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A Huge Loss For Hartford

Bob Hohler: One-of-a-kind visionary was community builder, foe of homelessness

Hartford Courant Editorial

June 15, 2011

Bob Hohler, executive director of the Melville Charitable Trust, knew homelessness as a poor child in Boston. He has kept many Hartford families from the same plight with Billings Forge, the Frog Hollow development that turned a forbidding neighborhood into a vibrant one.

Sadly, Mr. Hohler, board member of Billings Forge Community Works and chairman of the board of the Partnership for Strong Communities, died suddenly earlier this month at the age of 78 while on a hike with his family in England.

Mr. Hohler's investment in Frog Hollow shows what vision and a big heart can do. It has led to lovely affordable housing in the neighborhood, job training for young chefs and others, a year-round farmer's market, studio space for artists and the exquisite Firebox restaurant on Broad Street

Mr. Hohler was a leader in civil rights movements of the 1960s and OxFam America in the 1970s before joining the Melville Trust and influencing housing policy for the better both locally and at the national level.

Hartford grieves for the loss of this great friend and visionary.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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