Richard E. Hodges (Inducted 1994)

1928-2021
University of Puget Sound (Emeritus), Fircrest, WA, USA

Biographical Statement

Richard E. (Dick) Hodges November 21, 1928 - February 4, 2021Mountlake Terrace, Washington - Richard E. Hodges, an emeritus professor at the University of Puget Sound, died peacefully at age 92 after years of declining health. Born in Los Angeles to Charles and Helen Hodges, Dick was an only child.Fresh out of high school, he served in the Army's 1st Cavalry Division in Occupied Japan. Upon discharge, Dick was hired as a copy boy at the L.A. Examiner, where his duties included running errands for William Randolph Hearst. Dick entered college on the GI Bill, first studying forestry, then switching to education. After earning joint degrees from Oregon College of Education and Oregon State, he worked as an elementary school teacher and principal near Salem. There he met and married Lois Sorensen. In 1962, the newlyweds moved to Menlo Park, CA and Dick undertook doctoral work at Stanford. Under the supervision of his mentor, Paul Hanna, and with Lois as a research assistant, Dick conducted one of the first computerized analyses of English sound/spelling patterns, a study that informs literacy instruction to this day.After earning his Ed.D. in 1964, Dick headed to the University of Chicago, where he was an Associate Professor of Education until 1975 when he joined the UPS faculty as Dean of the School of Education. He and Lois, with their two children, settled in Fircrest, where they would live for 37 years. At UPS, Dick helped establish the M.A.T. program while continuing to publish influential work in his field. With colleague Ted Harris, he edited The Literacy Dictionary: The Vocabulary of Reading and Writing for the International Literacy Association (ILA). Dick cherished his friends and colleagues at UPS and found great fulfillment in mentoring preservice teachers. Upon retirement in 1994, he was inducted into the ILA's Reading Hall of Fame.As retirees, Dick and Lois traveled extensively overseas and throughout the US, and Dick embarked on a passion project: researching the life and times of London schoolmaster Richard Hodges, author of The English Primrose (1644), one of the earliest guides to English spelling and punctuation.Dick will be sorely missed by his family and friends. A voracious reader and compulsive punster, he adored baseball, fly-fishing, British roadsters (when they were running), jazz, and vanilla ice cream. Above all, he loved his family. Our Dear Old Dad was a thoughtful listener who made a person feel like they'd be able to cope with difficulty, no matter what it was—and he kept us laughing to the end.Dick is survived by his wife of 58 years, Lois; daughter, Susan; son, Charles (Melanie); and grandchildren, Hayley Hodges and Jacob, Liz, and Colin Mallory. To honor Dick, add a new word to your vocabulary. Condolences can be sent to the Neptune Society, 4320 196th St. SW, Lynnwood, WA 98036.Published by News Tribune (Tacoma) on Feb. 14, 2021.