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Dale Hodges, longest-serving Calgary city councillor, remembered by peers

Former Calgary city councillor Dale Hodges passed away on Sunday from a lengthy illness.

He was 82.

Hodges served on city council from 1983 to 2013.

In 2010, then-newly elected mayor Naheed Nenshi got to understand why Hodges became so popular with Calgarians.

“I was like, ‘What is this guy, who has been around for 27 years, going to think about this whippersnapper coming in?'” Nenshi said.

“I’ll be his fifth mayor.”

Nenshi recalled that three-year term the pair spent together.

“He’d always have a sparkle in his eye and a smile on his face. But he always got what he wanted,” Nenshi said.

Hodges represented Ward 1 as an alderman before the city adopted the title of city councillor.

During his time on council, he saw Calgary host the 1988 Winter Olympics, the construction of the northwest LRT and the expansion of numerous parks and athletic facilities.

Hodges did have security concerns after being targeted by the Hells Angels, who threatened to blow him and his house up in Bowness.

That was because Hodges openly objected to the group opening a clubhouse in his ward.

“I covered city hall for more than 40 years. I don’t remember anybody ever being threatened to be killed by Hells Angels,” said Gary Bobrovitz, retired television journalist.

“But he was.”

Bobrovitz says any story he was working on, Hodges would be able to find the corresponding documents from every council meeting, as he would file them in the back of his car.

“One day, he was driving along (and) his car got hit by a truck. Not any truck — a City of Calgary gravel truck,” Bobrovitz said.

“And his life was saved by those agendas cushioning the impact of the collision.”

Hodges is survived by his wife of 52 years, Yvonne, family and friends.

A memorial service will be announced in the coming days.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Dale Hodges Graduate Scholarship in Political Science at https://engage.ucalgary.ca/Dale-Hodges-Graduate-Scholarship.

(With files from Stephen Hunt, Michael Franklin and Alesia Fieldberg) 

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