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Longtime avid fisherman suffers heart attack

By Staff | Oct 24, 2012

Robert William Hodge, 88, passed away Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2012.

The U.S. Coast Guard recently found a Bokeelia resident, who was an avid fisherman, in the waters near his home.

Beverly Hodge said her husband, Robert William Hodge, 88, had a heart attack when he was out on the boat, which knocked him off his feet and into the water. Bill passed away Wednesday, Oct. 11.

The day before, she said they received a call that Bill’s boat was ready and in the water at Four Winds Marina.

“He got excited and said he had to get the boat,” Beverly said. “At 4:30 p.m., I left him at Four Winds Marina.”

She said he had a rule that he did not go out on the boat alone, but this time was different because he was only taking the boat from Four Winds Marina to Blue Crab Key.

“That night was horribly black, it was so dark they couldn’t find him,” Beverly said.

She became worried about her husband because he had not returned home, so she called 911, which put her in touch with the Coast Guard. Four counties searched for Bill, as well as helicopters, Beverly said.

“They could not have been nicer, so accommodating,” she said about the Coast Guard. She said they called every two hours to provide her with an update.

His body was found around 9 a.m.

When Florida Fish and Wildlife called her at 10:45 a.m. the following day after the search had been conducted telling her they were on their way to her home, she knew it was not going to be good news.

Beverly said her husband was very agile and active for his age.

“He kept in shape and he was very active, kept his brain active,” she said.

She said her husband had eyes that twinkled.

Bill would go out on the boat every other day and sometimes two days in a row, but never on Saturday or Sunday.