Eric Hamilton Cocks, born November 29, 1919 in Kiama, New South Wales, Australia, passed away peacefully at Holy Cross Hospital Catholic Hospice in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on February 28, 2018.
Eric attended the Wollongong High School for the Performing Arts and worked during his childhood delivering parcel packages by bicycle and in a family grocery business. At a young age, Eric enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force, where he piloted aircraft for transportation, reconnaissance, and bombing missions in Europe, the Mediterranean, and Southeast Asia during World War II. While in New York on leave from his service as a military pilot, Eric met a Swedish immigrant, Rosa Elizabeth Soderman, who inspired him to join her and eventually immigrate to America. Following his distinguished military service in the war, the two married and started their family.
When Eric immigrated, he initially had a lucrative job offer as a pilot for a major airline. However, he was denied a radio license by a federal agency as a result of his immigrant status, and his civilian pilot job disappeared. Always committed and motivated, Eric subsequently went to work in factory floors, milling sheet metal and enrolling in night classes to develop new skills. After working his way up to plant manager and sales engineer, building prosperity and developing new products for others, he was passed over for a top promotion. In the same spirit he applied throughout his life, he decided to overcome the setback. He boldly decided to go out on his own.
Eric began consulting to manufacturers. He applied solenoid valve technology from World War II aircrafts to the application of precision industrial spray systems, for which he was awarded multiple patents. In 1958, Eric established Spraymation, Inc., a company focused on this specialty, which has provided systems to over 65 countries over the past 60 years. Spraymation continues to successfully operate today in Fort Lauderdale and remains family owned.
In 1998, Eric’s wife passed away. A few years later he and Ayne Zaberer, also recently widowed, became trusted friends and companions who cared deeply for one another for nearly 20 years, and who took great care of each other.
Eric will be remembered as a brave pilot, courageous individual, engineer, inventor, dedicated and hard working person, and a great businessman. He will remain admired and respected as a kind, generous, loyal and true gentleman.
Eric will be dearly missed by his family and Ayne, and by friends, colleagues, and business associates.
Eric is survived by his son, Eric James Cocks, grandson, James Stephen Cocks, granddaughter, Louise Livingston Cocks, and great-grandchildren, William Hamilton Cocks and Clementine Edna Cocks.
On Wednesday, March 7, 2018, a visitation will be held at 1:00 pm and a memorial service at 3:00 p.m., both at Baird-Case Jordan-Fannin Funeral Home, located at 4343 North Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale, 33308
In lieu of flowers, please send all contributions to the Assumption Catholic Church, 2001 South Ocean Blvd., Lauderdale by the Sea, FL., 33334