Robert Eltinge “Bob” Hodgdon went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Friday, January 13, 2023. Bob was born in Kansas City, Kansas on August 19, 1938 to Bruce and Amy Hodgdon. Bob grew up in suburban Kansas City and was extremely active in his hometown community. He attended Baker University in Baldwin City, KS before graduating Summa Cum Laude from the University of Kansas in 1961. Bob also served in the United States Air Force and the Air Force Reserves from 1957-1961.
Bob’s personal and professional life was intertwined with the Hodgdon Powder Company his parents founded in 1947. From his earliest age, Bob and his brother J.B. were instrumental to company operations – Bob often told the story of weighing and loading gun powder into retail bags in the family basement. Throughout his 70+ year career, Bob served in multiple positions at the company, but notably served as President from 1976-1997 and Board Chairman 2014-2017. He was voted as Board Chairman Emeritus in 2017. He also assisted with the design and lead the team constructing the Pyrodex Plant in Herington, Kansas in 1979 and helped to design and build The Bullet Hole, a 44-station indoor shooting range in 1967.
Bob was a loving father to four – Chris (Adele) Hodgdon, Heidi (Erwin) Rodriguez, Stacie (Bryant Larimore) Hodgdon and Alisa Hodgdon – and grandfather of 11 and great-grandfather to 8.
In addition to his professional pursuits, Bob consistently invested his time and finances into his community. He served as volunteer to many civic organizations, such as Volunteers in Prison, Christian Sportsmen’s Fellowship, Cross International, Pastor Serve and the National Christian Foundation. Bob was also a member of the Westside Family Church in Lenexa, Kansas, where he served on the Pastor Advisory Team and lead Divorce Care and Crown classes.
Along with his work at the Hodgdon Powder Company, Bob was very active in the Hunting and Shooting industry. He served as board member for the National Rifle Association, a board member and trustee of the NRA Foundation, a founding member of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a member of the Kansas State Rifle Association and a founding member of the Kansas Sportsmen’s Alliance.
Bob was kind, generous and passionate about the causes he believed in and was devoted to. His leadership of the Hodgdon Powder Company, through some very difficult transitions, resulted in the company achieving a level of success that could not have been imagined by the previous generation. Many people benefited from Bob’s good works over the course of his lifetime, and he will be missed.
Established in 1947 by Bruce and Amy Hodgdon, today, sons J.B. and Bob have grown Hodgdon Powder Company into the largest U.S. supplier of smokeless and blackpowder substitute propellants. The company distributes gunpowder under the Hodgdon®, IMR®, Ramshot®, Acccurate®, Winchester®, Pyrodex®, Triple Seven® and Blackhorn 209® brands.