IN MEMORIAM: Richard “Dick” Hoch

by Jane Ahrens

Richard “Dick” Hoch, 75, of Fishers Island, passed away November 15, 2015, at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London.

Dick was the son of Dr. Ralph K. Hoch, the island doctor on Fishers Island for many years, and Ethel Alice Hoch.

Dick was employed for more than 40 years as the freight agent on the island for the Fishers Island Ferry District.

He served three years in the U.S. Navy and earned a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education from SUNY New Paltz. In addition to his position with the Ferry District, Dick coached many youth teams in basketball at the Fishers Island School. He developed an interest in running in his late 30s, and competed in many races of various lengths across the country, including marathons, ultra-marathons, and trail races. In 1983, he ran in the Boston Marathon. He remained competitive into his last year.

He was also a generous contributor throughout his life to many charities and organizations, including the American Friends Service Committee, Amnesty International, the Christian Children’s Fund, the Children’s Defense Fund, Greenpeace, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the United Farm Workers, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, and the Fishers Island Fire Department.

John & Jesse Kelley Road Race, Aug 5, 2012- Connecticut College All American Michael LeDuc captured front page of The Day looking back at 72 year old Dick Hoch giving words of encouragement.
John & Jesse Kelley Road Race, Aug 5, 2012. Connecticut College All-American Michael LeDuc captured front page of The Day looking back at 72 year old Dick Hoch giving words of encouragement.

Dick is survived by three sisters, Barbara E. Hoch of Fishers Island, Carol Ann Peffley of Groton, CT, Susanae Hoch Glovacki of Greenfield, MA; a brother, David Hoch of Fishers Island; and many nieces and nephews, who considered him a grandfather figure. He was considered their biggest fan and supporter.

Donations in his name may be made to the Sea Stretcher Fund, Fishers Island Fire Department, P.O.Box 222, Fishers Island, NY 06390 or at this link Sea Stretcher Fund.

The Memorial Service will be held on Fishers Island on Saturday, December 12 at 1:00 pm at Union Chapel.

Published in The Day on Nov. 18, 2015

Cape Cod Marathon November 17, 1985. Photo by Radiant Photography
Cape Cod Marathon November 17, 1985. Photo by Radiant Photography

Dick’s nephew Tim Hoch recently wrote, “Richard “Dick” Hoch, 75- A runner, an independent man, a symbol of unmatched fortitude, the epitome of amazing, a family man, an iconic figure, ran more than you’ve got totaled on your car, an adherent believer in “never give up”, devoted, regimented, prodigious, auspicious, friendly, an eidetic memory, unplugs your clock to save money, a companion, a best friend, and best of all an uncle…

He’s my number one fan and that will never change. Where to find him, corner of the gymnasium, unrecognized but always there. God that meant the world to me. You may be gone but you’re never over. R.I.P. Dick Hoch.

See ya this weekend, I’m playing these games for you!”

As Dick would say, “If you don’t follow your dreams, you might as well be a turnip.”

Featured Photo

USCG Eagle passing the Race early morning March 18, 2023 on her return from the Chesapeake Bay . Photo Credit Marlin Bloethe

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