Remembering Connie Hoge
In Remembrance: Constance Ann Hoge (Potter) August 14, 1954 – November 24, 2016
On November 24, 2016, after a courageous struggle with recurrent metastatic breast cancer, we lost our dear friend and long-time Carroll County Forestry Board member and Chairman Connie Hoge. She is survived by her devoted husband W.J.J. Hoge, her beloved son William Hoge IV, and her dear brother Robert Potter and half-sisters Mary Olson-Menzel and Patricia Davis.
Connie was a beautiful woman of many talents and a trail-blazer. She was the first to graduate with a BA in Audio Production from Indiana University. She enjoyed several careers; as a recording engineer in Nashville, TN with several gold and platinum records to her credit, as founding Director of the Williams –Sonoma Cooking School in Costa Mesa California and as Chief Operator of Westminster’s Personal Chef Home Cooking Service. At the time of her death, she was pursuing a Masters Degree in Landscape Architecture from University of Maryland, College Park.
Connie loved to watch things grow. She knew every plant in her garden as if they were her personal friends and loved to share seeds and divides. She was a beekeeper, Master Gardener and flower show judge. Connie devoted her life to helping others, every day, in every way she could. She truly loved her neighbors as herself, and was loved by them in return. As a member of Westminster Church of Christ, she was active in several congregational ministries, including establishing a vegetable garden to grow fresh food for the needy.
Connie was passionate about sustainable forestry and conservation issues. With her delightful personality, boundless energy and passion for the outdoor world, she generously shared her knowledge by conducting countless environmental education programs, trainings and workshops to teach the values of trees and forests to young and old alike.
In 2003 Connie was appointed to the Carroll County Forest Conservancy District Board by the Director of the Maryland DNR Forest Service. She served as Board Chairman for nine years and was a faithful volunteer on the Board until the day of her passing. During this time, she was a member of the Maryland Big Tree Committee and assisted in measuring and recording champion trees across Maryland. She was also selected by special appointment to serve as a member of the Governors Forest Sustainability Commission, assisting in drafting policy for the protection and improvement of Maryland’s forestland.
Connie was voted as a Most Valuable Forestry Board Member in 2013. In 2015, she was selected to receive the distinguished Maryland Association of Forest Conservancy District Boards Forest Partner Lifetime Achievement Award. This special award is presented bi-annually to a State Forestry Board member “Whose dedication and leadership for the betterment of forest conservation, education, and sustainability in Maryland has made a difference”. Connie was the first such member to receive this recognition.
Connie realized the importance of educating our youth, our future leaders, about the importance of protecting the environment and properly managing natural resources. One project that was especially near and dear to her heart was the Maryland Association of Forestry Boards Natural Resources Careers Camp. NRCC is a week-long, co-educational camp for high school students interested in pursuing environmental careers. Connie was a long-time member of the steering committee for NRCC. She also served as the camp logistics director for several years and later, as camp naturalist.
To fulfill the wishes of Connie’s family, The Maryland Forestry Foundation has established a memorial fund for benefit of the Natural Resources Careers Camp. If you would like make a donation in Connie’s memory, please send your check, payable to Maryland Forestry Foundation, to: Maryland Forestry Foundation - 124 South Street, #3. Annapolis, MD 21401. Write “NRCC Connie Hoge Memorial Fund” in the subject line. Donations made to the NRCC Connie Hoge Memorial Fund will support the camp and be used to help pay tuition for students in financial need.