Our dear Friend, Alfred Hoge, age 89, passed away on Wednesday, October 3, 2012. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Marian, son Patrick Hoge and wife Brenda; daughters Marta Franklin and husband Kirby; and Terry Teale, and husband John. He is also survived by six grandchildren and three great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his children, Linn Hoge 7, and Michael Hoge, 5, both of whom died in 1952 of polio. Al was also preceded in death by his parents and all of his siblings.
Al was born May 28, 1923, in Springville, Iowa, the fifth child of six of Arthur and Evalina Hoge. The family were members of Whittier, Iowa Conservative Friends Meeting, all living and working on the family farm. Al’s father was the oldest of four brothers that all married and raised families within easy distance of one another. The brothers, sisters and cousins provided a warm and lively social life. Al’s children are grateful that he carried that importance of family with him all his life and encouraged the next generation to get together often enough that all the children would know one another. There were memorable annual family trips to Vallecito Lake in Colorado, the mountains of Ruidoso or other southwestern destinations.
After Al graduated from high school in Iowa in 1941, he went to live with his oldest brother and his wife, Harold and Ruth Hoge in Washington, DC. He was not drafted into the war effort due to a hearing loss from a chronic childhood illness. In Washington he attended the Florida Avenue Friends Meeting and there he met Marian Bradley Hussey, a young woman new to Quakers. They were married on October 21, 1944. In 1948 Marian and Al moved from Bethesda Maryland to Albuquerque, New Mexico, for Al to begin his 38 year career at Sandia National Laboratory. Marian and Al made Albuquerque their home for 64 years.
Al, along with Marian, was an early attender and founding member of the Albuquerque Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. Over the years the family were pillars of the meeting, through moves, investing in and caring for property, raising children, worship sharing, yearly and regional meetings. They were key people in every activity of the Meeting. Al was a quiet, steady, positive member that all could count on. He always saw things that needed to be done around the building and did them with little fanfare. He took an interest in people as individuals; always treating each person with kindness and respect. New people as they got acquainted with Meeting members always felt comfortable with him. One young Friend who grew up in Meeting said, “I can’t remember Meeting without Al and Marian. He had a gentle kindness. They were different from the other Quakers—they looked straight, not furry. Marian brought normal American cooking type dishes to potlucks.”
One lifelong interest of Al’s, perhaps starting with his farming background, was gardening. His children remember him growing summer squash and tomatoes every year in his garden at home and at times being called out to the tomato garden to help identify which tomatoes were ready to pick. He couldn’t always tell because he had red/green color blindness. Children who grew up in Meeting during the 80’s remember the delicious strawberries, carrots and tomatoes that he grew behind the Meeting House. Al enjoyed fresh picked and home-cooked food. He had an apple peeler and cherry pitter to help handle all the fruit that would come with big harvests. He assisted with making apple sauce, apple pie and apple leather and pitted the sour cherries from the backyard for Marian to make into preserves or pies. His love of dessert was well known. At Meeting he sometimes put forth, with a chuckle, the hope for a potluck that turned out to be all dessert—a dream that on one occasion actually came true.
Al was a creator of things, an inventor, a tinkerer. Through work he held two patents on mechanical inventions he designed. At home he had his own shop filled with tools, a metal lathe and all the items he could scrounge that would likely come in handy some day for whatever he was making. Over the years, Al fashioned all sorts of solutions for any challenges he observed around him. At Meeting he served on Building and Grounds for years and whether it was the light in the parking lot, the heating, the swamp coolers or moving a piano down a narrow curving staircase, he quietly came up with unique solutions to the varied problems that arose. He used his inventor/engineering mind to help in his gardening by creating a composting machine: a giant cylinder to fill with compostable materials that allowed an easy way to turn the materials, allowing oxygen to reach all parts. He built several of these, improving them each time, and at least one of them has ended up with a family of Meeting gardeners.
We will all miss this honest, kind, humorous, positive man. His gentle light brightened the Albuquerque Friends’ community for many years. The world could do well with more like him.