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STEVEN BRUCE DODGE


1945 - 2019 Obituary Condolences Gallery
STEVEN BRUCE DODGE Obituary
DODGE, Steven Bruce Pioneering Entrepreneur, Influential Mentor, Dedicated Husband, Father, and Friend. 1945-2019 (Bonita Springs, FL) Pioneering entrepreneur in telecommunications and real estate development, passed away January 17, 2019, following a traffic collision. Husband of 44 years to Anne Nordblom Dodge, and father to Tom, Kristen, and Ben. Steven Dodge was 73 years old. Born to Nelson Dodge, a sales executive, and Betsy Dodge, an artist, in New Haven, Conn., Dodge attended the Hotchkiss School ('63) and Yale University (BA '67) on scholarship. Dodge was the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including being inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs at Babson College in 2002, and most recently being inducted into the Mobile Infrastructure Hall of Fame, November 2018. He served on several boards of directors including, Sotheby's, The Cabot, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Endicott College, and Montserrat College of Art, among others. Throughout his professional endeavors and personal relationships, Dodge repeatedly demonstrated the importance of maintaining genuine humility, selfless generosity, and a sense of humor. Despite his extraordinary success, Dodge is remembered and revered most for his quiet leadership qualities, specifically his ability to mentor and instill confidence in others. Countless people regarded his guidance, which he offered freely, as key in reaching significant life decisions. In the last decade of his life, when his attentions lifted from the demands of major business operations and settled with the satisfaction of daily life and meaningful relationships, Dodge was an especially dedicated husband, parent, brother and friend. He poured his attentions most to his wife Anne, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 2011. Dodge gladly served as her loving and indefatigable caretaker, taking great pains to improve the quality of her life at any cost, and to spend quality time with her on a daily basis. While he enjoyed the somewhat steady stream of visitors at their home in FL, he most looked forward to settling into a quiet routine with Anne, Yelida (Anne's caretaker), and Mason, their steadfast dog. Over the course of 25 years, Dodge launched four significant ventures: American Cable Systems, American Radio Systems, American Tower Corporation, and Windover Development. He built each company with ingenuity and drive, shifting from one to the next with uncanny timing. On March 16, 2006 Dodge graced the cover of Globe North of The Boston Globe in a piece titled "Man with the Golden Touch." After service as a Naval officer in the Vietnam era, Dodge bypassed an opportunity to attend Harvard Business School in favor of on-the-ground, hands-on learning at the Bank of Boston where he met his wife, Anne, who was working on a different floor in the money market department. While at the bank, Dodge joined a team making high-risk loans in entertainment, and cable television, among others. Asking himself, why he was on the inside making loans, rather than on the outside borrowing, he secured equity funding to establish a cable company. American Cable Systems emerged as a major player in the cable industry. In time, it reached half a million subscribers and became the industry leader in revenue per subscriber. Dodge took the company public in 1986. Four days before the 1987 Black Monday stock market dive, he closed on a sale of the company to Continental Cablevision. Shifting to radio at a time when the sector was struggling, he began acquiring stations, many of them turnarounds. With the support and ingenuity of a loyal team, American Radio Systems dominated, amassing over 100 stations in two dozen urban markets by 1997. The station that marked a turning point and landed permanently on his license plate was WBMX, a small, local station in Boston. Dodge prized owning the radio broadcasting rights for his beloved Boston Red Sox, and loved visiting Joe Castiglione in the broadcasting box with this sons Tom and Ben. After building the company to become the nation's second largest radio operator, Dodge merged ARS into CBS-Westinghouse in 1998. Earlier the same year, American Radio Systems spun off a subsidiary that became the American Tower Corporation. Dodge built ATC into the leading independent owner-operator of communications towers in the U.S., Mexico and Brazil before he turned over the reins to a successor he had groomed for the role. While Dodge enjoyed his ride in corporate America, he was drawn more passionately to an unending series of projects with a common theme – building well designed and environmentally sensitive spaces, landscapes and interiors, on prized sites in New England and Florida. Dodge referred to himself as a bit of a closet builder and architect. He artfully enhanced existing landscapes on land in Massachusetts, Vermont and Cape Cod, with weathered fieldstone fences, newly planted trees, and classic New England structures that, in his words, were "made to look 150 years old" the day they were completed. Dodge placed hundreds of acres of accumulated property in Land Trust. Noting the extent and quality of Dodge's work, a friend and neighbor quipped, "It's what God would have done if he hadn't run out of money." After his corporate ventures, Dodge ramped up his landscaping and home building hobby, transforming it into a serious residential real estate endeavor. Dodge founded Windover Development LLC in 2004, which grew into several companies, including Windover Construction Inc., which he sold in 2015, continuing his operations as Beverly Crossing. He enjoyed being closely involved with each project, dedicating the kind of attention to detail that he would have wanted in a home built for himself and his family. With the support of loyal investors and an excellent team, Dodge was the driving force behind the ongoing revitalization of Beverly, MA, passionately contributing to the transformation of the Depot area and honoring its arts-oriented urban core through multiple mixed-use housing endeavors. In an uncanny turn of events, Dodge discovered that Beverly was the site of the first Dodge settlers in 1629. Dodge played out a lifelong passion for the Boston Red Sox with season tickets to Fenway Park and annual, family visits to the spring training camp in Florida. He built a home nearby with Anne and began transitioning their lives south. With an impulse for staying busy, and a knack for finding new challenges, Dodge created projects for himself. He soon emerged as a player in the local homebuilding arena. Initially investing heavily in high end, beach front developments, Dodge recently began shifting his focus to modest, single-level homes in a middle income community where "real people" live. Education was the primary target of Dodge's sometimes anonymous gifts. With his wife Anne, he made meaningful contributions to institutions attended by his children including Brookwood School, Brown University, Middlesex School, Milton Academy, and University of Vermont. He also made impactful contributions to Boston Renaissance Charter School, Montserrat College of Art, Cabot Performing Arts Center, and Root, among many others. Dodge had his favorite getaways and pastimes, including fishing the mountain streams in Chile with sons Tom and Ben, brother Martin, son in law Darren Foote, and close friends. He also loved motorcycling on Sardinia with a group of long term buddies. "We biked there because they had no speed limits. "How I survived those days…..?" Dodge was an avid reader, rarely passing a day without a book in his hands. He recently found great pleasure in returning to the classics, starting with a copy of Hemingway's For Whom The Bell Tolls, which was inscribed in 1998 by his daughter Kristen. Dodge is survived by wife Anne Dodge (Bonita Springs, FL), sons Tom Dodge (Manchester, MA), Ben Dodge (Cohasset, MA), daughter Kristen Dodge (Kinderhook, NY), five grandchildren, and brothers Lowell Dodge (Boulder, CO), and Martin Dodge (Canandaigua, NY). Services will be held February 2, 2019, at 2pm EST at St John's Episcopal Church in Beverly Farms, MA. In lieu of giving flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The Cabot, thecabot.org/donate/donate

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Published in The Boston Globe on Jan. 27, 2019
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