Richard Hodge, 82, a Rotarian for literally half his life and a tireless worker on behalf of the District 7190 Gift of Life, has died after a years-long battle with cancer.
During his 41 years as a Rotarian, Rich became known for his energetic efforts in public service at the club, regional, and global levels. He was a board member of the Colonie-Guilderland club, and a past president of the former Latham club. Over the years he served in numerous board positions with GOL, including president.
He also was active with other community organizations. For example, he was an active board member of the Colonie Youth Center for a number of years.
We will pass along any other details as they become available.
Fellow Rotarian Denise DiNoto shares this anecdote in remembrance of Rich:
“When the former Latham Rotary Club merged with Colonie-Guilderland, I served as president-elect for the first year of the new club. The first time I met Richard, I thought, ‘Oh, he doesn’t like me and doesn’t think I can do this job.’ I was so wrong! Richard became a dear friend, someone who always told me he believed in me. He was a person I could always trust to give me his honest thoughts and opinions.
“He came to visit me when I was in the hospital, and offered to do errands for me while I was recuperating — while he was going through his own health struggles. He was dedicated, caring, and FUN! I wish I had known him in his younger years — marching for civil rights, driving race cars, and bungee jumping.
“The Richard story that still makes me laugh involves Rotary, of course. I ordered a fleece Rotary vest from Dawn Vavala just before I broke my leg. The order came in while I was still out of commission and not attending meetings. Richard was ‘volunteered’ to bring me my vest, but …. not knowing he was supposed to, I just bought a new one from Dawn. A few months later, he asked Dawn why he had a woman’s vest. Richard had been wearing mine all that time!
“Thank you, Richard, for reminding me to laugh through difficult times, to find fun in everything, and to always do for others whenever you have the energy to do so.”