Bluefield Daily Telegraph
PRINCETON — Joseph Isaiah Hodges, 89, of Hale Avenue, Princeton, went home to be with the Lord and Savior on Tuesday, February 17, 2014. Joe was a “Christmas Gift,” born December 25, 1924 to the late, Bennie F. and Gracie Stump Hodges. He was the last surviving member of his immediate family.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers and sisters, Jake, Bonnie, Bennie, Ballard, David, Paul, Laula, Virginia and Della all who were waiting for him at the gate to welcome him home. But first in line was the love of his life, his wife of sixty-five years, Minnie Margaret who went before him on 2011.
Joe served his county in WWII, while serving under General George Patton in North Africa, Italy, France and Germany. He was awarded 3 Bronze Stars, The American Victory Medal and the European Army Medal.
When he returned home to Kegley, W.Va. he met and married the girl of his dreams, Minnie Belcher. They laughed together many times, recalling that he thought she was older than fifteen years and she thought he was sick when he proposed and didn't want to upset him, so she accepted, but their love and devotion was strong and sure. They modeled a loving relationship to all who knew them, showing honor and respect to each other always. Together, they built a home that honored Christ and blessed their family and friends. They gave life to four children, Barbara and husband, Larry King of Sandlick, Brenda and her husband, Kenneth Johnston of Princeton, with whom they lived the last years of their lives and Joseph E. Hodges and wife, Betsy of Princeton; their infant son, Eldon preceded them to heaven. “Papaw” was a strong model of Christian living to his nine grandchildren, Kristie & Chip Musick, Tracie & Anthony Parker, Kellie & Rocky Pennington, Immanuel & Buffy King, Kimberly & Jonathan Hendricks, Lisa & Randall Black, Brittany Hodges, Nancy Hodges & David Hodges. He was adored by his 19 great-grandchildren & seven great-great-grandchildren.
Joe was a loving, gentle man who made a vow to God while overseas, that he would support orphans any way he could when he got home. Till his last day, he sent funds to numerous orphanages and needy programs the world over, never forgetting his promise. He woke his family in the morning with praise, and his last act each night was to kneel at his bedside and pray. His Bible was worn and tattered, but his faith was strong. He was a man of honor, a man who worked and served and loved his fellow man, a peace-maker. Never once in all his life, did his children ever hear him speak a negative word about anyone. He looked for the good in others. He witnessed to neighbors, often leaving scriptures and Bibles in their mail boxes. His greatest wish was to please the Lord and lead others to Christ.
For all who knew him, there is no doubt, there is a great reunion going on in heaven today, because his family circle is complete and Joe and Minnie are together again with the Lord.
Funeral services to celebrate the life of Joseph Isaiah Hodges will be conducted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at the Burns Wornal Chapel of the Memorial Funeral Directory on the Athens Road in Princeton with Pastor Randall Black officiating. Friends may visit with the family from 5:00 p.m. until service hour.
Online condolences may be shared with the family by visiting www.memorialfd.com. Grandsons will serve as pallbearers. Military graveside rites will be Friday, February 21, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. at the Roselawn Memorial Gardens by the Mercer County Honor Guard. Those attending the graveside services are requested to be at the funeral home no later than 9:30 a.m.
The Hodges family is being served by the Memorial Funeral Directory and Cremation Center on the Athens Road in Princeton.