Robert Hochwalt 82, of North Canton passed away March 1 in his home, surrounded by family. Those who knew Bob appreciated his progressive and independent thinking, sharp intellect and straight talk. He was passionate about subjects ranging from politics to religion to the environment. He enjoyed a good debate. A teacher for more than 30 years, Bob retired from Green High School in 1988, where he taught English to ninth-grade students and served as English Department Chairman for 14 years. In addition, he worked tirelessly for teachers as a member and president of the Green Education Association. Known as "Dr. Bob" for his work achieving health-care benefits for teachers, he was the chief negotiator for the teachers in seven contracts. Ahead of his time, he recognized the importance of providing a broad range of benefits, including vision and dental insurance, and even massage-therapy coverage. He also took great pleasure in serving as a representative at five National Education Association conventions. After retirement, Bob had what he considered two of the most satisfying jobs he ever had, both pro bono. He worked as a Victim Advocate both in Stark County and Las Cruces, N.M., accompanying crime victims through the court process, giving support, answering questions and helping them make victim impact statements. In addition, he served as director of the Mesilla Fine Arts Gallery, a cooperative of 35 artists in Las Cruces. Bob was born in Dayton, Ohio, on July 20, 1931, son of Justin and Helene (McManamy) Hochwalt. A family trip to the American Southwest sparked a lifelong love of the region, and New Mexico in particular. His passion for books, photography and classical music also dates back to his early years. After receiving the first of two degrees in education, Bob began his teaching career in the Dayton area. During a five-week teachers' seminar and field study in South America, Bob met his future wife, Eloise. They met in Buenos Aires, they dated in Chile, he proposed in Peru, and she said yes on the plane to Bogota. They were married soon after, on Thanksgiving Day 1960.
Bob is survived by his wife of more than 53 years, Eloise (Bauer) Hochwalt; his children, Suzanne (Harold) Zeitz of Seattle, John (Nisha) Hochwalt of Seattle, Marcella (Paul) King of Columbus; grandchildren, Marcus, Micah, Miriam, Eli, Mary and Iris; sister, Susan (Mike) Craig; and many friends, nieces, nephews, and sisters and brothers-in-law.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. March 29 at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Canton, with calling hours at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, those wishing may make memorial contributions to WildEarth Guardians, Human Rights Watch or
. Arrangements under the direction of Ohio Cremation and Professional Services (330-483-1745) Mark R. Vrabel Funeral Home, North Canton, Ohio.
Mark R Vrabel Funeral Home
1425 S. Main Street North Canton, OH 44720
Published in The Repository from Mar. 3 to Mar. 9, 2014