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Obituaries

RICHARD “DICK” MICHAEL HOCHMAN

Richard M. Hochman passed away on September 26 in Savannah, Georgia at the age of 84.  Richard (Dick) lived a life that stands as a model of love and devotion to family, loyalty to friends, and professional and personal dedication to his patients.  Originally from Trenton, NJ, Dick lived most of his life in Yardley, PA, where he practiced dentistry for 38 years, before retiring to Savannah in 2005, with Joanne, his wife of 59 years.  Dick spent his youth on Newell Avenue in Trenton, a one-block street dead-ending at a canal, and the scene of his most often-recalled stories: sitting on his tackle box fishing on the neighbor’s dock, or hearing his mother one evening tell him and his father and brother, Bill, they were relieved of kitchen duty and should go play golf together, to name only two of a great many.  A man of deep sentiment for his past, he loved to draw the lines connecting the episodes of his life, and to remember and appreciate the people who populated it.  Above all, he never stopped honoring his mother and father and expressing love and gratitude for his family, most touchingly in a bedtime ritual he maintained through his difficult illness.

Dick was born August 3, 1938 in Trenton, NJ to Edna and Joseph Hochman.  A lifelong lover of classical music, in 1959 he took Joanne on their first date to Fairmount Park to hear Eugene Ormandy conduct the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Lafayette College in 1960, and his DDS from Temple University in 1964.  He then elected to serve in the US Air Force, and was stationed as a captain at Little Rock AFB from 1964 to 1966.  Dick and Joanne moved back north in 1966, and Dick opened his practice in Yardley in 1967.  Beloved by his patients, with many of whom he formed lasting bonds, he felt his life was enriched by the opportunity to know and to care for them.  There was no call from a patient, no matter how late, that he wouldn’t answer.  No less gratifying to him were the 30 years he spent as an educator, teaching one day a week at the Temple University School of Dentistry as Associate Professor.  During his career he published peer-reviewed essays on clinical dentistry and professional endeavors, pioneered research on transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) for treating pain during dental procedures, and was first among his peers to use a laser in dental practice.  And outside of office hours, determined to balance work with other priorities, he played enough rounds of golf for many lifetimes.  He knew and loved the history of the game, and he played well.  But he played above all for the time spent on the course with his brother, his son James, and his friends.  And only slightly less for the pleasure of being outdoors, which he also found on landscapes near and far with Joanne, and fishing lakes and rivers with his son Hugh.  Being anywhere outdoors was always enough for him to feel happy and at peace, even as his health declined in recent months.  With his “Lucky Us” cap, he was eager to say how grateful he was, through it all, for the rich life he led.  He felt luckiest of all for Joanne’s love and companionship.  He never tired of saying that being with her, whatever they might be doing, was his greatest joy, and that their shared goals for any given day or for life and family were the foundation of his success and happiness.  His capacity for friendship was limitless, cherishing friendships formed in childhood, in college, and throughout his life.  His love of old friends lived alongside his love of new ones.  His commitment to community extended well into his retirement.  He volunteered as a docent, educating visitors to Congregation Mickve Israel every Monday, right up until he no longer could.  His gift for savoring the smallest errand, every walk in a park, and all the happiness of his past and present, will be missed.  Dick is survived by wife Joanne, son James and his wife Amanda, son Hugh and his partner Marsha, and grandchildren Peter and Charlotte.  Funeral arrangements are being handled by Orland’s Ewing Memorial Chapel in Ewing, NJ.

Online Condolences

  1. Gary Hall & Anthony Attardi says:

    Dear Joanne and Family,
    Sorry to hear of Dick’s passing. Such a friendly, easy to talk with kind of guy. We so much enjoyed the 2 of you when you came into the Cafe. From your pots of chili to Dick & the meter maids….So many sweet memories of him. Wishing you all Loving & fond memories. Gary & Anthony

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