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.