We lost the patriarch of our family, David “Spuds” Hospodor, on February 5, 2019 after a brief battle with brain cancer.
David was born in Johnson City, N.Y., on November 14, 1942, to Verna and Andrew Hospodor. He joined Elle and Andy with Robert to follow. Elle enjoyed being David’s caretaker on a daily basis until she went away to college when he was seven years old.
Dave attended Union Endicott High School, where he excelled at all sports but especially football, being named to the Southern Tier Conference and Triple Cities All-Star teams in 1959. He enrolled at Cornell University, joining Sigma Nu fraternity and receiving his bachelor’s degree in 1966. While serving as the human resources manager of Morse Chain Co. in Ithaca, N.Y., he made the best decision of his life in hiring Linda Randall to be his office assistant. Sparks flew! A year and a half later, they married at the Anabel Taylor Chapel on Cornell’s campus.
Then, a more than 50-year adventure together began. On their wedding day, they moved to Rock Hill, S.C., for a new job. Dave, Linda, Greg and Misti soon packed up again, moving to Chapel Hill, N.C., so that he could pursue an MBA; Linda served on the staff of the Psychology Department. Their days at the University of North Carolina produced fond memories, an appetite for Tar Heel basketball and a son, Clay, in 1970.
After graduation, they moved to Clarksville, Va., and Eric completed the family. Life in Clarksville was idyllic. During the next 13 years, Dave and Linda made many enduring friends. They also raised an always boisterous and occasionally riotous brood. Dave’s greatest joy was mentoring young people; he served as president and coach in both the Dixie Youth baseball and Clarksville Terror football programs, and as a Cub Scout leader.
In 1983, a promotion took the family to Ireland for four years. What a fabulous adventure! There, Spuds and Guinness Extra Stout met for the first time, and the dark elixir (it is good for you, after all) became a frequent pleasure. The family lived in Limerick and Newtownforbes, but explored Europe and all corners of the island. Ireland re-ignited Spuds’ passion for golf; he reveled in creating games-within-the-game and luring his sons into contests they seldom won or fully understood; he was a founding member of the Gillogue Golf Society. This was truly a wonderful time in his life.
Spuds’ next promotion relocated the family to Monticello, where they were greeted with welcoming and comforting southern hospitality. The family’s nine delightful years in Monticello saw close friendships established, and Dave and Linda becoming empty nesters. Something about Monticello inspired the former football lineman to take up competitive race walking. Spuds could frequently be seen—Walkman and sweatband adorned—sweating to the dulcet sounds of Dire Straits. It was truly a sight to behold! As an executive, Dave strived to help those who worked with him to realize their full potential. Then, another promotion sent Dave and Linda to Greensboro, N.C.
Dave left the company after 27 years, and the pair began a western adventure in 1997, settling in Bozeman, Mont., where they purchased and ran Spas and Home Recreation for 14 years. Dave also contributed to Bozeman’s community, most notably as part of the Stephen ministry. Dave and Linda were active socially, resulting in many dear friends. Spuds particularly enjoyed his poker buddies, often confounding them with his creative, invented games.
His family benefited from his integrity, resilience, and selflessness. Spuds never did half measures—he committed fully to all the roles he played, but especially husband, father and friend.
How he lived continues to serve as an inspiration for us all. His sons remember that he showed us how to be good men. His daughter remembers how he always fulfilled the primary role of a father, protector; Spuds always had her back. He was a father figure for his Davis grandchildren and they, in turn, were a great joy to him. Dave’s spirit will live on in the hearts of those he touched.
Dave is preceded in death by his parents, Verna and Andrew Hospodor; and a brother and sister-in-law, Andy and Rosemarie Hospodor.
He is survived by his wife, Linda Hospodor; four children, Greg (Shari) Hospodor, Misti Davis (Kevin Maston), Clay Hospodor, Eric (Jennifer) Hospodor; seven grandchildren, Bailey, Allie Grace, McKenzie and Carter Davis, and Emily, Ruby and Henry Hospodor; two great-grandchildren, Amelia and Charlotte Lund; a sister and brother-in-law, Elle and Bob Conti; a brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Julie Hospodor; and a legion of nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, February 16 at Bozeman United Methodist Church. The service will be webcast at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGNyDD0f5WI
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be given to the Bozeman United Methodist Church or Hospice of Bozeman Health.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com.