Stockbridge — Rudolph Lloyd Hoeltzel of Stockbridge died peacefully on October 24, 2014 of complications from cancer. He passed away at Berkshire Medical Center surrounded by his immediate family.
He was born in 1934 in Washington, D.C., to Lloyd Claus Hoeltzel, a government worker, and Frederika Critchett Hoeltzel, a researcher at American University. He graduated from Scarsdale High School in Scarsdale, N.Y., Princeton University, and the Harvard Business School.
He worked in advertising, marketing, and consumer products. He led the team that created the slogan “Try it, you’ll like it” for Alka-Seltzer and led the creation of “Flintstones” vitamins. He also worked for Sandoz Pharmaceuticals in various European units, his favorite being the headquarters in Basel, Switzerland.
If life is a journey, he made the most of it, embracing it wholeheartedly with a tireless quest for knowledge, and a great love of the arts, literature and above all nature. He spent some of his happiest times transforming the landscape around his home and hiking, either the Appalachian Trail, of which he completed over 2,000 miles, or with the local Monday Mountain Boys. A man of great character and compassion for others, he never failed to offer a hand when he saw a need.
He was married in 1962 to Mary Arnold Ball, a classmate at Scarsdale High School. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Max Stackhouse of West Stockbridge, who was a Depauw University classmate of Mary’s.
He was involved in several non-profit organizations and was a co-author of the book “Responsible Drinking: A Moderation Management Approach for Problem Drinkers,” while also working to grow Moderation Management into a national movement as a member of the board of directors. He was very active in the Berkshires as a year-round resident and board member of the Stockbridge Library, successfully running its book sales for a number of years, as well as being Chair of the Literature Curriculum Committee of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, “OLLI” at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield.
He is survived by Mary Ball Hoeltzel, his wife of 52 years, daughter Gretchen Hoeltzel Champney and son-in-law Alan Champney, of Dennis Port, Mass., as well as son Lloyd Hoeltzel, daughter-in-law Angela Hoeltzel, and granddaughter Sylvie Hoeltzel of Hoboken, N.J. Other surviving relatives include nieces Eleanor Sutherland of Durham, N.H., Deborah Dellinger of Leawood, Kan., and Whitney Ovigele of Darien, Conn., along with nephew Charles Fenner Ball of Mililani (Oahu), HI, as well as a grand niece and several grand nephews.
He was predeceased by his older brother Frederic E. Hoeltzel. He will be greatly missed.
A memorial service will be held on November 15 at 3:30 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Stockbridge, 4 Main St., Stockbridge.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Stockbridge Library or Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College (checks are to be made payable to BCC Foundation, and in the memo line add “OLLI fund – in memory of Rudy Hoeltzel.”) Donations may be sent through FINNERTY & STEVENS FUNERAL HOME, 426 Main St., Great Barrington, MA 01230. To send remembrances to his family go to www.finnertyandstevens.com.