When John J. Hosch was a boy, his father introduced him to tennis and the game gripped him, beginning a love affair at 15. He loved to crush the ball and make that one shot for the winning point. It was through the game that he met his dearest friend, Peter Raposa.
“I first met John nearly 20 years ago on the tennis courts where we took a tennis clinic together,” said Raposa. “We played tennis from that day forward. I have six sisters and I considered John the brother that I never had.”
For 30 years, Hosch drove a truck – first, for four years while serving in the U.S. Air Force. He drove fuel trucks to aircrafts and fueled them, getting them ready for take off. Then for his 26 years as a civilian, Hosch worked for Petro Oil Company, delivering oil fuel to customers.
In 1986, Hosch met a young woman named Rebecca Hastings. They married in 1989. She was 20, he, 23.
For the next two decades, Hosch would prove to be a devoted husband and father, raising two wonderful daughters, Adrianna, now 20, and Olivia, now 17. The Hosch’s world was centered on their home in Exeter and the beaches of Middletown and Newport, R.I.
“His biggest love aside from family, friends and tennis is the love that he had for the ocean,” said Raposa. “He absolutely loved being on the water, kayaking and fishing. He would have his sea kayak strapped to the top of his jeep roof from early spring to late fall. He would be out on the water every opportunity he had.”
Hosch’s life ended by the water he loved.
On April 5, 2010, after 45 years as a devoted son, husband and father, John J. Hosch died unexpectedly while going for a run on Second Beach in Middletown.
A Difficult Tie Breaker
“The day Rebecca called me will be a day I will never forget,” said Raposa of the ties he lost. “I lost my father 11 years ago and I have never experienced those same type of emotions since then, until John died. He was family to me, a brother I never had. He was truly a wonderful person who loved his family so very much. John would tell me through the years that his two girls would go to college and get their degrees. We had this conversation many times. John thought, as we all do, that he had many years in front of him to pay for college.
“When John passed, I could not bear the thought of his children not being able to go to college, so I decided to create a trust for Adrianna and Olivia to help pay for their college expenses,” added Raposa. “He just wanted the absolute best for his two girls, to give them the best possible chance for a promising future.”
The trust became official this month. Its name: John J. Hosch Memorial Trust.
Raposa is currently organizing a benefit dinner on Nov. 20 from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Atlantic Beach Club in Middletown. Money raised will go to the education of Adrianna and Olivia.
Tickets are $40 each. The goal for the benefit dinner is to raise a minimum of $15,000.
“We have had an overwhelming amount of support from the community. So far, we have close to 50 businesses who are sponsors or donors for this special event and we are just getting started,” said Raposa. “We also have one special person, chain saw sculptor Michael Higgins, who will be doing a live performance on the night of the event. He is donating his time and skill to help John’s children.”
Also on the evening’s schedule, DJ Butch Taylor will be providing the music for dancing, and there will be will be a silent auction and a number of raffles.
There also will be several annual events such as 5k races, a tennis tournament and a fishing tournament.
“All monies raised will go to the education of his two girls. In addition to these events, I will be donating through my company, By The Sea Construction LLC., a minimum of 20 percent of my net profit on any job where clients say they would like to support the John J. Hosch Memorial Trust,” said Raposa. “My company specializes in all phases of carpentry work.”
Raposa has been a contractor for 30 years, four with his own company in Newport, R.I. He has built homes, and excavated sites, put in septic systems and raised other buildings, working with other sub-contractors in the Ocean State, primarily, Jeff Simons Excavating of Somerset, Mass., and Simmons Concrete of New Bedford, Mass.
Simons Excavating is doing the work right now on a building Raposa is putting up in Tiverton, R.I., while Simmons Concrete is laying the foundation. All this, while By The Sea Construction tries to lay a different kind of foundation down.
“A very important element to the trust is that once Adrianna and Olivia get their degrees, the monies it continues to generate will go back into the community to help other young adults to achieve their dreams of a college education,” said Raposa. “This is a very fitting and appropriate element because John and Rebecca raised their two girls, instilling in them the importance of community involvement, volunteering their time to help others and the benefits of hard work. I can only hope that my two-year-old son, Mason, will follow in their footsteps.”
“I would like to say thank you so very much to the more than 50 businesses and people, that I have personally visited, supporting this event so far,” said Raposa. “It was an honor and privilege to do this for my best friend. I would also like to extend an invitation to others who are reading this article that would like to donate something to the auction table or to be a sponsor to call me. It’s not too late to be part of something so very special.”
For tickets to the dinner, call Raposa at 401/263-3503.
If anyone would like to make a donation, make checks payable to: John J. Hosch Memorial Trust, P.O. Box 122, Newport, R.I., 02840. CEG
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