Robert Bock

Photos shared by Robert’s niece.


A Peace Corps volunteer from Virginia was killed in the Philippines late Wednesday during a roadside robbery that also left nine Filipinos dead.

A group of robbers stopped a van carrying Robert J. Bock, 32, of Chincoteague, and the others down a road on the island of Panay, Peace Corps spokesman Brendan Daly said. The robbers shot the passengers and stole their belongings.

Police in the Philippines have told the Peace Corps that they arrested one suspect in the case and that he has implicated his partners. “We anticipate they will be vigorous” in solving the case, Daly said.

Yesterday, friends and family remembered Bock as an intelligent, soft-spoken man who enjoyed traveling, working in biology and helping other people. Those three interests led him to join the Peace Corps in April 1997 as a coastal resource volunteer, after two years on the waiting list. He thought the people of the Philippines could benefit from his aquaculture skills, said an older brother, Frederick Bock.

Robert Bock graduated from Old Dominion University with a biology degree in 1991. He worked for a shellfish farm in Chincoteague and studied the effects of agricultural runoff on water quality for the Virginia Institute of Marine Science before joining the Peace Corps.

Pete Costanzo, manager of Chincoteague Shellfish Farms, said Bock went beyond the call of duty each day he worked and never complained. “He was a gentleman and an extremely hard worker,” Costanzo said.

Bock also did aquaculture work in Alaska, Maine and other parts of the country, his brother said, and he traveled to Tazmania to take part in an animal study with an Old Dominion University biology professor.

He planned to go back to graduate school when he returned from the Peace Corps, Frederick Bock said.

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7 Responses to Robert Bock

  1. Fred August 8, 2023 at 6:22 pm #

    This is a shout out to our friend Bob on this upcoming 25th anniversary from me, Chris (aka Bruce), Scott (aka Pete), and Rod (aka Spuds)! We were Bob’s best friends and roommates in college at ODU. We will always remember the fun hiking, camping, and fishing trips. RIP always!

    • Jennifer Bock August 29, 2023 at 7:01 am #

      This is Bobs niece. Today is Bobs birthday and I’ve been thinking of him so much. I’m very happy to see that others are still thinking of him as well. Let’s all have a beer to celebrate Bob, the man, the myth, the legend!

  2. Megan April 20, 2021 at 9:21 am #

    Bob was killed on my first day in the Philippines, so I never got the chance to meet him. I did visit Apo Island with other volunteers and participate in a memorial for him. This affected me deeply and I think about him and his family from time to time. Rest in Peace.

  3. Cyndi June 25, 2016 at 12:54 pm #

    I was thinking about Bob today, as I have on many many days thru-out my life and I ran across this page, I met Him thru my X-Husband, and Tho I didn’t know Bob well, he made a lasting impression on me. Like I said, I have thought about him often through the years and Infact most of my friends know the story of this young man. The guy that would swing by anytime He was on the The Eastern Shore and fill our house with Excitement for Life and intriguing, almost unbelievable stories. Like Yelling at Kenny Rogers to move his yacht while in Alaska, that is the one I remember most, lol. He truly was the most memorable person I have ever met. And Thank you for the pictures, pic 4 is exactly how I remember him.

  4. Christina Knoell. Group 247 May 31, 2015 at 11:43 pm #

    I met Bob shortly after his training. Super guy! I saw him just about every weekend in Iloilo City. We visited each other’s sites. I was getting ready to go home, after my 2-years. He was just getting started. He struggled a little bit in the beginning. We all did. He was very committed. He was a good friend. Soon after I got back to the states, I found out the news. I was crushed. I will always remember him. I wrote his parents a letter.

  5. Marnee September 27, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    Bob was in my Peace Corps training group and was a big influence on all of us. He was always thoughtful, caring and at the same time ready to get involved, play, have fun and joke around. After I lost my father, Bob was the single person most able to help me get through it. I still miss him dearly.

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