Howard Messinger Hodges
  • April 9, 1926 - December 16, 2016
  • Pebble Beach, California

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The Paul Mortuary

390 Lighthouse Ave
Pacific Grove, CA 93950
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Howard Messinger Hodges passed peacefully at his Pebble Beach home on Friday, December 16th. He was surrounded by his loving family and dedicated caregivers.
Howard was born on April 9, 1926 in Beaver, Utah to Harold and Nettie Hodges. A year later his parents moved to the Monterey Peninsula where he lived the rest of his life. He attended Pacific Grove schools and graduated in 1944 from Pacific Grove High School.
When Howard was 14, he bought 3 bicycles from the money he earned working at his father's gas station in New Monterey--and the rest is history. He rented bicycles for 25 cents an hour to WWII G.I.'s at Fort Ord and neighborhood kids who didn't have bikes of their own. He was drafted into the Army in 1945 and served at Camp Beale, returning to the Monterey Peninsula in 1947. He graduated from Heald Business College and continued to build his rental business by adding equipment after purchasing the gas station from his father. Little did he know, he would meet his future bride, Lorraine Haley, when she and a mutual friend stopped there for gas in 1955. Howard and Lorraine were married in Carmel the following year. Daughter Julie and son Hal arrived in the next two years respectively. Son Steven brought up the rear nine years later.
By 1957 the rental business had outgrown the gas station, and he purchased property on Foam St. where the equipment rental continues to this day. In 1986 he moved the party equipment to its current location on Lighthouse Ave. - a stone's throw from where it all began. Howard was respected by his many long-time employees, some of whom he gave their first job, and even celebrated 3 marriages between his employees who met while working together at the rental. Howard enjoyed the fact that some of his customers had been with him for many years and had celebrated milestones in their lives with items they had rented. One of his greatest joys is that his sons will continue his legacy.
Howard didn't have many hobbies because the rental was his biggest hobby and passion, and he continued working up until last year. He loved serving his customers and his customers loved him. When he wasn't helping a customer, he enjoyed traveling, photography, attending PGHS Breaker football games and playing poker with family and friends. He was active in the P.G.H.S. Alumni Association until his death. Until recently he could be found having lunch at Fandango Restaurant with his family, where he was affectionately referred to as their unofficial ambassador.
He was preceded in death two months to the day by his wife, Lorraine Hodges, of 60 years. He lovingly referred to her as his "Sweet Lorraine". He was also preceded in death by his sister, Betty Kristinich.
He is survived by his daughter Julie (Scott) Dufault, sons Hal (Theresa) Hodges and Steven Hodges. Two grandchildren, Megan (Cliff) Burdick and Justin (Christiana) Dufault and two great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his cherished nieces, Kathy Jacobs, Judi Tessier and Mary Burgess.
The family would like to thank his faithful caregivers, Bess, Lori, Precy and Romela who lovingly cared for him over the past 2 years and his doctor of 40 years, E. John Kennedy, M.D.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Pacific Grove High School Alumni Association (PGHSAA), P.O. Box 51396, Pacific Grove, CA 93950 or Animal Friends Rescue Project (AFRP) P.O. Box 51083, Pacific Grove, CA 93950.
Howard touched many lives with his gentle nature, humor and generosity. He will forever be in our hearts. A celebration of Howard's life will be announced at a later date.

Arrangements under the direction of The Paul Mortuary, Pacific Grove, CA.