April 13, 1934 – October 11, 2020
It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of Herbert Hodess at the age of 86. Herb is survived by his wife of 62 years, Marjorie Ann (Friedman) Hodess, as well as their children David and Robin, and their respective families: Kristen, Lauren and Ethan Hodess, of Los Angeles, California, and Heinz Theres and Daniel and Noah Delfs, of Berlin, Germany. Herb was originally from Massachusetts. A retired periodontist, he spent the last decade full-time in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Herb was one of four children of Louis and Celia (Portnoy) Hodess. Born in Boston, he was the second of three boys -- Bernard (Bud, who died in 2013), Herbie and Paul. Little sister Roberta (Berta) remembers fondly how Herb was the “sensible” brother, the one she could talk to best while growing up in Newton, Massachusetts. All three brothers, while different, were peas in a pod. From their mother Celia, they learned early on that family came first -- and they were there for each other at a moment’s notice. Given his profession, Herb was the one the family leaned on for all things medical. The Hodess brothers raised their families in Massachusetts and Rhode Island and regularly spent holidays together: Herb and Marge normally hosted Passover at their home in Quincy, Paul and Annette offered Thanksgiving in Marion and Bud and Barbara covered Hanukkah festivities on Grandpa Lou’s birthday, which happened to be Christmas Day -- in Boxborough.
Herb was also a beloved son-in-law of Rose and Ben Friedman, and brother-in-law of Bob and Jackie Friedman, Richard (a fellow dentist) and Bonnie Friedman, who lived nearby in Hingham, and Nancy Friedman. Treasured by the “New Jersey” branch of the family, Herb enjoyed the humor and jest that ensued over the Boston versus New York sports rivalries as well as the distinctive accents.
Thanks to Herb and Marge’s efforts, and those of their brothers and sisters, they maintained close and loving family ties—an anchor of their lives together. Both David and Robin are forever grateful for the amazing childhood they had in Quincy, and for all the opportunities their parents gave them through their education and by serving as such good role models.
Nothing brought out more of a glimmer in Herb’s eye than his grandchildren. He was an active, engaged grandfather, who loved taking care of Lauren, Ethan, Daniel and Noah, and finding fun things to do with them, from tennis and swimming to boat trips to zoo visits. He and Marge traveled regularly to California and Germany for family visits, and he loved it when his kids and grandkids visited Florida. Herb was in his element when his grandchildren were around, a caring and careful grandpa whom all his grandchildren cherished for his kindness, positivity and generosity of spirit. Seeing his grandkids immediately brought a smile to his face. He was immensely proud of each one.
An able and enthusiastic athlete, Herb was a regular at Quincy Tennis Club, winning a variety of club tournaments over the years. A keen sailor, he kept a sailboat for many years at Metropolitan Yacht Club in Braintree. Herb loved Wednesdays in summer, when he could run to the club and get out for an afternoon on the water with friends, navigating around the Boston Harbor islands. Once his son David started to learn to ski at an early age, Herb got tired of sitting around watching him and encouraged the whole family to take up the sport. He and his family then spent many years skiing regularly at Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, as part of a lovely community from the Boston area that shared that same weekend passion. In his final decades, Herb discovered golf and was a regular among many friends at Ibis Country Club, often out to tee off at first sunlight.
A highly respected dentist, Herb built and ran his own practice on Furnace Brook Parkway in Quincy and performed surgery at Quincy Hospital. He studied dental medicine at Tufts University and later focused on periodontics at the University of Pennsylvania. He was a captain in the US Army and served as a dentist at Fort Bragg and the Pentagon. He always felt grateful for his dental education and the life it afforded him, and he gave back for many years, teaching pro bono at both Boston University and Tufts Dental Schools.
Herb was also a dedicated member of his community. He was President of Temple Beth El in Quincy for multiple terms and offered his time in other capacities when the temple needed him. He coached in the local softball league for Robin and cooked big breakfasts for David's high school wrestling team after weigh-in. After he moved to Florida, Herb and his wife Marge integrated quickly into their new life at Ibis Country Club and joined in on many activities that retired life offered them, from performing in plays to attending theatre, lectures and concerts. Above all, they made a wonderful set of new friends, who made the past decade more like—as Herb put it—“waking up every day at summer camp.”
If you knew Herb, you knew his kindness was genuine and his joy in family and friends immense. Herb loved his wife Marge with all his heart -- and took care of her lovingly and selflessly following several bouts of ill-health she had experienced in recent years. But Herb offered everyone a gracious smile and friendly hello. He was gentle, thoughtful and a real “mensch.”
We love him so. We will miss him so. May his memory be a blessing.
A funeral will be held with family only due to COVID 19 restrictions.
In lieu of flowers, please donate in Herb’s name to: American Jewish World Service https://act.ajws.org/p2p/Herb-Hodess-ajws-fundraising-campaign
- American Jewish World Service
Services are Private
Marty and Marcia Goldman
October 17, 2020
To add a postscript, the funeral service yesterday was enhanced by Robin and David's wonderful eulogies. Herb, and Marge too, of course, brought up two very special, talented children.
Stay well and safe. We love you.
Marty and Marcia Goldman
October 16, 2020
We spent many joyous occasions with Marge and Herb over the years we were all living in Florida. We so enjoyed Herb's 80th birthday party at the Ibis clubhouse. It was wonderful being with Herb and Marge's family and friends. Herb was in his glory!
Especially memorable also was our trip to Berlin with Herb and Marge to join in celebrating Noah's bar mitzvah with Robin, Heinz (sp?) and their lovely family. They were all so gracious and invited us to join them for every family dinner; we felt so very honored to be a part of this momentous occasion. We were in tears when we heard the sad news of Herb's passing; we will miss him terribly.
Marty and Marcia
Elaine and Alan Bello
October 16, 2020
Dear Robin and David..
We attended the very heartfelt and moving service for your Dad this morning. Both your tributes to him were so right on and sincere. Although we haven’t seen your Mom and Dad for many years, we have so many wonderful memories of times spent with them.. One of our favorite memories from Waterville Valley is your Dad (and only Herb would do this) ‘shlepping’ the family’s skiis from the parking lot to lodge. He got all the other husbands in big trouble. He truly was a special guy. I wish it were under different circumstances, but it was so nice to see you both. Wishing you safe travels home.
Sending virtual hugs....
Elaine and Alan Bello