Retired Instructor Returns for Book Signing

Tim Gocke
Retired Terra State instructor Tim Gocke

Tim Gocke, a retired Terra State instructor, has certainly been busy in his retirement. He went from college instructor to published author, finishing three books since 2018.

Gocke will share his writing success with Terra State students, employees and the greater community during a book signing later this month.

Born and raised in West Virginia, Gocke graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelor of Science in business administration and a Master of Science in labor relations. He also played basketball for one year for the Mountaineers, as a walk on.

Between his degrees, he was drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War, where he was a finance and payroll specialist for the 9th Infantry Division. After the war and back on American soil, he spent some time in restaurant management before going to graduate school. His career led him into labor relations before becoming an instructor for the rest of his career, spending time at Marshall University, Eastern Kentucky University and Terra State, teaching business management at all three institutions.

Gocke spent 24 years at Terra State before retiring in 2011. His time at Terra State served him well, being recognized as Teacher of the Year, awarded “Who’s Who” among college professors four times and was nominated for Community College Teacher of the Year in Ohio. 

“I decided to teach at the community college level when I chose Terra State because two-year colleges use a much more hands-on and practical approach to student learning,” Gocke said, “I really enjoyed teaching and challenging each student knowing I was truly helping them at the higher education level either to find a better career or choosing to go on to receive a four-year degree at a college of their choosing.”

He currently lives in Fremont with his wife, Mary. They have a daughter, Molly, and a son, Tim Jr. Now, with more free time after retiring, Gocke has found a new enjoyment in writing as he released his third book at the end of 2019.

His first book, Number Twelve Son: An Outside Shot, is a memoir that was born out of a life-or-death experience, when he had his pancreas removed because of chronic pancreatitis throughout his life.

“That ordeal and the fact that there many interesting things that happened in my life led to the memoir after retirement when I was feeling better in 2018,” Gocke said.

His second book, The List: Shooting for Another New Old, shares stories from his 50th high school class reunion and was written to bring his classmates closer together in their later years.

Gocke’s newest addition to his portfolio of published pieces, At the Very Heart and Soul: A Common-Sense Guide to Appreciation and Gratitude for Couple Relationships, aims to provide practical answers to common issues that long-term relationships may face.

“I wrote this book because of my background in human relations and from my experiences and others as well as research on the topic,” Gocke said, “Since I have been married almost 43 years, I thought my down-to-earth advice using practical application exercises at the end of each chapter might be valuable to those couples in long-term relationships. We all have lost the true meaning of appreciation and gratitude in relationships particularly over the long-term.”

He is certainly enjoying his newfound career as recognized author. At the Very Heart and Soul was recognized as a finalist in the 14th annual National Indie Excellence Awards and the Best Book Awards, sponsored by American Book Fest.

Gocke will be signing his latest book on Tuesday, Sept. 28 from 1 – 3 p.m. in the Building B Atrium. His most recent book will be sold in the Titan Shop on Terra State’s campus, as well as with his other offerings at Amazon or wherever books are sold.

He will also be facilitating a six-week course this spring through the Kern Center for couples, utilizing At the Very Heart and Soul to focus on appreciation and gratitude for successful long-term relationships.

Gocke visited campus prior to his book signing and a wave of emotion and memories came flooding back. It’s safe to say he’s excited to talk with students and discuss his book, providing an impact once again.

“I had not been back to Terra State since I retired in 2011 so it was quite emotional to return to my college where I taught students for 24 years,” Gocke said, “I did see a few of those employees I worked with during my employment. We laughed a lot about the old times and those who I did not know were so welcoming during my visits over there to set up the book signing. The family feeling hasn't changed since I was there.