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JP Shock dies at 87


Cleddie Shock, a retired Pine Bluff police chief and veteran member of the Jefferson County Quorum Court, died Saturday. He was 87.

“I always called him Chief and he and I go way back,” County Judge Mike Holcomb said Monday. “When I was a young man he was one of my mentors and he actually hired me one time but I had always wanted to be sheriff’s deputy and went to work with the sheriff’s department.”

Shock worked for the police department for 23 years, including serving as chief from October 1973 to July 1977.

“He and I were just a few weeks apart in age,” said retired police chief Joe Thomas, 87. “He went from sergeant to assistant chief and bypassed the other ranks.”

“From the dealings I had with him, he was a good guy and a good chief,” Thomas said.

Shock served seven terms on the quorum court, and for many of those years ran unopposed.

“If he ran, nobody ran against him because folks in this district knew him so well,” Shock’s son, Chuck, said.

Because of health issues, Shock did not seek another term on the quorum court this year.

“Until he got sick, he was one of the leaders of the quorum court,” Holcomb said. “He always studied his packet and was prepared and he supported the county judge. Not just me, but the judge before me.”

After Shock retired from the police department, he worked for the Arkansas Division of Youth Services as director of security at the former Boys Training School in Pine Bluff and was a former constable of Vaugine Township.

“He was a public servant his entire life,” Shock’s daughter, Dianne Vilches, said.

She said Shock played golf “when ever the weather was good,” and recorded a hole-in-one in 2006 when he was 81 years old at the Jaycees Golf Course.

“That made the newspaper,” Vilches said. “It was 125 yards on the 18th hole. He was a good golfer and won some tournaments.”

When Shock’s health began to fail, she said he would still go to the golf course and hang out with some of the regulars, playing dominoes and riding around on a golf cart.

“When I was a teen, I played golf with him a lot but then I had to go to work to make car payments so we didn’t get to play as often,” Chuck Shock said. “He was also an avid deer hunter. He had been a member of the Six Point Hunting Club in Monticello since 1971 and was very successful, usually killing one or two a year.”

Shock and his wife, Margaret, were married for 66 years.

“He loved his family, and he loved his dog Benji,” Vilches said.

Funeral services for Shock will be Wednesday at 10 a.m. at Cranford Funeral Home with visitation Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m.

“This was a great loss for Jefferson County,” Holcomb said. “He had a lot of friends and was well respected and I know those people hate to give him up.”

It will be up to Gov. Mike Beebe to appoint a replacement for Shock to serve on the quorum court until the end of the year.

Democrat Verdell Baker and Republican Roy Agee are both running for the seat and the winner will take office Jan. 1.