Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Uncle Jarrell T. Hodges has passed on . . .

My Uncle Jarrell passed away on August 15th. Some readers may recall the following blog post about him and Uncle Cran, as told by Uncle Cran:
When brother Jarrell came home from the military, he had a disconcerting habit of laying his loose change on his dresser. That was a terrible temptation for me and brother Bradley. It was actually less troubling for Brad, and he didn't mind helping himself occasionally. But I fought it for days . . . until one day greed overcame conscience, and . . . to my everlasting shame, I TOOK A DIME! I think I got a can of pop and an ice cream cone. But for days I couldn't look Jarrell in the face, as I knew my crime would be printed on my forehead for him to read.

Over the years I was unable to overcome my guilt, so a few years ago I happened to travel through Kansas City on my way to take a plane to Washington, DC to visit son James and family. Returning to KC, and on my way home, I decided to clear my conscience. Stopping by to visit, I confessed my crime, pulled out a dime, and placed it on the table between my brother and me.

Jarrell picked up the dime, turned it over and over in his hand . . . then returned it to me. Sorrowfully, he said, "Cran, that's not the same dime."
I recall Uncle Jarrell from my early years, and he was that sort of good-natured, humorous sort of man -- sharp-witted, but kindly. Turns out, he also had a Korea connection, as you can see from his obituary:
Jarrell T. Hodges, 85, of Kansas City, MO, passed away Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012. He was born on Dec. 25, 1926 in Elizabeth, AR. He served in the United States Army during World War II and the Korean Conflict. He was a member of Carpenters Union Local 61 and retired in 1992. Jarrell was a member of Blue Ridge Baptist Temple in Kansas City, MO, for over 55 years. Jarrell is survived by his wife of 61 years, Corene; four daughters, Sheila McCool, Janie Alvord, Lisa McLellan, Cheryl Pozin; eight grandchildren and ten great grandchildren, one sister and four brothers. Services will be Saturday, Aug. 18, at Blue Ridge Baptist Temple (CrossPointe Baptist Church), 10306 Blue Ridge Blvd, KCMO. Visitation begins at 9:30 a.m., followed by his funeral service at 11 a.m. Burial service with military honors will be 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Sharon Cemetery, Drexel, MO. (Kansas City Star, August 17, 2012)
I couldn't attend the funeral, but Uncle Cran did, and here's the report that he sent me:
A large audience attended the 11:00 AM services of brother Jarrell Hodges at the CrossPointe Baptist Church, Blue Ridge Campus, at 10306 Blue Ridge Boulevard, Kansas City, Missouri on Saturday, August 18, 2012.

I don't know the actual attendance, but the church would seat several hundred, and was about three fourths full.

His former pastor, Brother Parker Daily, preached the funeral. Present pastor, Brother Bill Boren conducted the service, opening in prayer, reading the obituary, and introducing the singers, and reading Jarrell's 1947 English II, Theme No. 1, as follows. (The paragraphs were indented on the brochure).
I recall my Grandma Hodges telling me about this short essay by Uncle Jarrell. It had impressed her that her son had such strong feelings about home:
My Favorite Spot

To many people such a name as a favorite spot could only mean a place in dreamland, a Utopia, or something that never exists.

But to me a favorite spot is something to cherish and a place that in days to come I can look back to with happy remembrance.

It isn't one of those places that people look upon and admire, but to me it is beautiful. There are trees that in the springtime are so green they glisten and in the autumn they are of many colors. The grass that pushes its tender green stems upward in the spring turn brown and ugly in the hot summers and the cold winters.

Many birds come to this place in the spring and to build their nests only to go away again when the frost begins to come. Some come to this place only to go away sad because of the loss of a mate or an offspring.

Even though tragedy sometimes visits here, it is in reality wonderful.

Some people could look at the surface features of this place and declare it ugly or maybe not take any notice of it at all. They might look at the long and crooked red gullies and say that negligence was the cause of this unwanted disgrace to the spot.

The small stream of water that courses its way through this place sometimes seems to sing as it flows in and among the gravel bars and around the willows. At other times, it seems to be quiet and to hurry on by.

Sometimes the wind sings and whispers of happiness as it passes through the lonely pines or through the stately oaks. But at other times it only sighs or just causes the trees to tremble as it is passing by.

Even though me sadness and ugliness sometimes take the place of happiness and beauty, to me this place shall always be wonderful -- for it is my home.
If this dates from 1947, then Uncle Jarrell would have been about 20 or 21, which means that his high school studies were interrupted by the war and that he was finishing his high school requirements. Anyway, Uncle Cran continues:
There were three songs: "Closer to the River" by J. D. Barber and Dennis Pittman, "Suppertime" by Cranford Hodges, and "God of the Mountain" by Janie Williams.

His daughter, Lisa McLellan, gave a tribute to her dad, and quoted the words to the song, "Daddy's Hands."

After singing "Suppertime," I related the story of stealing a dime from my brother years ago, finally confessing to the crime about eight years ago, and just before the service told how I had placed a dime in the small "memory drawer" inside his coffin, finally having closure to the incident. I think each of the children placed something there. I do know that Corene placed in it three small love notes (about 3 by 3 inches in size) that Jarrell had written her when they were dating. She showed them to me that morning. One was written as a poem.

Following the service, the church fed the families and friends who stayed.

The graveside service was at Drexel, Missouri, at 2;30 pm, where his son in law was buried nearby, Brother Bradley was also previously buried in another part of the cemetery. Jarrell was a veteral of the Korean war, and military rites were performed by an honor guard of four soldiers. The bugler played "Taps," three soldiers gave a rifle salute, and one soldier presented the U.S. flag to his wife, Corene.

It was a touching and loving service to my brother.

P.S. Some folks had tears in their eyes as I sang "Suppertime," but when I related how Jarrell examined the dime I tried to return to him, then shook his head, gave it back, and told me, "That's not the same dime," they laughed. But several told me later they enjoyed that story, and it illustrated his sense of humor.
That's Uncle Cran's report, and here's a short note from Cousin Bill:
Good evening.

Today's WR [Weekly Ramblings report] is brief. I'm yet on a bit of a downer . . . Uncle Jarrell's passing was too soon after losing Dad.

Life's not long enough . . . at one time I thought the Hodges were invincible . . . they're not.

Jarrell's service reunited families again. Rev Dailey gave a beautiful eulogy . . . he and Jarrell (J.T. in Parker's words) were obviously friends.

Uncle Cran sang "Suppertime," followed by the story of the stolen dime . . . that tale bringing smiles and laughter from to everyone.

The world continues its slow spin, minus Dad, Jarrell, Kathryn, Buel, Cleo, and Brad . . . and once again, with no need to remind anyone . . . each, Heaven's gain.

Following the services, Scott, Cheryl and I visited Uncle Claude . . . he's doing well.

Those closest to us need a hug and an "I love you."


Cousin Bill also sent the sheet with the order of events in the funeral service:

More importantly, for me, he sent the eulogy, which gives more biographical details than the obituary in the Kansas City Star above:

From this eulogy, the Star's obituary, and the photograph at the top of this blog entry, I see -- and perhaps you've also noticed -- that Uncle Jarrell was born on Christmas Day.

The eulogy also reveals that Uncle Jarrell was one of those individuals who serve their country and accept the responsibilities that life demands of us all, and he can thereby serve now -- now that he has passed on -- as a model for how one ought to live one's life . . .



At 12:32 PM, Blogger The Sanity Inspector said...

My condolences, and congratulations on having enjoyed his company for so long.

At 1:39 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Well, I wish I'd known him more. I had little contact after my childhood.

But thank you for the condolences. I'll pass them along.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 5:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pass along my condolences too Jeff.

Herschel D.

At 7:12 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Herschel. Will do. (I believe your father was also in the Korean War -- is that right?)

Jeffery Hodges

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At 1:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The plaque at the foot of his grave lists:



Viet Nam


At 4:51 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Wow, that's quite a list!

Jeffery Hodges

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