ALBANY – Francis P. Hodge passed away peacefully on the morning of November 5, 2018, at The Teresian House in Albany, NY. He was born on June 16, 1931 in Massena, NY to Lawrence and Pauline (Setty) Hodge. From an early age, he loved books and they would take center stage in the entire odyssey of his life. Frank graduated from the Albany Teachers College and accepted a teaching position in Gouverneur, NY at the behest of his grandmother who knew he would be a natural. Frank thought he’d give it a quick go. In fact, he didn’t unpack his suitcase but planned to show up for the day and head back to Albany that evening. Needless to say, Frank fell in love with teaching, unpacked that night and stayed for years building a legacy of memories with his students.
Eventually Frank took advantage of a Ford Foundation Scholarship to study Children’s Literature at Cornell University where he became the world’s leading expert on the genre. Frank returned to SUNY @ Albany where he worked as a beloved professor in the Education/Reading Department until he retired.
Frank is best known for the little children’s bookstore he opened at 272 Lark Street. Hodge-Podge Books was an icon in the world of children’s books for decades. Frank envisioned a world where readers and authors and teachers and children could come together and celebrate stories and for many years, Frank would arrange his “Let The Reading Begin” and other conferences to do just that. Frank’s friendships gave him immeasurable joy and he marveled at the writing and teaching talents of those individuals with whom he shared this common love. So many of us will continue to cherish memories our time with Frank and his wicked sense of humor.
Frank believed that children’s authors and teachers were the rock stars of education and he made it his mission to celebrate them as such. Frank traveled the Northeast sharing the authors and the books he loved. Anyone who had the pleasure of listening to Frank read truly knows the passion he brought to his calling. One cannot begin to imagine the impact that Frank’s journey has had on bringing the love of story to children, young and old!
Even now Frank continues to teach as he has made of himself, an anatomical gift to Albany Medical College. We are grateful to The Teresian House for their tenderness, their devotion and their steadfast, professional care. Please celebrate Frank’s memory by sharing the magic of a book with a new reader. In lieu of flowers, please send any donations, in Frank’s name, to Grassroots Givers c/o Mary Partridge-Brown at PO Box 84, Delmar, NY, 12054. To leave a message of condolence, please visit www.HansFuneralHome.com.
I will continue to embrace all the wonderful memories I have of the so very little time we had together. Frank by far was my most favorite Uncle and I look forward to meeting up with him and Grandama Pauline in God’s beautiful Kingdom someday.
My condolence to Frank’s family. I owe my career as an educator to him. He was a mentor who encouraged me to return to the field. I was fortunate to work with him at the store and at his conferences. Rest In Peace.
I loved Hodge podge and rued the day it closed. I did not know him well but wished i had. Sympathy to friends and family
When I first started teaching, I was privileged to have met Frank Hodge while taking graduate classes, He was such an inspiration and to this day (many years into my retirement), I still have a fascination for children’s literature. I loved visiting his book store and listening to him . I will always carry such fond memories of Frank. May he rest in peace, surrounded by children’s books!
Frank Hodge and Hodge Podge Books were a true treasure.
Frank was an incredible supporter of authors and educators. The years of my life spent with Frank and Joan at Hodge Podge will always be remembered and treasured!
I just read of Frank’s passing and would like to share condolences with his family. He was my teacher in SUNYA’s Reading Department in 1975 and from that time continued to be an inspiration to me as I continued my along my path as a Reading Teacher in the Amsterdam school district. I have often thought back to Frank’s encouraging words to me as I became enthralled with the genre of children’s literature. He introduced us to authors who were widely known at that time. They came to our class to share time and were an inspiration. I recall meeting Isabelle Holland who wrote The Man Without A Face which was later turned into a screen play that became a major film. The story spoke to issues of social consciousness in a way that we knew would be current for many years to come. I am now in retirement but it goes without saying that Frank had a great impact on all of those who passed through his class. Even now I am thankful for having had that experience over forty years ago.
I just saw this notice that Frank has passed. He was a very special person to me, I first met Frank when I was a children’s book specialist at Koen Books. He was my customer but soon became a dear friend! We had so many great discussions on books! He had a way of picking out the best books to recommend. I suggested to him a few he didn’t know, but overall it was I who learned from him! He always invited me to his conferences in Albany NY and a few I was able to make – one year with two of my children.! I met such great authors there – the experience was so special to me – the stories I learned there I still share with my grandchildren! Frank was a very unique person who cared very deeply for people and always challenged people to be a better person. His humor was hilarious! He always was tricking me into believing something just to here him smirking over the telephone line! He used to write to me even after Koen closed just to keep in touch.
I eventually lost contact with him, and I figured it was failing health. He will be missed for sure! By for now Frank from Miss Cherry Hill! Love you!
I just learned of Frank Hodge’s passing and it was sad news. I was moving my office of 50 years at Yale and some old
correspondences rose up, one from Frank that I had never answered from years ago. I sat down immediately and tried
to email him with an answer. He had described his bookshop in Albany, NY. in that letter. My email was returned and soon I found an obituary on the web.
Frank and I were friends in high school (Massena, NY) 1946-51. After this we lost touch. He went into children’s
literature and I into Biology. We both ended up in academia, he in Albany and me in New Haven, Ct. I remember Frank
from high school as always having a smile and a great sense of humor. I also knew his brother Larry.
Rest in peace, Frank. You are remembered most kindly.