By Allison Kozicharow; Edited by Elizabeth Fine
WiRED International’s Board of Directors and volunteers are deeply saddened to note the death of Robert Anthony Hodge, aged 87 on February 6, 2023. As past Board Chair Mr. Hodge provided WiRED with vital leadership on a daily basis and generously underwrote initiatives that enabled WiRED to expand programs globally.
Charlotte Ferretti, Ed.D., R.N., WiRED’s current Board Chair said: “Tony was as engaged as a Board Chair could be with his talents, his time and his treasure! He was a role model for me, always making himself available and providing support. A great loss to his family, the community and WiRED.”
In 2015 Mr. Hodge led an initiative to honor the late Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens to bridge gaps in medical and health education in low-resource areas all over the globe. To launch the program Mr. Hodge established a special fund together with fellow board member Anne Marguerite Stevens, M.D., Ph.D., sister of the former ambassador.
A few years later in 2020 Mr. Hodge funded WiRED’s Community Health Worker (CHW) Program in Peru in loving memory of his beloved wife, Edie L. Hodge, mother of Dick, Jane and Kate. Mr. Hodge’s donation allowed WiRED to begin training 18 CHWs living in isolated parts along the Peruvian Amazon River.
Born April 13, 1935, Mr. Hodge is the retired President of Anthony Hodge & Associates, an executive search firm serving a wide range of industries and organizations. With more than 30 years of experience in the field, much of Mr. Hodge’s work focused on telecommunications, data communications, financial services and consumer products. Prior to forming his own firm, he was a vice president at Korn/Ferry International and a director at SpencerStuart, two world leaders in executive search and selection.
Mr. Hodge began his career at Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corporation and for 13 years worked in international sales and marketing and human resources in Oakland, California and Jamaica, West Indies. He served on the Board of Advisors of San Francisco State University’s College of Business. Mr. Hodge held a degree in political science from Stanford University and served in the United States Marine Corps as an artillery officer.
Mr. Hodge’s Daughters Remember Their Father
“My Dad was so proud of his work and association with WiRED International. He was a man of honor, compassion, intelligence and great humor. He cared deeply about people in the world, his friends, his colleagues, his wife Edie and his children. He was the most amazing father, always supportive and endlessly kind. As his youngest daughter, I will miss him and I will treasure the gift of his love for the rest of my life.”
“I think my Dad’s greatest legacy is his generous spirit and his wit with wisdom. It was always fun to be his daughter. He was never an overbearing or demanding father but instead, led by example, grace and humor. He showed us the importance of hard work and the value of lifelong friendships and loyalty to what you believe in. I was just telling him over the holidays about how I see that same generous spirit in my children…the absolute joy they have in sharing, giving and savoring special people in their lives.”
Tribute to Tony Hodge
by Gary Selnow, Ph.D., WiRED Executive Director
Tony Hodge was a Marine in his early days, a former artillery officer, standing well more than six feet tall, the kind of guy you would like having next to you in a rough situation. And yet, Tony was a gentle and caring soul. He was a Marine and a humanitarian. He had a deep, booming voice, the kind the BBC longs for to read out the evening news.
Tony’s life was about people. He was a professional recruiter who matched up people with jobs that fit their skills and talents. He was a loving father and husband, as his daughters, Kate and Jane, describe elsewhere in this tribute. Tony knew a lot of people, he liked people, and he always had a story ready to describe people he cared about. I got to know a lot of Tony’s friends, even though I never met most of them.
Tony arranged a lot of lunches over the years. We met with his old Marine buddies and some old friends and we met with people who he figured might want to know about WiRED’s work. One time, Tony knew a guy who invited us to a modest lunch in Napa Valley, and who was there but the Oracle for the Dalai Lama. You never knew where Tony’s connections would take you.
Tony gauged the value of our programs by how they helped the people we served. When I first presented the idea of our community health worker (CHW) program, he immediately asked how this program would offer more help to more people than the programs we already had in place. We discussed it at length, and he saw that the CHW program multiplied our impact, allowing one trained CHW to reach thousands of people. Once he saw that, he committed his time and his resources to helping us get the CHW program off the ground and into the field.
Tony had an abiding interest in everything. Our conversations ranged from politics to bike riding, from automobiles to our dogs. He read the Wall Street Journal every day along with a few other publications, and occasionally he would flag an article that interested him. Even though I could access the article online, he insisted on mailing a clipping that he would cut out of the paper. He would send it in an old airmail envelope (he had a left-over supply), even though you can’t really take a plane between Oakland and Montara, about 25 miles away as the crow flies. In our next conversation, I knew he would talk about that article, so I always read line-and-verse of everything he sent.
I’ll miss working with Tony on WiRED’s business, yes, but mostly I’ll miss talking with him. Our conversations were a lot of fun. I didn’t mention his humor, but no tribute to Tony could reasonably end without noting his wit and his sense for the comedy in everyday events. He found fun in absurdity and in people who took themselves too seriously. Tony’s humor, like everything else about him, was good-natured. I’m going to miss that spirit and that gentle Marine who became my friend.