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Dave Olson, Published August 12 2010

North grad, Trollwood alum killed in crash

Lisa Farnham remembered her friend Jay Bock on Wednesday as “a big teddy bear of a guy” who made his friends laugh, smile and feel good.

Farnham, the marketing coordinator for the Trollwood Performing Arts School, last saw Bock in July, when the 48-year-old rode his beloved motorcycle from his home in Omaha, Neb., to Fargo for the 30-year reunion of Fargo North High School’s class of 1980.

“It was great. A lot of people got a chance to see Jay,” Farnham said.

On Monday evening, Bock was returning home from his annual pilgrimage to the motorcycle rally in Sturgis, S.D., when he and three companions were killed after their bikes collided with a pickup truck near Little Sioux, Iowa.

The four motorcyclists were southbound on a stretch of Interstate 29 undergoing repairs when the pickup, which was heading north through the construction zone, crossed the center line into the path of the motorcycles, a spokeswoman for the Iowa State Patrol told the Omaha World-Herald.

The driver of the pickup, identified as Andrew D. Schlichtemeier, 21, of Murray, Neb., was treated and released from a hospital in Onawa, Iowa.

The crash is under investigation and it may be weeks before authorities determine whether or not charges will be filed in the case, the Iowa State Patrol told the Omaha World-Herald.

Bock, who moved to Omaha with his family in the early 1980s, was the general manager of M’s Pub, a restaurant in Omaha.

Farnham said she attended Fargo North with Bock and participated with him in the early days of the Trollwood program.

She said Bock was part of Trollwood from 1978 to 1980.

“He was one of the first students out at the Trollwood Performing Arts School,” said Farnham, adding that Bock helped build the set for Trollwood’s early “Wizard of Oz” production.

Bock was “also one of the first casualties” at Trollwood, she added.

“He was testing the zip line for the flying monkeys and the zip line collapsed. Jay broke his elbow,” Farnham recalled.

“He was just a terrific friend,” she said. “He was always willing to do anything you asked.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555