Eugene M. Hodges
Eugene M. Hodges
  • October 26, 1919 - February 20, 2017
  • Zellwood, Florida

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Eugene Merle Hodges, beloved father, husband, brother, son and friend passed away on February 20 at the age of 97.

He is survived by his daughter, Joy Hodges Bell (Leon Borchers) of Atlanta, and son, Richard Eugene Hodges of Zellwood, Fla. He was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Lucille Parks Hodges, in 2008, and his parents James Arthur and Ethel Purvis Hodges of Lake City, Fla. and Highlands, N. C., as well as his siblings, Herman Hodges, Kitty Hodges, Virginia Bishop and Christy Hodges.

He leaves behind four grandchildren: Carrie Bell (Jamie Gordon) of Marietta, GA; Jason Bell (Regina Bell) of Lawrenceville, GA; Kim Harris (Troy Harris) of Cary, N. C. and Kelly Jones (Chris Jones) of Edneyville, N. C.; and three great granddaughters: Cayley and Leah Jones and Olivia Harris.

Born in 1919 in Guyton, Ga., Gene grew up in various towns of South Georgia, as his parents were teachers, and his father, ultimately, a principal. Later, they moved to Gainesville, Fla., where his father pursued an advanced degree at the University of Florida. Gene developed a love of learning and was the valedictorian of his graduating class in Jasper, Fla. He entered the University of Florida on a math scholarship and upon graduation in 1942, enlisted in the Navy in response to our country’s war efforts. He served with honor in the Pacific Theater as a 2nd Lieutenant, commanding a ship, a sub chaser, and bringing it home to San Francisco at the close of the war.

Settling in Orlando, Fla. after returning from the war, he married Lucille Parks in 1947 and began a career as an accountant and secretary/treasurer of the Holler Chevrolet Corporation in downtown Orlando. Ultimately settling in the Bel Air area of Orlando, Gene and Lucille made many lifelong friends and were very active in the community, serving in several capacities. Over the years, Gene and Lucille gathered up their UF friends and happily attended many football games.

In 1985, he retired from service at Sunbelt Systems, a company owned by his brother Herman. He and Lucille then traveled the country in their beloved RV, going from one coast to the other as well as Canada and Mexico.

In 1990, he and Lucille left Orlando and moved to nearby Zellwood, where they happily retired. They enjoyed the bountiful opportunities there to enjoy nature and many other opportunities afforded by retirement living.

A lifelong fisherman and hunter, Gene passed that love onto his son, Rick. He passed a passion for music to daughter Joy, which they shared for many years, as well as a profound love of reading, which he continued every day in his later years. To both children, he passed a deep love of the water and nature. Weekend boating trips were a staple of the Hodges home.

His quiet wisdom, quick wit and deep and abiding love for his family will be missed by many.