christ - 4:00 PM

Sign Eleanor J. Hoch's Guest Book



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Apr 28.12 from Kyle P. Simmons:
I had Mrs. Hoch for a teacher in the mid 1990's she had this joy about her always and I am sorry to learn about her passing. She was an amazing person and I will always remember her for Directing the 4th Grade Musical, which ours was Heidi.

Apr 20.12 from Dale Engelhart & family:
My deepest sympathy to your family at this time. Eleanor and I had many great times talking music and helping my niece Aimee prepare for her harp experiences. Aimee was very touched by Eleanor and her commitment to music and life. May God give you peace and comfort at this time of sadness.

Apr 19.12 from Olive, Christina, Jon, & Elizabeth Holdsworth:
Mrs. Hoch was a wonderful teacher; my three children have very fond memories of her music classes and 4th grade musical plays that she wrote herself. She will live on in many of her students' memories.

Apr 19.12 from Chris Morris:
I am so sorry for your loss. Mrs. Hoch was my music teacher for all of elementary school. She will be missed.

Apr 18.12 from Colette Coco Mancuso Sikorski:
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I always wondered about your wife/mom...I always enjoyed class with her!I remember the concerts as if it were yesterday! She made singing so much fun! Please know that you are all in our prayers and I know she is singing and teaching in heaven! God Bless!

Apr 18.12 from Jason Sperling:
My thoughts and prayers are with your family. Eleanor (or as always, Mrs. Hoch) was the one who set me on my path of music. Her classes, choruses, and shows at Heim were fantastic, and she was a teacher who definitely made a difference in my life.

Apr 18.12 from Sara Cechini:
Emil, Heidi,Holly, my deepest sympathy on the loss of your dear wife and mother. Eleanor was a delight to know and work with. My friendship with her at Heim Elem. is among my fondest memories. She was an inspiration to her students and her colleagues.

Apr 17.12 from Sandra J. Beebe:
Emil, Holly and Heidi. My most heartfelt sympathy is with all of you at this very sad time. I have wonderful memories of the many years I worked with Eleanor at Heim. She was such a devoted, creative teacher; the children just loved and admired her. She will always remain in our memories.

Apr 17.12 from Mary Lynne Maher:
Emil, my deepest sympathy. I had the honor of teaching with Eleanor in Williamsville and witnessed her unique talents and imaginative ways to motivate children.She will always be remembered.

Apr 15.12 from Paul & Vivian Dailida:
Heidi Our sincere sympathy on the loss of your mom. We just found out today 4-15-12. Your mom was always a joy to talk to. You will be in our thoughts and prayers.
Love Paul and Vivian

Apr 14.12 from Jerilyn Sanford Clark:
Mrs. Hoch was my kindergarten teacher in 1952 at Nunda Central School. I remember her fondly and know that she will be missed by many whose lives she touched. Please accept my deepest sympathies.

Apr 14.12 from julie, janice and nancy:
just checking in on eleanor's web presence and still thinking of her. the service was lovely and so great to see family from far and wide.

Apr 12.12 from Sarah:
Gram- So glad I was able to laugh with you and say goodbye in January. I'm sorry I won't be there this weekend, but you and Grandpa will be constantly on my mind. Love you always,