Kiwi: The Bird Not the Fruit, Remembrances of Prudence Hockley

The slain Woodinville High School teacher will be remembered for her devotion to her students, her insights as a friend and her love of life.


The on Christmas Day brought out stories from friends and colleagues about Prudence the person, the colleague, the friend. 

Hockley, a New Zealand native, loved Kiwis and was very quick to let you know she meant the bird, not the fruit, according to Anna Berlin, a former student who created the memorial Facebook page for Hockley, you can read it here.

Hockley was, by all accounts, a vivacious woman with a large heart, always there to support others when they needed a hug or a joke. She was no pushover in the classroom but made learning English literature seem so interesting and fun, that even students who got poor grades from her, still rated her one of the best teachers they had.

Here are remembrances of Hockley sent to Patch:

Anna Berlin:

“Moments that ring very clear to me are as the following:

  • Whenever we would go down the library as a class, Hockley would always say we were going to "Monroe" Because of how far her classroom was from the library.
  •  There were several times in class where we had to act like a certain type of tree in order to answer a question.
  • One day I came into class wearing the same shirt as her. She made a joke about how I had a wonderful taste in clothing.
  • Hockley ingrained Into The Wild into us. I will never forget that book.
  • Hockley always greeted people with open arms and a smile.The day I returned to school after my father had died; Hockley greeted me by giving me a big hug, and kissing me on the forehead.
  • I remember Hockley calling us "kidlets"
  • Hockley told us many stories of her cat "kiwi"
  • Kiwi was hockley's thing. She loved Kiwi's. And she was always very clear about making sure she was talking about the bird "NOT THE FRUIT"

Her beauty shined through her in every way. Whether it be in her teaching, rambling on and on about whichever book we were reading. Or in her style, piercings, tattoos, high heels and all. Hockley was like no other person, teacher, friend, mother I knew. What was most important to her was being herself, and teaching those around her to do the same."

Julia Amodt:

“I am a former student from Woodinville High School. I graduated in 2006 and am now an employee for the Northshore School District. Prudence Hockley was my teacher from 2005-2006 and then coworker/supervisor from 2008-2011, but most importantly she was a dear friend and a woman I looked up to. When a mutual friend called to tell me the news about Prudence I was devastated.

Prudence was a force to be reckoned with. She was an absolute delight and truly invested herself in her students and their studies. She pushed her students to achieve more than they thought they were capable of, while still recognizing the struggle that comes with adolescence. When she found out that I was interested in creative writing and realized I was fairly decent, she pushed me to pursue that path and we became close through mutual interests. I remember telling her about a writing rut and her response was "If you don't continue writing I will hunt you down." Once, while discussing my college plan, she offered her home to me and said that if I needed a place to stay I could come live with her. I never needed to go that route but I always felt at ease knowing I had a landing pad somewhere safe.

I graduated from the University of Washington in June 2010 with a BA in English with Creative Writing emphasis and felt that Prudence had played a part in what I had accomplished. She was consistently used as a reference and I was lucky enough to have worked with her after High School correcting stacks of Macbeth essays. I am applying to SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) for Fall 2012 to get my MFA in Writing and I had hoped to tell Prudence in person once I was accepted. I had always imagined thanking her with a grand gesture once I achieved something worthy of her praise. She took me under her wing, and though she was two inches shorter than me, I really looked up to her.

Knowing that she is gone is heartbreaking. In my mind she was invincible. I don't feel that one email could ever do her justice but I wanted to share my story about this dynamic woman. So many people were influenced by Prudence. From the continuous Facebook comments about how loved she was to the numerous texts and phone calls asking about a possible memorial it is obvious that we have lost a wonderful teacher, mother, mentor and friend. Thank you Prudence for believing in us."

Claire Horn:

"First, I was Prudence's daughter's preschool teacher. Prudence was my favorite parent I EVER had. She loved her daughter so much, and fostered creativity with her in so many different ways. She also brought something fantastic out in me. It’s as if everyone she met, she taught them something, or made them think differently about something. She had this energy that was contagious.

Then, I was her roommate. She had a basement apartment that I rented. Her house always smelled good; there were beautiful colors everywhere, and wonderful books filling the bookcases. She had a garden that she spent a lot of time working on while her daughter played in the yard. 

Then, I was her daughter's first soccer coach. It was so fun to see what Prudence would wear to every game. She loved bright colors, she had really cool tattoos, and her hair was always a different color, and a different style. 

Then, she was a neighbor. I would see her out gardening in her yard, and she would show us her new back deck that she would lay out on and read. I would run into her at Greenlake where she ran fast, and I would have quick conversations with her before she ran off again. I will miss the color and spark she brought to everybody around her."

Anyone who would like to add their stories of Prudence Hockley can be add them in the comments box below. Photos can also be upload to this story.

Annie Archer December 30, 2011 at 05:25 AM
From an email to Patch: Hi, my name is Julia Weidner. I was one of Ms. Hockley's students a couple years ago. I saw this on her facebook memorial page and I wanted to send something to all three of you. I am devastated by Ms. Hockley's death. It's so hard to believe that a strong, healthy woman can die just like that. I saw her only a week before Christmas Eve. Because of Ms. Hockley, I was able to get into Seattle University. I always trusted her and she made me the writer I am today. She wrote an incredible letter of recommendation and supported me all the way through my application process. My strongest memory of Ms. Hockley is during my high school graduation ceremony. After receiving my diploma and as I was walking back to my seat, I heard a loud cheer from the staff section. I looked to see Ms. Hockley standing and applauding loudly with great gusto as I held up my diploma. I will always remember Ms. Hockely's spirit and sense of humor. She is, without a doubt, one of the adults I looked up to (and will continue to look up to) the most.
christine donoghue January 03, 2012 at 10:42 AM
Dear Prudence..Your spirit has long arrived in the forests of New-Zealand and You will be able to walk Your beloved tracks along with Your Kiwi Birds forever! Welcome home!


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