As a jurist, Judge Hodgson had several gifts, Furber said.
First, he was thorough; he would study the issues and take his time making up his mind, Furber said. Second, once he made his mind up, he didn't budge.
"He was principled in that if he believed that his opinion and his ruling was correct, it didn't concern him what other people thought. He wasn't influenced by politics. He did what he thought was right."
A native of Montgomery County who lived in Norristown most recently, Judge Hodgson attended La Salle High School and Holy Cross College before earning his law degree from Villanova University.
Judge Hodgson came from a family of lawyers. His father and brother were lawyers, Furber said.
He and Furber met as young assistant district attorneys in Norristown in the early 1970s. They handled a variety of cases because each member of the staff was a generalist, as was the custom at the time, Furber said.
Each man aspired to become a judge, but there was no competition, Furber said. Furber assumed the bench in 1993, and Judge Hodgson followed a year later.
When he took over as president judge in 2007, he led with a light touch.
"He gave us free rein," Furber said.
During much of that time, Judge Hodgson was ill from complications of the transplant process. He required dialysis, which his wife administered. He was in and out of the hospital, but was always concerned that he was handling "his fair share of the work," Furber said.
"He set a wonderful example," Furber said.
Judge Hodgson also made public appearances during that time.
At the dedication of the Montgomery County prison expansion in September 2011, Judge Hodgson spoke, pointing out that the prison population had long since outgrown the facility in Eagleville.
"This is both a good day and a bad day," he said as police and municipal officials listened. "It's good that the addition to the prison got constructed. It's sad that we've gotten to the point in our society that we needed one."
Outside the courtroom, Judge Hodgson loved spending time with his family. He had two other passions - growing various strains of roses, and collecting and enjoying rock-and-roll.
"I would pit Dick Hodgson against anyone in Philadelphia when it came to knowing rock-and-roll," Furber said. "He was a wonderful colleague and friend, and we will miss him."
Funeral arrangements were pending.
Contact Bonnie L. Cook at 610-313-8232 or email@example.com.