Richard S. Hoke, Jr., age 52 of Dallas, Texas, formerly of North Kingstown, Rhode Island, passed away on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Born in Morgantown, West Virginia, he was a beloved son of Mary (Mudge) Sams, of North Kingstown and the late Richard S. Hoke. He was the step-son of Paul W. Gates and the late M. Paul Sams, Lt. Col. USMC, Ret. who played a huge part in his life. He was the devoted brother of Michael E. Gates, and Amy L. Gates.
Richard graduated North Kingstown High School in 1985 where he played football and wrestling. After high school, Richard enlisted in the Marines. He was a graduate of URI where he earned his bachelor’s degree. While attending URI he was in the Platoon Leader Core Program (PLC) and a brother in the TKE Fraternity. After attending Officer Candidate School in Quantico, VA, Richard was commissioned on the USS Constitution as 2 Lt, USMC, pinned by Lt. Col. M. Paul Sams. A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Richard served his country honorably as a captain while serving in Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
After leaving the service, Richard started his career in pharmaceuticals with Pfizer and continued on to medical devices where he oversaw the implantation of the newest knee and hip replacements. He further advanced his expertise and began working with neck, spinal rods, and disc replacements. Richard had just started a new job with Life Spine as an Area Sales Manager.
After 911 he was called to join ODA Team 595, as a Marine Corps Forward Air Controller (FAC). The ODA units supported the Northern Alliance and their battle against the Taliban in the early days of the War on Terror. Exploits of the ODA units were later immortalized in the movie 12 Strong. He was not afraid of death, only falling short of his duty is what concerned him.
Fun Fact: Ever since the age of 11, Richard wanted to be a Marine. Wanting to join the service, he contacted a recruiter. The recruiter then called his mother to set up a meeting with Richard and his mother said, “you’re more than welcome to, but you have to know he’s only 11 years old.” The recruiter laughed and said, “I guess we’ll wait a few more years!”
He was known by Richard, Rich or Rick, depending on what age you knew him. Other names were “Slider” and “Otis.” Richard enjoyed wine and was a true connoisseur. He was larger than life itself and lived each day to the fullest.
Richard is also survived by his aunts, Darlene Richards, and Linda Wynn; uncles, William Mudge and his wife, Carol, and David Mudge and his wife, Betty; and many cousins. He was predeceased by his uncle, Dennis Mudge; aunt, Myra Mudge; and most importantly his grandmother, Mildred Mudge, who he fondly called “Gidget.”
Favorite saying: That’s how I roll!
Richard’s funeral services are pending. Please visit the Fagan-Quinn Funeral Home website for updated service details. His funeral service will be live streamed and may be found on the funeral home Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/114884753699800/live/
In lieu of flowers, contributions to Carry On USA, 2525 Carlisle Street Apt. 736, Dallas, Texas 75201 will be appreciated. https://www.carryon-usa.org/#our-mission
Kindly visit www.FaganQuinnFuneralHome.com for information and online condolences.