Judge Hocker was born on November 21, 1952 to Donald B. (Jack) and Allene C. Hocker in Waltham, Massachusetts. Being in a military family, he lived in many places across the country but settled in Laurens, South Carolina at the age of twelve when his father retired from the Air Force. He has been married to Gayle Lindler Hocker since July 17, 1976 and he has two grown children, a son and daughter.
He graduated from Laurens High School in 1971 where he was active in sports and served as Class President. He went to Clemson University where he earned a BA in Psychology, cum laude, in 1975 and a MEd. in Counseling in 1976. He was a member of Kappa Alpha Order Fraternity and currently is a member of the Court of Honor for Kappa Alpha.
Judge Hocker worked for the Laurens County Family Court for two years prior to attending law school. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law in December 1980 and was admitted to the South Carolina Bar on May 14, 1981. While in law school, he was a member of Wig and Robe and the Moot Court Board. He is also admitted to the South Carolina Federal District Court and in 1994, he obtained admission to the United States Supreme Court.
He opened his law practice in Laurens on May 15, 1981 and was a solo general law practitioner since that time. He served as Associate Probate Judge for Laurens County since March of 1984 and was routinely appointed by the South Carolina Supreme Court to preside over Probate cases across the state.
Judge Hocker was counsel to the City of Laurens Commission of Public Works for nineteen years and he represented The Palmetto Bank for many years.
He formerly served as Troop Committee Chairman for Boy Scout Troop 339 in Laurens and is a Christian and very active in the First United Methodist Church of Laurens having served as Chairman of Church Council and Sunday School Teacher. He is also a certified Lay Speaker in the Methodist Church.
Judge Hocker enjoys attending Clemson sporting events, barbequing, and reading.
Judge Hocker was elected to the Circuit Court At-Large Seat 16 on January 30, 2013.