Deceased November 7, 2018
Tab Hodge died peacefully at age 82, surrounded by family, after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s. (Though he used the name “Arch” in his later years, we at Amherst knew him as “Tab”.) He is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Suzanne, their two married sons (Jay and Edgar) and married daughter (Laura), as well as their seven grandchildren (one of these, Christopher Hodge ’17).
Tab came to Amherst from Honeoye Falls, N.Y., near Rochester. At Amherst, he majored in biology and pledged Phi Delta Sigma fraternity, where he served as vice president. As a freshman, he earned a letter in track. He managed the squash team, was a leader in the band and was on the executive committee of the Amherst College Automobile Association. Junior year, he married his Monroe High School sweetheart, Suzanne Quinlan. Although he was born into a Christian but not Catholic family, Suzanne’s faith was so important to her that he gladly converted to Catholicism, and they were married in the Catholic Church in Amherst and moved into a nearby apartment above a clothing store across from the firehouse, for the rest of their time at Amherst. (After the children were nearly grown up, Suzie got a degree from Harvard Divinity School.) In college Tab delighted in sports car racing (without his parent’s knowledge), fueled by his competitive nature.
At the Class of ’58 15th reunion, Tab wrote: “Relative to work, I still cannot believe I got to exactly where I wanted to be, and I think a lot about the role that luck and/or coincidence played in my career.” After graduation, Tab enrolled in the University of Rochester Medical School. (His father had been a distinguished professor at the university.) In his third year, a chance meeting with an orthodontist inspired him to change to orthodontics as a career. He transferred to the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, receiving his D.M.D. in 1964. He continued auto racing and rallies with his H-class Sprite car. In 1966, after postdoctoral work at the Boston University School of Dental Medicine, Tab opened his private practice, Scituate Orthodontics, Inc. in Scituate, Mass., where he also raced sailboats on Buzzards Bay and participated in tennis tournaments. He maintained his practice in Scituate for almost three decades before turning it over to his elder son Jay in 1994, who continues it now.
In Tab’s practice of orthodontics, his talents and genuine concern for patients brought joy to many families—when the braces came off, the new smile often brought with it a positive transformation in outlook. Tab and son Jay shared much while continuing the practice; Jay describes him as a strong family man and a role model of how not only to serve patients but how to run a small business.
Before and after retirement, Tab and Suzie traveled often: to the Caribbean as well as to Europe, including Ireland, and then followed the path of St. Paul along the route to Santiago de Compostela. They had a safari in Kenya and even went to Nepal. Wherever they were, they tried to end the day together with family and friends, admiring the beauty of the sunset. In 1982, Tab wrote: “Suzie and I have found that adventure and discovery slow the onrush of time. Travel never becomes routine. Finding secret anchorages, deserted beaches, new reefs to snorkel, different cultures with their food and market places is very exciting and challenging for us.” A well-lived life with strong family bonds. He will be greatly missed.
Win Smith ’58 and Ned Megargee ’58