Ward Hodge was born May 22, 1922, in Flint, Michigan, and died December 17, 2018, in Midland, Michigan. During the depression, he moved with his family to their cottage on Lake Charlevoix. His high school years were spent working on the family farm in Snover, Michigan, where he attended Marlette High School. Upon graduation he joined WWII in the Navy and was stationed on the destroyer U.S.S. Decatur in Philadelphia. There he met Dorothy Cotter, an acquaintance from Marlette, who was in the Coast Guard. They were married on August 6, 1945, the day the first atom bomb was dropped, and they were married for almost 73 years when she passed in January of 2018. After their discharge they moved to Los Angeles for Ward to work at Universal Studios. When their first child was born, they returned to Michigan where Ward attended Michigan State University, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture and Master’s Degree in Economics.
Ward taught various subjects in Montague, Caro, and Kinde, where he became principal, and finally to Midland where he helped establish Northwood Institute. He ended his teaching career retiring from Northeast Intermediate in Midland.
Passionate about the environment, he was an active speaker and writer with local and national groups. He instilled a work ethic and the value of education to his five children, and he gave generously to many charities. He enjoyed fishing and hunting, getting his last deer at age 80; reading, especially Zane Grey (collected and read every book written by him, and many several times); and photography and videography of environmental and family events.
He was predeceased by his parents, Ward G. Sr. and Gladys Russell Hodge; his wife, Dorothy, and two sisters, Mary Sue Becker and Jean Pomnichowski. Surviving are his four brothers: Herbert, Richard, Robert, and Stuart; his five children: Greg Hodge (Sharon), Jeff Hodge (Karen), Janis Lord, Karen Cobel (Scott), and Julie Garl (Greg), and 14 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held where he and his wife attended at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, on January 12, 2019. Visitation will be at 10:30 and service at 11:00 am. Military Honors will be under the auspices United States Navy and Midland County Veterans.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Care Giving Network Inc. of Midland, 607 Gordon St. Midland, MI 48640.