Remembering My Great Grandfather

My wallpaper on my work computer displayed a photo I took several years ago of my great-grandfather’s grave in Easton, Kansas:


When I saw his date of death on the headstone, I realized that this summer was the 40th anniversary of his passing. So I went searching for his obituary, which a relative had posted on the Find A Grave web site. I’m going to copy-and-paste the obituary here for posterity:

Rev. John Hodge, 73, Easton, died early this morning, June 13, 1975, at the Jefferson County Memorial Hospital at Winchester. Rev. Hodge had been in failing health for the past two years.
Funeral services will be at 3 o’clock Sunday afternoon at the Easton Methodist Church with Rev. Clare Hayes, pastor of the Countryside Methodist Church, Topeka, officiating. Burial will be in the Easton cemetery.

The Davis Funeral Home at Leavenworth is in charge of arrangements.

Rev. Hodge was born May 30, 1902 at Toledo, Ill., and was the eldest son of William Paris and Florence Belle Zike Hodge.
After high school graduation at Vandalia, Ill., he entered military service in 1919 and served continously for 25 years. While serving at Fort Leavenworth, he spent 12 years in study for the ministry.

He began his pastoral work at the Farley Christian Church, Farley, Mo., in 1925. Rev. Hodge became pastor of the Round Prairie Community church in 1926 and was away from that church for two years, 1928-1929, to be pastor of the Michigan Avenue Methodist Church. In 1935, he became minister at the Easton Methodist Church. He organized the Potter Community Church in 1946.

Survivors include two daughters, Mrs. Ralph Andrea, St. Paul, Minn., and Mrs. John Watkins, South Gate, Calif.; two sisters, Mrs. Floyd Pruett, Bethalo, Ill., and Mrs. Ray Evans, Pritchard, Ala.; three stepchildren, Ted Stafford, Parkville, Mo., Gary Stafford, Easton, and Mrs. Donald Call, Basehor; nine grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

He married Marie Elizabeth Kielser May 18, 1921. His first wife died in 1949 and a year later he married Evelyn Robinson Stafford.

Rev. Hodge had a prominent record of religious and athletic work during his early years in the military service. (The Atchison Globe)

Forty years and one month ago, my great-grandfather passed away.  I was ten that summer.  Here’s a photo of me sitting on his lap in the middles 60’s:


I don’t remember much from the funeral back in June 1975. I do remember the old church in Easton was full to overflowing. I remember more of the good times had at his birthday celebrations (every Memorial Day) and the family Thanksgiving gathering, which took place in the Fellowship hall at the same church in Easton.  And of course Christmas eve services followed by another family gathering at his house (shown above).

Rest in Peace, Pop.  You are loved and you are missed.

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