Kathleen Suzanne Hodges of Huntington, WV, passed away on Sunday, December 25, 2022 at the age of 75. She was born January 20, 1947, at St. Ann’s Hospital in Columbus, OH to John and Celia Forker. She moved to Gahanna, OH before starting first grade where she had fields to play in and a pony, who she named Trigger, after Roy Roger’s horse. Over the years, as a self-proclaimed “tomboy” she found great joy riding with her friend Sally, and it was not surprising that Hopalong Cassidy was her favorite show. Her love for the outdoors was evident as she volunteered to take care of the outside chores while her sisters, Ellie and Nan, helped with the inside ones. She spent much of her time outdoors with her father, learning the names of flowers, plants, and birds, how to garden, how to fix things, and how to fish. Fishing was one of her great early loves and nearly every weekend she would spend time with her father and family at the “Crawdad Hole.” Family and friends were vitally important to her, and she loved spending time in the summer with her Uncle Clem and cousins in Newton Falls, OH. Kathy had many interests and talents, learning to dance at Dorothy Blum’s studio and playing the coronet in the Gahanna-Lincoln marching band. She was active in intramural sports and learned the butterfly stroke while on the swim team. Her senior year she was voted most athletic. During the summer she was a lifeguard at the country club. During high school she was encouraged by her high school teacher, Ms. Lucas, to attend Marshall University in Huntington, WV. While at Marshall she joined the Alpha Xi Delta sorority, which would provide lifelong friends and memories. She would become Sorority President her senior year. A special bond was made with her sorority sister and roommate Linda Eakle. They would forge a lifelong friendship as evidenced by their daily phone calls to each other their entire lives. During her summer breaks from college Kathy would go back to Gahanna and work in the Kroger bakery with her friend Karen (just imagine Lucy and Ethel!). Kathy graduated from Marshall in 1969 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, specializing in art and physical education. She met John Randolph Hodges while at Marshall and they were married in 1968. Together they built a wonderful life and did everything as a team. Although she never officially had a career, she was behind the scenes at every turn of John’s career. She truly was the woman behind the man and in fact, that is how she was with everyone important in her life, from her children to her friends. She never expected any acknowledgement or accolades for anything that she ever did. Always quick to lend a hand or help to solve a problem, there was nobody like her. Whether she was looking up medical symptoms in the Merck manual or getting out her WD40, she was always trying to fix things. She was part of a large bridge club in Huntington where she met Kathy Reece, Sidney Polan, and Alice Frye. They would become lifelong friends, better known as the “YaYas”. Taking her mother’s lead, Kathy was always one to stay in touch with friends and family. Coming from a large family, that was not always an easy task, but she always had her finger on the pulse of the lives of those for whom she cared. Over the last 17 years, one of her greatest joys, other than spending time with friends and family, was spending time in Duck, NC. The beach was her sanctuary, calm and relaxing, where she could fish or sit on the boardwalk overlook and watch the ocean and people. She will live on in every life that she has touched, especially through her children and grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband John in 2012. She is survived by her three children Jonathan (Samantha) of Cleveland Heights, OH, Adam (Christa) of Oak Hill, WV, Eden (Aaron) of Lewisburg, WV, and ten grandchildren, Katelyn (David), Ryan, Jesse, Emma, Eden, Jordan, Parker, Tye, David, and Avery. She also leaves behind her siblings Eloise (Tom), Nan (Jim), John (Penny), and Mary (Russell) as well as her special friends Linda Eakle and Judie Allen, and her "YaYa" sisters, Sidney Polan, Kathy Reese, and Alice Frye (deceased). As well as many loved family and friends.
A Celebration of life will be held Saturday May 27, 2023, from 12:00-6:00 at the Doubletree Hotel, 1001 3rd Ave, Huntington, WV 25705.