William Harry "Bill" Hodges, Sr.
September 12, 1926-December 1, 2012
William Harry "Bill" Hodges, Sr., 86, passed away Saturday, December 1, 2012, in Gulfport. Mr. Hodges was born on September 12, 1926, on Lovers Lane in Ocean Springs to the late Calvin Dickson Hodges and Sadie Catchot Hodges. Following graduation from Ocean Springs High School, he attended the University of Southern Mississippi where he was initiated in the first pledge class of Alpha Tau Omega. A veteran of the Second World War (WWII) and Korean War, he served in the United States Navy on board the U.S.S. Birmingham and the U.S.S. Des Moines. He retired from Gryder's Shoes after thirty years of service as Manager of the downtown Gulfport store. After his retirement, he enjoyed carving fish and birds out of driftwood and built over eighty hand-made cast nets. Mr. Hodges enjoyed playing golf, fishing and playing the piano by ear and often entertained residents at the Naval Retirement Home in Gulfport with golden oldies and jazz tunes. He enjoyed Mardi Gras every year and was a member and Past President of The Order of Mithras and reigned as King in 2000. Mr. Hodges was a lifelong member of Nativity B.V.M. Catholic Church. Following mass every Sunday morning, he would attend First United Methodist Church of Biloxi with his wife, Gene. They resided in Biloxi for many years prior to moving to Gulfport in the aftermath of Katrina.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Cyril Dickson Hodges and Robert Garod Hodges and one nephew, Richard Keith Hodges.
Surviving family members are his wife of 61 years, Gene Helm Hodges; daughter, Nancy Hodges Dunaway and her husband, Dickie of Gulfport; son, William Harry Hodges, Jr. of New Orleans; three grandchildren, Kirk Ryan Lawrence and his wife, Jaymi of Biloxi, Denise Dunaway-Ozerden of Gulfport and Richard Damon Dunaway also of Gulfport; three great-grandchildren, Vivian Caffee, Harty Noble and Miriam Dunaway Ozerden of Gulfport; brother, Malcolm Francis "Bud" Hodges and his wife, Leewynn of Ocean Springs; sisters-in-law, Martha Rehorn Hodges of Bushnell, Florida and Nancy Helm Tucker and her husband, Ben of San Antonio, Texas and many beloved nieces and nephews and also special caretaker, Danielle Paull, who will never be forgotten.
The family would like to express their gratitude for the dedication and loving care of the nurses and staff members (our other family) at the Boyington Nursing Center in Gulfport. Bless you, Josh, Tish and Rita. And also a special thank you to Odyssey Hospice.
In lieu of flowers the family request that memorial donations be made to the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum, P.O. Box 1907, Biloxi, MS 39533.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. at the Ocean Springs Chapel of Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home, one block away from the house in which he was raised. Friends may visit from 12:00 p.m. until service time. Interment will follow in Evergreen Cemetery in Ocean Springs.
Honorary Pallbearers: Nephews, Michael Dickson Hodges, Daniel Thomas Hodges, Robert Bruce Hodges, Malcolm Francis Hodges, Jr. Michael Helm Tucker and Benjamin Thomas Tucker and nieces, Victoria Louise Hodges and Suzanne Gail Tucker.
View and sign register book at www.bradfordokeefe.com
Published in The Sun Herald from Dec. 4 to Dec. 5, 2012