Randy Hodges remembered: ‘His heart was in Summit County’
August 2, 2013
Community members who knew longtime Summit County resident Randy Hodges said he'll be remembered not only for the multitude of buildings he designed throughout the county, but also for his humble generosity, problem solving skills and dedication to his friends and family.
The successful architect worked in Kansas and New York, but was captivated by Summit County when he moved here in 1975.
"He came here and found a niche and took it and ran with it," said Hodges' close friend and Silverthorne resident Phil Wilson. "His heart was in Summit County."
Hodges made a strong bond with people throughout the community. He was one of those "long-timers" who take two hours to move 20 feet through events like Frisco's Colorado BBQ Challenge because they run into so many friends along the way, Wilson said.
"He got to know a whole bunch of people in the community from Breckenridge to Heeney."
John Randolph (Randy) Hodges passed away from cancer at a hospital in Lakewood on July 23. He was 65.
The longtime Summit County resident designed more than 300 houses, multi-family units and commercial projects throughout his career with Hodges/Marvin Architects, based in Dillon.
"We are the oldest architecture firm in the county — or at least that's what he said," Hodges business partner, Bill Marvin, said.
Marvin moved to Summit County to work for Hodges in the late '70s, and said it worked out so well, he never left.
"We worked together for 34 years — some people say that's longer than most marriages last," he said, laughing. "But it just worked."
Hodges was known for his "old-school" style of architecture. He and Marvin did all their drawings by hand.
Robert Gray, a longtime business partner of Hodges', said builders liked Hodges' style of architecture because he drew designs from the bottom up, not the top down.
"They are much happier with his plans over plans drawn by AutoCAD systems because they make a lot of sense," Gray said.
Hodges did his job so well many of his friends asked for his help to lay out their own homes. Gray still lives in the home Hodges helped him design.
"We are still living in it now and truly love it," Gray said. "He had a lot of interesting views about what the houses ought to look like up in the mountains."
Hodges not only enjoyed designing new structures, he also restored historic buildings. Breckenridge resident Robin Theobald worked on historic renovations with Hodges from 1977 to 2009, including the buildings on the corner of Wellington and Main and the southwest corner of Ski Hill Road and Main Street in Breckenridge.
Theobald said Hodges designed a staircase that started in a single story building and ended up in inside a second story house.
"The thing that was so amazing about Randy was that he could pretty much solve any problem," Theobald said. "I couldn't throw anything at him that he couldn't figure out how to fix."
Hodges also embarked on many projects outside of work.
The "firework nut" was on the pyrotechnic team for the Breckenridge fireworks show for many years. He always sponsored at least one car in the annual Soap Box Derby, and threw a tailgate party at his office for the event. He supported the Boy Scouts, sponsored softball teams and helped with a high school mentor program, friends said.
"He helped out people in this community a lot," Marvin said.
Hodges served on the Buffalo Mountain Metro District in Silverthorne with his friend George Potekhen, who said Hodges played a pivotal role improving safety in the area after an accident claimed a young woman's life while she was walking on Ryan Gulch Road.
"He was instrumental helping with the plans and getting the design for the walking path up there," Potekhen said.
Hodges thoughtfulness extended to many people throughout the community, friends said. Although at times he would seem very serious and focused, at heart he was a "big teddy bear," Gray said.
When people were in need, whether it be a small financial predicament, a medical situation or a death in the family, he was always there for people and never expected anything in return, Wilson said.
"He had an open wallet and an open heart for people in need in this county and he was genuinely concerned," Wilson said. "He could lift people's spirits just by chatting with them and help them get through hard times."
A memorial service is planned for Sunday, Aug. 4, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Silverthorne Pavilion in Silverthorne.
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