Funeral Service for Gene Hodges
Eugene Hodges, one of our dearest members and a hero of World War II, passed away on June 4th.
You can watch his service here, officiated by Rev. Sammy Hargrove, at Brown’s Funeral Home of Irving,
Eugene Hodges died peacefully from natural causes on Thursday, June 4, at the age of 94 years old. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, friend, and a distinguished World War II Veteran.
Gene Hodges was born October 24, 1925 in Dallas, Texas to Dawson and Thelma Hodges. In 1943, at age 17, he quit Crozier Technical High School and joined the Navy following the attack in Pearl Harbor, in which his close cousin was killed on the USS Arizona. He served in the D-Day invasion on an LCT landing craft delivering men and supplies on the beaches of Normandy, narrowly escaping death when a bomb failed to detonate. He later did a tour of service in Asia.
While on leave from the war in 1945, he married his high school sweetheart, Ruby Zink. In 1954 the young couple moved to Irving, where they raised two children. Gene worked for Westinghouse Electric Corporation for nearly 25 years as manager of their north Texas warehouse facility. In the mid-1970s he retired from Westinghouse and his first marriage ended in divorce. Gene then started a delivery service company named Dallas Area Distribution Service, or DADS. Gene was enormously proud of DADS, which was in business for nearly 25 years. At its peak, DADS had a fleet of vehicles ranging from panel trucks to tractor-trailers and several drivers providing “hot shot” deliveries throughout Texas and surrounding states.
In 1977 Gene married Marian McKee, and the two worked together to run DADS. During their 43 year marriage, Gene and Marian enjoyed traveling, square dancing, deep-sea fishing, and spending time with friends and family members. Gene and Marian were great cooks and loved hosting holiday dinners at their home.
Gene Hodges had a remarkable spirit of kindness, joy, and generosity. As a boy growing up in the Great Depression, he worked with his father to help their family survive. As a young man, he gave tirelessly to the Boy Scouts of America, contributing as a Sea Scout leader, Cubmaster, District Commissioner, and troop leader to help guide youth development. His work with the Sea Scouts was credited with steering numerous troubled teenage boys toward a productive life. In recent years he was active in the community, helping the homeless and those less fortunate, always with a positive spirit of lifting people up.
For the past few years, Gene Hodges battled several chronic diseases. Nevertheless, with great determination and toughness he remained independent and active through most of 2019, even managing to travel to California to attend his grandson’s graduation from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Gene Hodges is survived by his wife of Marian Hodges of Irving, Texas; son Richard Edward Hodges and wife Katherine Borkovich of Claremont, California; daughter Cynthia Maloney-Marlar and husband Michael Marlar of Cleveland, Tennessee; step-daughters Lori Kendall of Richland Hills, Texas; Lisa Jones and husband Mitchell Jones of Shakopee, Minnesota; sister Sandy Henry and husband James Henry of Granbury, Texas; sister Doris McMillan of Whitesburo, Texas; grandchildren Erik Hodges, Amy Hodges, Slade Maloney, Brittany Winters, Jacob Maloney, Aaron Kendall, Joelbe Kendall, Lauren Kendall, Michael Jones, Jennifer Jones, Christina Dallman, Chad Brinson, Krystal Parker; and numerous great-grandchildren. Gene will be laid to rest at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery. Due to COVID-19 social gathering safety restrictions, full military honors and memorial services have been postponed until later this year.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the First United Methodist Church of Irving https://www.fumcirving.org/ or Scouts BSA https://www.scouting.org/programs/scouts-bsa/.
Gene’s family will forever cherish his memory as an extraordinarily kind and generous soul with a cheerful spirit of optimism.