Ludline Hodges
Ludline Hodges
  • June 15, 1933 - December 28, 2017
  • Mansfield, Texas

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Ludline Hodges, nee Self, died at the age of 84 on December 28, 2017 at Isle at Watercrest Mansfield, the assisted living facility where she resided. Known as "Lu," she is survived by Bobby Hodges, her husband of almost 65 years; daughter Amy Hodges; daughter-in-law Diana Hodges and grandsons Alden and Hayden Hodges. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews and their children. She is preceded in death by her sons Darrell and Russell Hodges.

Lu was born in 1933 in Longview, TX to Mahala Self, nee McNeely, and named Ludline after her father, Lud L. Self. After her mother died when Lu was 6, her older sister Imogene and her husband, Cecil Carver, raised her and her sister Hortense, along with their five children, in Leesville, LA. At Leesville High School, she was a drum majorette, and learned to dance the hula for the school talent show from a pamphlet she ordered in the mail. She attended Draughons Business College in Abilene and became a secretary for the Abilene city engineer in 1952. When Bobby, then a University of Texas senior, interviewed for a job with the city engineer, it was Lu who came out to greet him. "She was just as pretty and nice as could be," Bobby said. He got the job, and started coming in early so that he could see her. Their first date was at a baseball game. "I liked everything about her," he said. "She just liked to do different things that were fun." Lu was 20 when they married in 1953, and Bobby was immediately inducted into the Air Force as a 2nd Lieutenant. The couple went to New York, Mississippi and Texas where Bobby graduated as an Air Force pilot. They were stationed in Japan for two years, and two of their children were born there. In 1957, Bobby began a 33 year career in the Texas Air National Guard which took them to Houston for 20 years and then Dallas for 13 years.

Lu was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. "She was a consummate hostess who took her role as an officer's wife seriously," her niece Frances Underwood said, and she often entertained other officers' wives at her home with exquisitely prepared coffees and luncheons. People loved to be around her and the lifelong friendships she made in Japan, Houston and Arlington were very dear to her. "Mom had the ability to make friends quickly and easily, no matter where we were," daughter Amy Hodges said. Lu was known for her refined tastes in clothes and home decor. She was an avid theater and museum goer with an insatiable curiosity about everything. It wasn't unusual for her to start a conversation with a question about an obscure historical fact she'd been wondering about. "Aunt Lu loved research," her niece Yvonne Hatton recalled. "One day I walked into her room at Watercrest and the first thing she said was, "What do you know about Hadrian's Wall?" We looked it up, and I read pages and pages to her about it. That was typical of her."

In 1977, the family moved to Pantego, TX, where Lu was actively involved in the Arlington Arts League and Arlington Woman's Club. She was a world traveler who loved to go on cruises with her family and friends. She and Bobby took bridge lessons and became master bridge players, competing in tournaments around the country. Lu loved poetry, was excellent at crossword puzzles and had an extraordinary recall. She was a generous and kind woman who didn't hesitate to help family and friends in times of need, said Frances. Although she had to give up playing bridge a few years ago as her eyesight dimmed, her quick wit and dry sense of humor remained intact. "I have this memory of us all sitting in the hallway as tornado sirens were going off, and Aunt Lu said "Anytime there is tornadic activity in the area, I need a sweet," Yvonne remembers. "So, we retrieved the M&Ms, put them in a bowl and ate them until the tornado passed." She had a remarkable inner strength that carried her through difficult times, including the death of her two sons and ongoing health challenges as she aged. "She had a will of steel," Yvonne said. "No matter how she felt, she rallied. I'd never seen anyone that strong."