In Memoriam: Frank W. Hoch


The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with great sorrow the death April 13, 2007 of Honorary Trustee and Honorary Member, Frank W. Hoch, at his home in Irvington, NY.  

Frank and his wife, Honorary Trustee Lisina M. Hoch, became WHOI Associates in 1983.  Frank was elected an Honorary Member of the Corporation in 1991, and was elected Honorary Trustee in 1992.

Frank served on the Board’s first Campaign Committee from 1992 to 1996, then on the Development Committee until 2000.  Along with Lisina, he also became a member of the Access to the Sea (formerly Ships) Committee in 2000, and a member of the Ocean Life Institute Committee in 2003.  He was also a member of the Paul M. Fye Society.

Over the years, Frank and Lisina introduced countless new friends to WHOI and helped to facilitate a wide variety of research by means of generous and innovative philanthropy to, among others, the Ocean Ventures Fund for graduate students, the Jason Project, the Doherty Postdoc Scholarship fund, the Director’s Discretionary Fund, the Scientific Staff Mentorship Program, the Charles D. Hollister Fund for Innovative Research, and their own endowed fund for crucial early career support of assistant scientists.  Most recently, they provided a lead gift and issued a challenge, met just this year, to fund the Tropical Research Initiative.  In recognition of their tireless advocacy and creative efforts to stimulate private and leveraged support for basic research, Frank and Lisina received the Cecil H. Green Award in 2003.

Born in 1921, Frank was educated in Switzerland, receiving a Doctor of Law degree from the University of Zurich in 1947.  During World War II, he served as a Lieutenant of the Swiss Alpine Infantry.  He spent most of his professional career with Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., where he became a Partner.  In addition to WHOI, he served on numerous boards, including the Smithsonian Institution, Phelps Memorial Hospital, Exodus Transitional Community, Irvington Presbyterian Church, Polly Hill Arboretum, American-Swiss Association, and the American Council on Germany.  He was also an active member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Explorer's Club of New York, and the US Council for International Business.

Frank is survived by his wife, Honorary Trustee Lisina M. Hoch, sons Steven (Member of the Corporation) and Roland, daughters Alix and Daphne, and eleven grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at Irvington Presbyterian Church, 25 North Broadway, Irvington, NY, Saturday, April 28 at 11:00 a.m.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in his memory to Exodus Transitional Community, New York; Phelps Memorial Hospital, Sleepy Hollow, NY; or Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.


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