Cover photo for John Douglas Hoge's Obituary
John Douglas Hoge Profile Photo
1947 John 2022

John Douglas Hoge

February 23, 1947 — December 17, 2022

John Douglas Hoge, a deeply loved husband, father, and grandfather, passed away on December 17, 2022 of Hamman-Rich Syndrome, a sudden and untreatable illness. He was 75.

John was married for 51 years to the love of his life, Gail (formerly Williamson). He was the proud father of two sons: U.S. Army Master Sergeant (retired) Josh (Jennifer Gootman) and Chris (Amy Cauthen Hoge). He cherished his four grandchildren: Adair Myriam, Magnolia Jane (Maggie), John Henry, and Freyda Mae. He also leaves behind three siblings, to whom he was devoted: Bill Hoge of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Jane Mathis of Panama City Beach, Florida, and Nancy Elizabeth Markovich of Tallahassee, Florida.

Though John had many dogs over the years, Sofi Jane, who misses him greatly, was the canine love of his life.

John was a triple alumnus of Florida State University, where he earned a B.S. in Elementary Education and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Social Science Education. After discovering a significant flaw in the experimental data that was to be the basis of his original dissertation, he taught in the Florida public schools while completing an entirely new dissertation. This was a testament to John’s tenacity and desire to get things right, qualities he brought to all of his pursuits.

John’s first position in academia, in 1978, was with the University of Colorado Social Science Education Consortium. He went on to teach at Boise State University from 1980 to 1984. When Gail was accepted to a doctoral program at Indiana University, John joined the faculty as a visiting professor—lecturing at the Columbus, Indiana campus and playing an integral role in the digital transformation and broad expansion of the federally funded Educational Resource Information Center’s social sciences collection.

John took a faculty position at the University of Georgia in 1988 and remained there until his retirement in 2009—with the exception of one remarkable year. In 1995, after 17 years in higher education, John shocked his colleagues by spending a year teaching fifth grade at an Athens, Georgia public school, as part of an academic exchange program. He was motivated by an intense desire to reground his professional practice and examine how the teaching practices he taught at UGA played out in the classroom.

John’s foray into the fifth-grade classroom was also inspired by his desire to explore the application of computers in elementary education, drawing on a lifelong fascination with technology that he passed along to his son Josh. His innate curiosity and forward-looking orientation helped him to immediately recognize the potential of new technologies. He often acted on his intuitions, in one instance buying the first Macintosh computer sold in the state of Idaho.

Professionally, John was a strong proponent of inquiry-based learning methods. He saw this approach as critical to helping children grow into active participants in democracy and civic engagement. He wrote numerous academic books and articles. His instructional methods textbook, “Effective Elementary Social Studies,” was considered a seminal guide for teachers seeking to meld the inquiry-based approach with deep content learning. From 2004 to 2005, John served as the Georgia state coordinator for “We The People,” a national program of the Center for Civic Education.

After retiring from UGA, John turned his talents toward writing a science fiction novel, “Sub-Human Helpers: Because We Could,” that explores moral and ethical questions. He also continued writing essays about the field of social science education.

A committed member of the Democratic Party, John was passionate about the future of America. He could be found protesting or advocating on street corners in Athens, fulfilling his belief in civic participation and democracy. He was always game to talk politics, and myriad other topics, with family and friends.

John loved traveling and the outdoors, especially camping and hiking. He was an avid motorcyclist, taken by the thrills and challenges of riding, repairing, and tinkering with the series of Yamahas and BMWs he owned over the years.

For all of his success in the world of academia, John valued hands-on work with a definite endpoint and a satisfying payoff. He passed that appreciation on to his sons. On weekends and evenings, he could often be found doing yard work, gardening, servicing his vehicles and equipment, cleaning the house, or engaged in his latest home improvement project.

John was always ready to roll up his sleeves and help, whatever the circumstances. In one example among many, when a neighbor’s basement began flooding during an intense storm, he put on his rain gear, located the source of the problem, and solved it.

John’s family will host a memorial service on Saturday, February 18, 2023, at Lord & Stephens Funeral Home (East) from 2-4pm. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that those who are able make a donation in John’s memory to The Michael J. Fox Foundation or a charity of their choice.

Lord and Stephens Funeral Home, EAST, Athens, GA is in charge of arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Douglas Hoge, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, February 18, 2023

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 8

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree