Mrs. Hotchkiss, Paul, Brenda, John, Richard, Jeff and all of your families;
I just wanted to let you know that Barb and I are both thinking of all of you at this most difficult time. Your Dad was truly one of a kind. I have always been so proud to say that I knew Mr. Hotchkiss because he was truly a kind and wonderful person who knew where he came from and he never forgot that.
While most people see him as the Flames owner, successful businessman and generous supporter of so many wonderful causes, I see him as a loving husband, a great father and a crafty practical joker. He always had a little something up his sleeve whenever I was around him.
However, where he made his biggest impression on me was how he treated Mrs. Hotchkiss. I always remember your Mom answering the phone on work days and it was your Dad on the other end calling her to see how she was doing and how her day was going. More importantly, I never, ever saw him treat her with anything but the utmost respect - and you deserved it Mrs. Hotchkiss because you in return were a wonderful wife and mother. I'm sure this is what allowed you to keep whistling those beautiful melodies all of the years I have known you.
I was also impressed with the great work ethic that he instilled in all of you. While he could have affored professional help to garden, mow lawns, wash cars, etc. it was always the kids jobs before they were allowed to goof around on the weekend.
My heart is full at this time because I was re-reading your Dad's book these past few months and I had a feeling that I should drop your Mom and Dad a note to say how much I enjoyed the book and the life lessons that it taught. I also wanted to say how much I appreciated their friendship, kindness and generosity over the years. Many of my most cherised youthful memories revolve around the Hotckiss family (ball hockey in the basement, days at the rink, thinking of ways to trick Lottie, trip to Flordia, driving Brenda to her wedding, did I mention ball hockey in the basement, etc., etc.).
I know that as proud of you are all of your father, I know that he was equally as proud of all of you. This is the legacy that will make him most happy - his family.
And to Mrs. Hotchkiss, I want you to know how much I appreciated you over my teenage years. You were a great example of what a great wife would be -an individual who was always smiling, always, happy and who sacrificed much for her husband and family (and you always carried yourself with such class and dignity).
I know that as time passes we see each other less frequently, but please be assured that I think of you all often and especially at this most difficult time.
Your Dad (and husband Mrs. Hotchkiss) will be rememered in so many different ways by so many different people. I feel so fortunate to have known him in ways that are so special and meaningful to me - he will always be a source of inspiration to me.
Once again, Barb and I hope that you will all be able to manage during this very difficult time and know that we love each and everyone of you.
Bill and Barb Gibson
Your loving friends;
Bill and Barb Gibson