Paul E DeKock

July 15, 1930November 11, 2013

Paul Eugene DeKock, 83, of El Cajon California, died Monday, November 11, 2013. Paul was born to the late Gradus and Gladys DeKock July 15, 1930, in Pella, Iowa. Paul grew up in Des Moines and Oskaloosa, Iowa, living on an acreage with his family which included siblings John, Louise, and Joanne. He received a B.A. in Speech at Iowa State Teachers College in 1952, and received an M.A. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota in 1956. He was very proud of his year at Harvard as a recipient of the John Hay Fellowship in 1961. Paul married LaRu Butler in 1953, and they had two sons, Daniel and David. Paul and LaRu relocated to El Cajon California in 1956 where he taught high school American Studies from 1956-1988. Paul married Lois Roberts Luddy in 1986 and became stepfather to Robert. Paul was extremely creative, and touched the lives of countless students in Iowa and later at Grossmont High School in La Mesa, California, and at El Capitan High School in Lakeside, California, for 31 years. Paul and his long-time team-teaching partner, David Yount, co-founded Interact, a company that continues to publish educational simulation materials that enrich learning and understanding for students of all ages. Paul retired from teaching in 1988 but refused to use the word “retired”, continuing to stay active playing his trombone, developing his passion for writing, and simply enjoying all that life has to offer. He was happy to wake up each day, eager to experience new learning. He loved his family, golf, photography, trombones, Haagen-Dazs ice cream, politics, teaching and learning, movies, and books. Paul is survived by his wife of 27 years, Lois; his sons Daniel DeKock (Laurie) of Susanville, CA, and David DeKock (Leana) of San Diego, CA; his stepson, Robert Luddy (Amanda) of Austin, TX; his grandchildren August DeKock, Tenley Houghton (Dustin), Natalia DeKock, Emma Luddy, and Caleb Luddy; his great-granchild, Cadence Houghton; and his sister, Joanne Dow, of Topeka, KS. In lieu of flowers, the family is suggesting contributions to Habitat for Humanity. “The end is nothing. The road is all.” “Life is love and work.”

The celebration of Paul's life will be held: Saturday, November 23, 2013, 2:00 PM San Carlos United Methodist Church 6554 Cowles Mountain Boulevard San Diego, CA 92119

There is an online guest book at:


  • Celebration of Life Saturday, November 23, 2013

Paul E DeKock

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Michele Hintz (LePire)

February 14, 2014

Mr. DeKock was one of the most incredible teachers I ever had. I was in American Studies in 1983-84 at El Cap and even though it's been 30 years (!) I still vividly remember all the role-playing, interactive lessons that he and Mr. Yount taught. They were true pioneers and I don't know anyone who took that class that didn't come out of it a changed person. I still have my copy of STEPS and just recently broke it out of the box in the garage for my 10-year-old son who has been struggling with learning to write essays and it has been just as helpful to him as it was to me. BING BANG BONGO! I hope his family knows that even though he has passed on, he is very much a part of thousands of students who he influenced over the years.

Barbara Ernst Eisele

December 13, 2013

Mr. DeKock's American Studies classes helped make my junior year at El Capitan (1963-64) a favorite time. He was ahead of his time. The integration of poetry, novels and drama into U. S. history and English was an amazing teaching method. The warm memories of those wonderful class activities have stayed with me throughout my life. My sincere condolences go to Mrs. DeKock and the DeKock family for your loss.

November 26, 2013

We are very sorry to hear about Paul's passing, and unfortunately did not know about his memorial. Paul will certainly be remembered as a gifted teacher that touched many students lives.
All our sympathy,
Peg, Cindy, Patrick, Douglas Yount

November 23, 2013

"Hi Lois, My prayers go out to you and your family. May God continue to comfort each of you." Blessings, Daylon Gamble (San Diego, Ca)

Dana James

November 23, 2013

Lois - I am so sorry for your loss. I will be there to celebrate Paul's life with you. My thoughts, love, hugs, and prayers are with you....
Love you much,
Dana James

Ronald Bronk

November 23, 2013

Paul DeKock has died.
Place the western stars
side by side
To light his way
On this November night.

Oh prince of passion!
No more to go a roving
Over the roiling seas.

You introduced us to Max Lerner,
America as a Civilization,
The divinity of each.
You embodied the love affair
With our country.

You too sang America,
Introducing us
To "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd"
A fragrance I knew not.
Oh Paul, I know of lilacs now.

How best to remember him?
Carry his passion for learning,
Sprigs of lilacs, pictures of Thoreau,
Emerson, Whitman -
Decorate the house!
Water from Walden too!
Paul, for all you gave, thank you.

Joy G

November 23, 2013

I'm so sorry I can not be there with you for Paul's Celebration of Life. My condolences and prayers go out to you and your family.


Joel Craddock

November 21, 2013

This is Joel Craddock from the Glenner Center group. I was so sorry to learn of Paul's passing. Just wanted you to know that I'm thinking of you. I can only imagine what a difficult time this is for you but please know that there are many of us sending you good thoughts for strength and healing.

I am so very sorry for your loss.


Kristie (Kundrat) Kauffman

November 21, 2013

So sorry for your loss. I was a student of his at El Capitan. Loved him as a teacher. Remember and share stories with my children often. Thank you for being such an inspiring teacher, Mr. Dekock. Peace be with you and your family.

Tracey Alvernaz

November 19, 2013

Lois and family,
We are so terribly sorry. We love you and are praying for you as well. He was a special man and my favorite teacher. I send special thoughts and love of healing as well.
Tracey and Rich Alvernaz