BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) –John Brock Jr., whose family operated one of Bakersfield’s first upscale department stores and over time became icons in the local business community, has died.

Brock, who was 75 years old, was the grandson of Malcolm Brock, who started Brock’s Department in 1924 after having been part owner of its predecessor, Hochheimer’s. He was the son of the late John Brock Sr., for whom the prestigious John Brock Award is named.

 John Brock Jr. was influential in his own right, as a commercial real estate developer who participated in the construction of hundreds of projects, including East Hills Mall, Kern Health Systems and Bakersfield College Southwest.

For the last three decades of his life, he worked for Bynum Inc. and his friend Greg Bynum.

“We worked day in and day out for 35 years together and never had a cross word one in all that time,” Greg Bynum said. “That ought to tell you what kind of even-keeled kind of personality he was and how he cared about others and others’ feelings. Nobody ever met him that didn’t feel like he was a friend.”

The reigning John Brock award winner is ironically Doctor Ravi Patel of the Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center, who treated John Brock Jr.’s colon cancer over the past year.