James Hartley Hodges

Waybright Funeral Home

James Hartley Hodges

Kenna - James Hartley Hodges, 85, of Kenna was reunited with his wife, Dorothy on Sunday, May 16, 2021 at home surrounded by his family.

James is survived by his sons Michael (Jennifer) and Brandon (Trish); grandchildren Emilee, Milo, Alyssa and Eliot; brothers Bob, Bill, Randy and Benny; Sisters Bonnie and Donna. He is also survived by many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

In addition to his wife Dorothy, James was preceded in death by his parents James and June Hodges and a sister, Mavis

Jems was raised on a dairy farm in Monroe County, part of a large and hard-working family. An avid reader from a very young age, every extra penny he could scrape up was spent on comics and books.

He left Monroe County at adult age, choosing to join the Army as a means for an education. He was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, and his last year was spent as a Military Policeman. In a letter written to James' parents upon his discharge, his commanding officer wrote of his "cheerful, cooperative attitude, his good judgement, his interest in the welfare of his unit… (that) have been a tremendous benefit to this detachment.

James (Jim) utilized some ot the skills learned in the Army and acquired a job with the State of West Virginia. He would study and take classes at night (gaining his Professional Surveyor License), while working on various projects around the state. It was during these times that fate brought him to Sonny's Restaurant in Ripley where he met the love of his life, Dorothy Raines.

Jim and Dorothy spent the arly years of their marriage traveling the state, lving out of suitcases, following his work. They drove cool cars, had good times and built a solid love that would last their lifetimes.

Jim became a father in 1972, to son, Michael. Nearly two years later, Brandon arrived, completing the tight family that remained committed to each other throughout the high and lows of life. Tbe boys were quite young when they attended Jim's graduation from Morris Harvey with his Professional Engineer license. He spent many years working for the West Virginia State Health Department, which had the perk of conferences at various state parks. These were utilized as mini family vacation, and the young family saw much of this beautiful state.

In the late 70's, Jim's "babe" was ready to move back to her roots, so they purchased a piece of the Raines family farm on Gin Creek, an proceeded to (slowly but surely) build the wonderful home of their dreams. Jim had an amazing skill for design (and of course had probably read a million books at this point in his life), and this shows in the details and customization throughout their home. Although it took a while for his vision to be be completed, the love in the home grew as they drove nails, hung wallpaper and raised a couple of mischevious boys.

Jim soon retired from the State, and went to work for West Virginia American Water, where he remained until he finally decided to "hang up the calculator" for good. His diverse knowledge of surveying, engineering and operations and his ability to explain complicated matters in simple terms mad his office a very popular spot during these years. Both Michael and Brandon have benefitted throughout their careers for simply being "Jim's boy". If a person knew Jim, they immediately (and sometimes correctly) assumed his kid must be pretty okay.

Jim had many hobbies throughout his life. He was an avid reader, and a collector of many things- including coins, stamps, books, antique toys and knowledge. His main hobby however was whatever Dorothy was into. He was the engineering support behind her quilting, the how-to support behind their line dancing and the moral and loving support of anything and everything that she did. The consummate gentleman, any where that she wanted to go, he took her there. Anything that she wanted to do, he made it happen Anything that she or the boys needed, he provided. Dorothy was Jim's world, and he was hers. As hard as their passing so closely together hits, those who knew Jim that he was simply holding the door one last time… "after you, my lady".

Jim was a blessing as a father. Like the role he played with Dorothy's hobbies and interests, Jim was a part of any activity of which his boys showed interest. Scouting, wrestling, baseball and football were just a few of these, and if Jim didn't have experience with something he would read and figure out how to help make it happen.

Jime also shined in his role as Papaw. He logged many miles dragging Milo and Eliot around the yard in the wagon and opened his home and heart to his granddaughters Emilee and Alyssa. The first time that the girls came to meet and visit with Mamaw and Papaw, Jim had constructed a huge pile of leaves for the kids to play in. His sage advice and quiet humor were appreciated by each of his grandkids. "Hi Five, Low Five, Huggie Huggie". Jim will also sadly be missed by all the grand-dogs: Sissy, Merle, Sydney and Harlee, while Sable Heidi Dog, T.L. and Onyx will all be tail-wagging-excited to see him.

In lieu of flowers, Jim has requested that you please consider a donation to your favorite charity. Some of his include Goshen Cemetery Association, The Greene Center, Read Aloud West Virginia and HospiceCare of Charleston.

A joint memorial service will be held on July 4, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. at Waybright Funeral Home in Ripley. Interment of Dorothy and Jim's collective remains will be at the Goshen Cemetery following the service. Afterwards, the family would like to invite all family, friends and acquaintances for a celebration of Dorothy and Jim's lives, to be held at the Greene Center in Kenna, staring around 2:30 p.m. If the Hodges family has touched your life in any way, please join us for food, drink, laughter and memories, for that is what Dorothy would have wanted. We all know, if that's whit his babe would have wanted, that's what Jim Hodges would have made happen.

Published on June 01, 2021