Site Printout

Site address:

In Remembrance of Walter G Hodges, Jr.

2 December, 1929 ~ 14 February, 2013
Detroit, MI, United States

Message from Jennifer Waters:

" Walt's family would like you to share any memories you have of him. He was a great gift to all of us and he is, and will continue to be, deeply missed. "


Walter G. Hodges, Jr. of Gilbert, Arizona, was born in Detroit, Michigan to Walter Garland Hodges and Beatrice May Dunlop. He lived in Ontario, Canada from his birth until 1936. At the age of 7, the family moved to Jerome, Arizona, where his mother, then Beatrice Hodges, became County Nurse and the first woman Commander of an American Legion Post in Arizona. He attended elementary school in Jerome, then Prescott High School while working at Prescott Airport.

After briefly attending Canada Business College in the summer of 1948, Walt returned to Prescott and enlisted in the Navy. He trained in Navy Air Control and was stationed at the Naval Air Facility (NAF) in Litchfield Park, Arizona, serving in the Navy from 1948-1952. During this time he met, then married, LaNell Henry in 1952. Following his Navy service, Walt returned to his education at Arizona State Teacherís College, Flagstaff, which then became Northern Arizona University, earning a BS in Education, with a major in English and later a Masters in English Literature with a focus on American Literature. His son Joe was born during this time, in Flagstaff.

Following this, Walt was awarded a scholarship to the American Institute for Foreign Trade (AIFT), Thunderbird School of International Management (TSIM)--now Thunderbird School of Global Management--earning a degree in International Airport Management. He was then hired by Panagra (Pan American-Grace Airways) to manage airports in Peru, Bolivia and Colombia. His daughter Jennifer was born in Colombia. The family returned to Flagstaff in 1958.

On their return from South America, Walt began teaching English and was hired at Mesa Community College (MCC) shortly after it was opened, in 1965. He continued his lifelong interest in Native peoples and history of the Southwest by working several summers at Walnut Canyon National Monument in the 60ís. Within two years at MCC, he was elected English Department Chair, and due to his outstanding reputation with both faculty and administration, both at MCC and across the Maricopa County Community College District, he was repeatedly elected as Department Chair for 21 years. His sincere and earnest commitment to students, faculty, Mesa Community College, and the Maricopa College District have been highly respected.

Walt and LaNell divorced in 1985 and he became married again, to Marilyn Campbell, Mesa Community College Nursing Department Chair, in 1986. Marilyn truly became the love of his life. Upon both of their retirements, they shared their passion for traveling the world and meeting like-minded people who became close friends everywhere they went. Our dear Marilyn passed away in 2005.

Walt passed away on Valentineís Day and went to join Marilyn. He is survived by Joe Hodges (son) and Jacque (wife), Kristen (granddaughter) and Shannon (great-granddaughter); Jennifer (Hodges) Waters (daughter), Amber (Waters) Alvarado (granddaughter) and Mark Alvarado (husband), Avani and Alanna (great-granddaughters), and Jared Waters (grandson). He is also survived by an extended family of very dear friends to whom the family is extremely grateful.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Walter G. Hodges Memorial Scholarship at Mesa Community College. For more information, contact Jared Langkilde, (480) 461-7396.


Candles & Flowers