James B. Hodge
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James B. Hodge
  • June 18, 1955 - August 4, 2011
  • Arlington, Virginia

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James Hodge's Story

James Benson Hodge, Sr. entered mortality on 18 June 1955, was born into everlasting life as a child, and slipped the bonds of mortality on 4 August 2011.

James was the second son of Willie A. Hodge, Jr. and Ruth Elma Bolton Hodge. He was a native Texan - born in Center, Texas and grew-up in San Antonio, TX, where his mortal body will be interred until it is quickened at the Lord's return. James has an elder brother Willie A. Hodge, III (Ricky) whom he greatly adored, and a younger brother Charles, who, along with their mother Ruth, greeted James in heaven last Thursday.

In youth, James was an avid sportsman - a starter on both his high school football and basketball teams, and was an accomplished artisan. His art and athletic prowess were featured in his hometown newspaper and recognized with university art scholarship and football team recruitment. His discipleship by the church was extensive, including activities such as role playing in a Tom Thumb wedding and serving the congregation by singing in the youth choir.

James married Pamela Renee Cleaver, his college sweetheart, on 30 June 1979, and was blessed with two sons James Benson Hodge, Jr. (Ben) and Antony Christopher Hodge (Chris). They are the delight of his life. James cut their umbilical cords at their births and was devotedly active in their lives from that point on. Bath-time & story-time; science fair project helper & school play photographer; Scout leader & t-ball/baseball/soccer/basketball coach; home repair guide & computer guru; Sunday School teacher & life mentor. He devoted himself to fatherhood and Ben & Chris adore him for it.

James is a generous man with many dear friends and extended family members who count their lives enriched by the relationship. He took great comfort and joy in the time spent with his family, friends, and band of prayer brothers, and counted his more recent time with them, (here and in Texas), an especially sweet gift from God.

James graduated from Prairie View A&M University in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering degree and was commissioned an Ensign in the United States Navy at graduation. He served this great nation on active duty for close to four years and retired from the US Navy Reserves as a Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) in 2002. He was recalled as a Reservist to active duty during Desert Storm. His naval career included service as a Surface Warfare Officer, Shore Intermediate Maintenance Officer, and as a Forward Controller for naval gunfire and close air support with a US Marine Corps Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO). He served in Rhode Island, Florida, & California; and sailed the seas to many places abroad.

James worked as a Mechanical Engineer for the Department of Defense from 1980 until he passed from this life into eternity. He was an engineer through and through. His career spanned the range of engineering experiences - from designing ground support equipment for fighter and bomber aircraft; developing flight controls software for anti-satellite weapon system; developing technologies for Theater Air and Missile Defense; licensing for transfer of U.S. space technologies to foreign nations; to monitoring satellite launches from platforms at sea and abroad. James has many professional credentials, including: Department of Defense certifications for Systems Engineering, Communications - Computer Systems, Test & Evaluation, and Program Management. As a civil servant for this great nation, James served in locations from bow to stern & starboard to leeward in the U.S. - Texas to Ohio, California to Virginia, and abroad in many foreign countries including Russia, Kazakhstan, Japan, France, Luxemburg, and Dubai. His DoD employers included the US Air Force, The Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He was serving with the Defense Technology Security Agency (DTSA) when he passed from this life into the next.

James was a willing instrument of the Holy Spirit throughout his mortal life, and is recounted in testimonies as the quiet evangelical voice that pierced hearts with the Gospel of Christ, or the discipling example that kept them faithful to Him. James' heart for children led him to active service to ensure that children tangibly experienced God's love for them. He was involved in everything from the Cherrydale Baptist Church Orphan Ministry program during its formative period; to hands-on visits with orphans in his many travels to Russia; to engaging the local church there in Russia about their Christian opportunity to 'care for orphans in their distress.'

James Hodge is a tall man, standing almost 6 ft. 5 in., but stands taller still in the eyes of his wife, sons, father, brother, extended family, and circle of friends. He is rightly extolled as a man after God's own heart. His family takes great comfort in their expectation of the wonderful things James is now doing in the service of our Lord in Heaven.
Oh, the joys of those who . delight in the law of the Lord,
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
-- Psalm 1:1-3 --