- Published on Wednesday, 15 January 2014 00:01
- Written by Los Altos Town Crier Staff
April 18, 1925 – January 6, 2014
Fred Hodge, a resident of Palo Alto for 44 years, died on January 6th at the age of 88 of congestive heart failure. He had been living at The Forum in Cupertino for the last 3 years, where he was known as "everyone's helper" - running errands for other residents with his Nissan truck. His kindness will be missed by everyone who knew him.
Fred was born in Los Angeles, CA, in 1925 to Eleanor and Frank Hodge, and graduated from L.A. High School as the war was breaking out. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in June 1943, and was trained as a Bombadier on B-24's. He married his high school sweetheart, Eileen Holland, in February 1945. When the war ended they moved to Berkeley to attend the University of California; he graduating in Civil Engineering in January 1950. They always chuckled at being the Beta house fraternity "chaperones" (at 20 years of age), just because they were married! Fred played football while at CAL, being one of "Pappy's Boys," and maintained these CAL-Beta-Pappy’s Boys associations into his eighties.
Returning to live closer to their families in Southern California after college, he and Eileen raised their 3 children: Brady, Linley (“Twinkie”) and Kerry in Palos Verdes from 1956-1965, and while there Fred earned his MBA from USC. He then transferred with the FMC Corporation to Palo Alto where he was VP of Sales for Southeast Asia, making routine trips to Asia-Pacific, sometimes accompanied by his wife. Fred and Eileen were active members of Foothills Tennis Club in Palo Alto, enjoying many years playing tennis and taking bicycle trips with friends. A life-long active sportsman, Fred's love of fishing & back-packing in the Rockies, skiing all rugged terrain, scuba-diving the different oceans, and tennis around the world with People-to-People Tennis Tours allowed him the opportunity "to meet the greatest people who appreciate the beauty of this magnificent planet!"
After retirement, Fred spent his life volunteering, and for many years traveled to foreign countries with the International Executive Service Corps, offering his business expertise to companies in developing countries. He was an honorary Camp Counselor at the USC Wrigley Family Science Camp on Catalina Island, until he was 83, guiding the night snorkeling dives for all the families, and soon also became appreciated as the camp's "fix-it" guy. Fixing anything broken was driven by his engineering skill, and his workbench in his garage was always his "happy place!" He believed volunteering was his life calling, and he continued his service while at The Forum, making trips to The Goodwill or Ecumenical Hunger with truckloads of donations for other Forum residents. The beneficiaries and donors were all his pals.
A great joy for "Grandpa Freddie" was watching his grandchildren play their different sports at St. Francis High School, and he could always be seen on the court or field or track between 1996-2009. He became a favorite fan of each team, and will be remembered for his devotion to his six grandchildren (and their teammates): Chase ('00), Colby ('03) & Carter ('09) Lyman, and Kelly ('02), Bo ('06) & CJ ('09) Thede.
Fred was predeceased by his wife of 57 years, Eileen, in 2003, and is survived by his 3 children: Brady Hodge of S. Lake Tahoe, Linley ('Twinkie') and Brad Lyman of Los Altos Hills, and Kerry Thede of Los Altos, his 6 grandchildren, sister Ann Hodge Magnuson of Santa Rosa, and many nieces and nephews.
Private family services will be held at his favorite body-surfing beach, San Clemente, in early April - timed with the arrival of his 2nd great-grandchild, to honor his belief that the Circle of Life is one of God's great gifts.
In lieu of flowers, donations could be made in his name to the YMCA of Silicon Valley, c/o Tony Ganger, Chief Development Officer, 80 Saratoga Avenue, Santa Clara, California 95051. The YMCA was a significant influence on Fred in his early years and he continued to value their commitment to strengthening individuals, families and communities.