October 8, 1952 – August 3, 2018
David Michael “Mike” Hodges – Age 65 Mike was born on October 8, 1952 in Palatka Florida to David and Myrthel Hodges. Mike graduated from Palatka High School in 1970 he then attended St. Johns River Jr. College. Following in his Father’s footsteps, he graduated from the University of Florida in 1975 with a B.A. in business. Mike was an avid lifelong Gator Fan. Mike enjoyed a wonderful childhood in Palatka. He worked his way through Boy Scouts and achieved the highest honor of being named an Eagle Scout. He absolutely loved the outdoors! He enjoyed camping, fishing, hunting, and swimming. He was a young surfer and rode many a wave at Crescent Beach, enjoying long beach drives and sunsets. Mike met the love of his life, Linda Harrison, in 1969. They fell in love and married in 1975. They have been married for 44 years. Mike’s greatest love has been raising his family, providing and protecting them and watching his grandchildren grow. He has two wonderful children Robin (Talent Manager for Honor Health) and Scott (Phoenix Firefighter) that blessed them with four adorable grandchildren whom Mike cherished and loved with all his heart. Mike and Linda moved from Florida to Scottsdale in 1989 and began working for Bingo West. They established many lasting friendships. In 2008 they went to work with Cactus Bingo Supply where they continued to build on those great friendships. Mike liked being able to help people, he had the kindest heart. Bingo customers/friends meant so much to Mike; he enjoyed doing installation jobs, and repairing bingo equipment for all the bingo locations. He was the “Bingo Specialist”. He traveled throughout seven states during his 30 year bingo career and was able to develop lasting friendships with numerous accounts from Casino’s to Senior Centers. He truly enjoyed his work, the bingo staffs and his co-workers over the past years. Mike highly honors God and Country and was a military and history buff. Mike had to start dialysis in September of 2016. He had been approved and was currently waiting for a kidney transplant. Mike was survived by his wife, Linda Harrison Hodges, his daughter Robin Ersland (Adam) Phoenix, AZ, Son Scott Hodges (Coleen), Anthem, AZ, Grandchildren Luke and Sydney Ersland, Bria and Declan Hodges. Mother Myrthel Hodges, Palatka, FL, Sister’s Cathy Campbell (Harvey) and Patti Brown (Kevin) Brother Jeff Hodges (Chris), Loving In laws, nieces and nephews and longtime friends. He will be cherished and remembered forever by all of us. We all love our “POPS”. Celebration of Life services will be Friday August 10th, at 10:00 A.M. at Phoenix Memorial Park, 200 W. Beardsley Road, Phoenix, AZ 85027. Memories and condolences can also be posted online at www.ShadowMountainMortuary.com
- Memorial Service Friday, August 10, 2018
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September 1, 2018
You are an amazing father, husband and person that I was fortunate to be able to learn from. You were kind ,strong and loyal to your family and friends. You have taught and showed me the difference between right and wrong. You were my support in life, my one call to solve it all. You loved me and were so proud of me. You showed me what is important in life, what matters. You sacrificed, you worked hard, you showed compassion thru tears and work thru callused hands. You hugged me when I needed it and disciplined me when I needed that too. You taught me that respect gets respect and to never give in on your morals. I could continue forever on the lessons and memories I have of us. I need to thank you dad from the bottom of me, thank you. I love you always and I will always miss you. Thank you pops.
August 31, 2018
Mike, 23 years ago we met through our sons. We became Family. You decided to call me Devoney Louise. Every time I called Linda it was Devoney Louise lets go camping. I remember when MaryKristine was leaving for Adams State College. You gave us all the perfect directions by Landmarks only. Make sure you turn at the building on the right and go over the bridge. You called us along the way to make sure we made it. I'm so thankful you made a trip to McKelson Ranch. After your dialysis you loaded up the four wheelers and guns, from the smallest to the biggest with all the ammunition. After that weekend Devoney's family had 4 wheelers. I thank God for you and all our memories. May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face, the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand. We love you Mike. Devoney Louise and all the McNeil's
August 30, 2018
I have so many fond memories of you and the family. So many, I would never be able to write them all down. From you throwing packs of lit fire crackers at me, to my first trip to Mexico and all of the fun we had down there. You always showed your love and kindness not only to me, but to Shiela and all of my boys as well. We will all miss you and look forward to seeing you again. Aunt Linda, Robin, and Scott you and your families will be in our prayers. We love you.
All of our Love.
Josh, Shiela, Griffin, Parker & Clayton.
August 30, 2018
I still remember going to Uncle Mike and Aunt Linda’s house in Callahan. I remember the above ground pool with the large deck around it. I remember all the summers at Nannys house. The time y’all came to visit us in Alaska at the ski lodge and my 1st trip to Arizona. Some of my favorite memories were the road trips to Arizona in the summers. We would make that 15 hour drive nonstop and y’all would welcome us and sometimes our friends too. Your house had more food than I’d ever seen and I was amazed at your genorasity. I always felt at home with y’all. I’m very thankful for the invite Uncle Mike gave Diana and I in April of 2016, it was great spending some days with y’all in Phoenix. I couldn’t have planned a better Honeymoon. It was great to see everyone in June, thank you for organizing this summer trip. Uncle Mike, thank you for all the fun, warm, and cherished memories. Your the only one who told me funny stories about my dad that he wouldn’t tell me. Your the best and are greatly missed.
August 29, 2018
Growing up, Mike was my hero, and that has never changed. No matter what childhood crisis I was experiencing, it was somehow made better by a talk and a hug from my big brother on our backyard swing. One special memory I have is when he taught me how to drive in his AMC Gremlin in our uncles strawberry fields. I was pretty rough on his transmission! Before the move out west, we had so many fun weekends together at their home in Callahan. I'll never forget Mike cutting a watermelon on top of the kids little slide just to watch the first big slice roll down the slide and into the pool. I'm pretty sure he and Scott ate it anyway. I am so very grateful for the time we spent at Crescent Beach in June. What fun we had just being together. Thank you, my brother, for being our "tour guide to the west." Oh the places and things you showed us! The experiences we never would have had were it not for you. I will miss spending time with you in Arizona. Traveling with you while you repair Bingo equipment, sight-seeing, swimming in your big beautiful pool. I will especially miss all our phone calls and text about our Florida Gators, especially when you couldn't find any coverage of the game. I'll miss hearing you say, "please sis, what's happening? What's the score? I'm a Gator out here in this hot desert all alone!" How I will miss hearing your voice. Mike had such a big heart. I used to tell him he was rough around the edges, but all soft and gooey on the inside! John 14:2 says, "My father's house has many rooms, if it were not so I would have told you.I go to prepare a place for you, so that where I am you may be also.I have confidence that I will see my brother again. I will grieve for him, miss him, think of him and love him everyday for the rest of my life, His absence leaves a huge hole in our family and in each one of our hearts.How blessed I was to have had him as my brother for 58 years. How thankful I am. See you in a bit my sweet brother and Go Gators!
John R Dinicola
August 28, 2018
Mike we had some very special moments. We became brothers immediately. You have left a mark in your community, with friends and family that will never be erased. You may have departed but you will never be forgotten. Last thing I hope you become an Angel ( touch by angel tv show). God lets you come back and be my angel. Till we meet again lots of love and laughter.
Your Brother John
August 28, 2018
Thank you for all the laughter you brought to all those around you. Thank you for your love and welcoming me into your family from day one.
I know we will see each other again but I still wish we had more time to spend together.
I’ll always remember you and “Poppa” doing the “Happy dance” with my little Brynlee in the blue room on your last visit to Florida. Those are treasured memories that will live on forever for us.
We love you,
Bryce, Kayla, Brynlee and Bryah
August 28, 2018
I have so many memories or you from the time I was a baby to the man I am today. First, I want to thank you for making my Dad the man he is. You set the example for him to follow and a damn fine one at that. It’s is very true that man sharpens man as iron sharpens iron.
My favorite memory of you is when we went hunting on Sun Valley Ski Area, we drove the truck up and stalked around. After finally taking a spike you pulled me aside and left this with me “Jared, aim true, aim straight, I know you are going to be tested. You will be tested as a warrior of god against an enemy we don’t know yet. I’m proud of you and I know you’ll come out a better man.” I never knew what it meant until years later.
Thank you Aunt Linda for sharing Uncle Mike with us, Cuz’s thanks for sharing your Dad with us. I love you all and my family is here if you need anything.
Rest easy Wildman!
Jared, Cherie, Brookelyn, Alysa, and Savannah Hodges.
August 27, 2018
Thank you for making me feel like part of the family from day one. I barely knew you a year and a half but you would always go out of your way to make me feel welcome. Every time I went out of town for work you would call me to make sure I made it home safely. Whenever I had to do a repair by myself you would call me to remind me that you were only a phone call away.
Thank you for everything, you will never be forgotten.
August 23, 2018
Mike Hodges is my friend! Mike and I grew up together from an early age and our friendship grew over the years, he was a devoted family man all his life and when his family grew so did his love and devotion, from Mother and Father to Sister and Brother to Wife and Children and then to Grand Children. Mike and I were roommates at the University of Florida along with Caca Smith, Jack Williams, Taylor Douglas and Scott Herring......... I will just leave that and let all wonder about the experience. I also traveled with Mike and Mike Hall on an across country trip to Colorado seeing and experiencing sights and sounds a person from Florida had never seen, our greatest accomplishment of that trip was to bring back several cases of Coors beer, we didn't know it should be refrigerated and to this day I still don't like beer.
To Linda and Children, I am sure you know how much Mike is loved and cherished and how he will never be forgotten. I love you Mike.
August 22, 2018
Linda and Family,
Mike has been a life long friend and my heart was truly broken when I heard the news of his passing. We grew up on Golf Drive, only one block apart. Jack Williams, Mike and I spent our younger years playing baseball, basketball and football in our backyards and on the dirt streets in front of our homes. Our parents claimed each of us as their own. In Boy Scouts, Mike and I hiked 50 miles on the Appalachian Trail in the Smokey Mountains where they made us take baths in those darn cold mountain streams, camped many a weekend at Camp Francis, and spent a week paddling our homemade raft on the Suwannee River. On weekends we would load up in Mike's VW van and head to Crescent Beach. Surf all day and spend the night in the van so we could be there at sunrise. We loved to jump off the Matanzas bridge which seemed like a good idea when you are in high school. We never shared that with our parents.
Great Memories! We enjoyed our time as roommates at UF with Jack, Tim, Caca, and Scott. We made it through college somehow. We all affectionately called Mike "Wildman". He will always be known to us as "Wildman". Maybe it came from him always lighting fire crackers and rolling them under the bathroom door or starting fire cracker fights in the apartment. Sometimes we would go thru 500 fire crackers at a time. We lived off of chicken pot pies and instant mashed potatoes. After college we headed off on our separate ways but Mike and I continued to stay in touch. It seemed as if he was still my next door neighbor. Great Memories!! We hunted together for a week in Oklahoma 2 years ago. We had a wonderful visit. I got to hear about all the grandchildren.
Linda, there is no doubt in my mind that you have always been the love of his life. He adored you. What a great example you both demonstrated as a married couple for your family and friends.
I will miss Mike more than I can express in words. I was blessed to call him my friend.
August 20, 2018
Mike how blessed I am to call you my big brother! Scanning a lifetime of memories I only smile and laugh. Family trips to Crescent Beach, making our own skim boards, yours was orange/blue! Camping through Florida, the Blue Ridge, and Canada. Running through the woods looking for bears! What were we thinking?! HS years push starting your powder blue VW (you proved you can roll paint on a van). Following you to the University of Florida you found me an apartment and gave me your old campus job. You were looking out for me just like you always did and have done for family, friends, co-workers and countless others.
My sweet brother you were always “larger than life” and you loved showing others how great life can be. I will always cherish the awesome trip where you showed my kids the “west”. Cactus, camping, elk, the Grand Canyon, and of course Bun Huggers! You and Linda taking Mom and I to California were I experienced the Pacific for the first time with you! Yes we were tossed and tumbled by the waves, but oh how we laughed when we finally could stand! Enjoying Crescent Beach this past June, soaking in the ocean for hours! Memories so rich I will treasure each one forever because that is you! Always giving of yourself to show others the good life!
Mike you married the perfect girl and together you and Linda set a great example for us all. Loving life and family, as long as Linda didn’t move your stuff- a good chuckle here! I see you in Scott and Robin, their love of family and living life to the fullest. I see you in Luke and Sydney, Bria and Declan. How they love fun and adventure and just like you they look out for each other!
I will miss you deeply. Your big hug, your smile, your voice. It is true when you loose someone you love dearly there is a hole in your heart, I feel it. But I am comforted by 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18- my sweet brother I will meet you again in Heaven and there forever we will be together with the Lord!
Love you Bubba
August 18, 2018
Dear Uncle Mike,
I am so grateful for all the love and adventurous times you have given me. I will never forget the over the top camping trip to the rim where we rode 4 wheelers from dawn to dark, rode trails to find herds of Elk, laughed around the campfire at your fun filled stories and of course climbing into the back of your famous white Chevy truck for a ride to the Grand Canyon. Uncle Mike you always made me feel so special. I knew that if I needed anything you would hop on a plane and be here as soon as you could. I love that my Kenzie has the same birthday as you. When we celebrate hers we will celebrate you too!!!! There is no one like you and I will miss you so very much. You will forever be in my heart and memories!
Love Kelly and Kenzie
August 17, 2018
Aunt Linda, Scott, and Robin,
I am so sorry for your loss, my thoughts and prayers go out to you all. I was sadly never able to spend as much time with Uncle Mike as my older siblings were, but I was able to know him for the amazing man he was none the less. Anytime I was with Uncle Mike, he just knew how to bring a smile to your face through his happy personality and huge heart. I remember nothing but joyful times when I was around him. Take comfort in knowing that he is in a much better place now, and will one day see the family he loved so much again.
Much love, Andrew
August 16, 2018
I am so blessed to have been given the chance to be a part of your life. Growing up you became the patriarch of our family, and it became so natural for you. I don’t have any specific memories which stand out, but little moments. I will always remember how you would pull out last on our San Diego vacations to ensure everyone’s safety. How you would walk me out to my car no matter where we were just to make sure I knew where I was heading, and to be careful. You offered so much wisdom and encouragement for me, always pushing me to be honest and confident. When I got married you quietly offered advice, which I have always tried to revert back to, only hoping to one day have the love you and Aunt Linda shared. You accepted Colin as part of the family almost immediately, and I know he appreciated and admired you. You loved my children and they thought the world of you in return. A truly special man. I will always miss you and hold you close in my heart. Fly high Uncle Mike & Go Gators! (This is the only exception I will make for you 😉)
All my love,
August 15, 2018
In loving memory of my beloved son-in-law. I could have searched the world over but would never have found one that would have loved, cared for and protected my daughter and grandchildren like Mike did. Mike and Linda were high school sweethearts and genuinely loved each other every moment of every day they had together. His heart overflowed with love when Robin and Scott came along. He was so very proud of them. To his grandchildren he was affectionately known as "POPS" and they were his world. To me and Linda's sister and brothers, he was our giant. Anytime there was any kind of need, the answer was always, "call Mike" for we knew he would be there. His tremendous love of family will be his legacy. Mike was very important in the lives of so many people- his co-workers, clients, customers and friends. He was one-of-a- kind and will be sorely missed.
I love you Mike,
Rick & Lori Ersland
August 15, 2018
We are so deeply saddened at the loss of Mike.
We got to know Mike as our son (Adam) married his daughter (Robin). We couldn’t have asked for a better Father in law and role model for Adam, Robin and our shared grandchildren!
We will miss seeing Mike at the sporting events of our grandchildren as he was always good for a story and a laugh.
Mike, you will sorely be missed but our memories live on!
Rick & Lori Ersland
August 14, 2018
Linda and Family,
I was so sorry to hear of Mike’s passing. All of you have been in my prayers as you go through this difficult time.
I have a lot of childhood memories of Mike. Living just a couple of blocks apart Mike, Taylor and I spent a lot of time together while growing up. I remember fun times playing a lot of sports together - football (using Jeff as our tackling dummy), baseball ( the lefty could bring it), basketball, camping out in each other’s backyard (the highlight being when Pattie knocked my front tooth out with a baseball bat while hitting the side of the tent). That cap lasted me 45 years.
There were a lot of fun times surfing the waves at Crescent Beach and riding around in Mike’s VW van.
The college roommate days at UF were also good times although they went by in a hurry.
Mike was a great person who always had a sheepish grin on his face, a witty sense of humor, quick comeback to a comment and always had a twinkle in his eye.
I will always cherish these memories.
I know you and your family will miss him terribly but you will always have the wonderful memories of Mike in your heart.
May God Bless each member of his family and provide He provide strength and comfort to each of you in the coming days.
August 14, 2018
I am so thankful to have had such an amazing brother, role model and friend in my life. I say brother instead of brother-in-law because that's who you were to me. You are truly the best man I have ever known and I feel that I am a better person having you as my role model in my life. I will never forget one of my earliest memories when Linda, Pam and myself were waiting on the front porch for you to arrive and take us to Disney World. We were so excited to see that green Gremlin pull up in the driveway. I also loved the time we all went camping and sailing on Peanut Island. Just a couple out of several great adventures you made happen for us.
Thank you for taking such good care of our family. It is one of the things you did best. You leave behind a legacy that we all strive to achieve. One of love, family, strength, adventure and passion for life.
I will miss you.
August 14, 2018
Just a note of thanks to a special human being.
The day we moved out here in AZ, in July, and the 1st time meeting you face to face, you made me feel so welcome. You made room in your home for the 2 of us, and our 4 dogs until our home was ready 10 days later, and you were always concerned about OUR comfort. I knew then, that the stories about this wonderful man were all so true. Even a couple years later, when I was in an accident, alone in Las Vegas for work, you called and asked if I needed you to come get me, you had that way of protecting your family, and made me feel so part of it. For this I will be forever grateful.
Thanks for your humorous ways, and your extensive knowledge. I will try to remember,
"what would Mike do ? " so that I can strive to be just a portion of the person you were, to so many.
Thanks for making me feel a part and being such a great person of influence in my life.
I will miss you, until we meet again.
PS: Please give Maggie, Keesha and Kadie a hug and scratch behind the ear.
PAM AND JAY COEN
August 14, 2018
WE LOVED ADVENTURES WITH MIKE LIKE CAMPING IN SAN DIEGO, TRAIN RIDES IN AZ, SKIING UP NORTH, AND ALL THE FAMILY TRIPS WE MADE TO CA. MIKE SHOWED US ALL THE BEST BURGER PLACES, WAYS TO USE THE BATHROOM USING YOUR CAR DOOR AS A SHIELD WHEN YOU MUST GO, HOW TO COOK BLACK EYED PEAS AND GREENS, HOW TO LAUGH, LOVE, AND ENJOY FAMILY ALWAYS! WE LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU MIKE!
August 14, 2018
Words can't fully express the sadness and loss that I feel not having you with us anymore. I could not have asked for a better father in law than you were to me. You were always there for support, knowledge, or anything that we needed. Luke and Sydney truly adored you and I thank you for all that you did for them and us as a family. I'm going to miss our long road trips each year to Texas and the great discussions we had (in between your naps of course). I enjoyed every time you came to our house on 4th of July or New Years Eve for our fireworks displays, even though you were a bit sketchy with your lighting tactics and nearly blew a hole in the side of the neighbors house with a bottle rocket (I know you'll always remember that!) You always brought the funny and lighter side to things, which really made it so much easier to get to know you and feel comfortable around you over the years. I hope you feel comfort knowing now how much I love Robin and that I'll do anything to take care of her and the rest of the family in your absence. I think it's important that your legacy continues forward, which is why I will strive every day to be as good of a husband, father, and brother as you were. I hope you're enjoying those cheeseburgers in paradise!
Adam, your forever son in law and friend.
Robin, Adam, Luke & Sydney Ersland
August 13, 2018
Today and the days to come we will always know how much you loved and cared for us. Sweet memories of your self-less compassionate and genuine soul will keep us comforted through the tough days. You are our hero, protector, story teller and the best Dad and Pops we could of ever dreamed of. Your legacy will remain strong, your words of wisdom with continue to be spoken and your kind spirit will live through us. We were and will always be the blessed ones to have YOU in our lives.
We will think of you everyday, your sweet smile and witty humor will warm our hearts. I will always cherish endless memories of the perfect Dad. Until we meet again Dad, please know that you did so many more things right in this world and we have you to thank for them all.
May the force be with you as you continue to protect and love us from above.
All our Love,
August 13, 2018
I met Mike and Linda through Ann and Warren when they came to Arizona to pursue their new career in the world of bingo at Bingo West. Through the years we became family. Our Bingo West family was spread across the country. Many lifelong friends. I saw Robin and Scott grow up and become parents. Mike was very proud of them. He became a grandfather and loved every aspect of that title. The trip they all made recently to St Augustine was a blessing and the pictures he posted on Facebook showed how much he enjoyed being there.
Mike was always there for me and was someone I knew would always have my back. Since I moved to North Carolina he was always asking if I had enjoyed some of the southern cuisine such as greens, grits, boiled peanuts and Krystal burgers. I have tried them all except the Krystal burger. I will think of him when I finally get one of those.
I love you Linda and Godspeed Mike. I will miss you.
August 12, 2018
Dear Linda, Robyn & Scott,
We were so sad to hear about Mike's passing! He will be missed by so many, especially all of you & those precious grand babies! Anyone who knew Mike, loved him! Such a wonderful caring, helpful soul! We are so happy to have those fond memories of our boys playing sports together, all those fun games & after parties! Mike made a difference wherever he went, always reaching out to someone in need! May you find peace in the days to come! Our thoughts & prayers are being sent your way!
Rich & Mary Desmarteau
August 11, 2018
Uncle Mike drove Ashley and I the night we got married from the church to our reception. Keep in mind back then I barely knew him, but that didn’t keep him making me laugh! We carried on small conversation. One of which he started with, “now, do you know what you are doing? (Getting married?)” before I could even try to think of an answer, he chuckles “don’t worry son, you’ll figure it out!” I have never forgotten his words of wisdom! Thanks Uncle Mike
August 11, 2018
To Aunt Linda, Robin and Scott. Please know how much I wish I could be there with you. Please know my heart is breaking for you. Uncle Mike was so special, I loved him dearly and so many happy memories of him. So many of childhood memories of coming out to Arizona and visiting you all. I will treasure those forever and I look forward to making new ones with all our little crazy kiddos! I love you all.
August 10, 2018
My husband Richard was friends with Mike and Jeff and their Family. The whole family was very special to him and us. My special memory is Mike and Linda put us up at their house when we trailered the motorcycle out to their house and left the truck and trailer at their place to do our western motorcycle ride. Mike was very special man and friend and loved his family and Mom.
So sorry to hear he is gone.
August 10, 2018
I love you an will miss you so much. Thank you for always being so kind and loving. Every time we spoke you made me feel so special and important. Even thousands of miles away in Grenada. My first semester, I was so nervous and home sick. My dad called and said Uncle Mike sent me a package. When I learned it was fry sauce ( which he knew was my favorite) I laughed so much and felt so loved. When I wasn't able to pick them up he said " It's okay sweetheart I sent them to your house." I cherish this memory knowing he was thinking of me.
With all my love,
August 10, 2018
How do you sum up a lifetime of brotherhood in a paragraph? From being used and abused and a younger brother, then following him as a mentor, to end up wishing you could be just like him. That was my brother Mike. We played hard as young boys. When learned together as Boy Scouts, we camped and enjoyed the out doors. We played and competed at sports growing up, surfed too. I think we liked that the best! We continued to stay close all our lives, ending up working together as husbands and fathers. The two things I remember the most, My brother was a patriot and he was REAL. His love and protective nature was real. He not only wanted me safe, he wanted me to succeed and prosper like he had. Mike loved this country, his wife, his family and it always showed. He was a REAL brother, and I will miss him to my last breath.
August 9, 2018
First off I want to say I love you and I miss you. My heart aches for Aunt Linda, your kids, my Mom, and Nanny. You’ve always been so good to my Mom (she adores her big brother) and Nanny (who also adores you).
Even though I didn’t grow up close by, and we didn’t get to see each other often, we always had a few things in common...namely our love of St. Augustine, the University of Florida (go Gators!), and good BBQ! You were there for most of my big days, when I got married, my graduation from grad school, you’ve met and loved on my baby girl, plus lots and lots of fun summertime family memories. But my favorite memory of you was March 1st, 2013. It was the night before Daniel and Heavens wedding and that morning I had taken my second set of first steps.
All the family was gathered at Nanny’s house. I had pushed my self most of the day and by now was completely worn out and aching. I didn’t want to leave the party, or worse, complain to my Mom and have her leave to take me to the hotel. Instead, you and I camped out on a couch on Nanny’s porch. We sat there catching up, you told me how proud you were of me, and at some point I fell asleep on your shoulder. It was peaceful and calm. Thank you.
Now it’s your turn to be free of pain and peaceful. I know you’re still watching out for us. Enjoy the view from the other side of those orange and blue sunsets. I love you.
August 9, 2018
I’ve been thinking about Uncle Mike so much this last week, going through all our memories and moments. Instead of talking about one memory, I want you to know that I don’t have a single bad memory with my Uncle. All the moments I shared with him are good ones. I think that is pretty amazing. I also think it will be true for most people because that’s just the kind of person Uncle Mike was, always happy, quick with a joke or a “go Gators”, easy going, loving life and everyone in it. And that is exactly how he will always be in my heart and memories. I loved him so much. I love all my Arizona family and want you to know I’m praying for you daily and wish I could have come out. If there’s anything I can do for any of you, please let me know. 💜
August 9, 2018
Packed up and packed in, Uncle Mike set his visiting Florida family on a trip to the Rim. He had openly debated whether to bring the Range Rover or four wheelers on our excursion. The former would be fun for the kids, myself included, while the latter would help him take us trail over trail to sightsee and possibly spot elk.
The debate had filled our minds with adventure. Because Uncle Mike is who he is, he brought both options. We found exploration and elk with the Range Rover and whipped through the forest on four wheelers. On the four wheeler, my brother and I found a sun-bleached pile of bones picked clean not too far from camp and promptly shared our find with Uncle Mike. He told us the bones were from an elk, “ probably killed by a bear,” he said to instill a healthy amount of fear in us Florida boys no doubt. It worked. He also told me how elk had two ivory teeth. They are, in fact, one of only two animals in North America to produce ivory. If the skull was intact, there was a good chance an ivory tooth was there too.
I adventured back, admittedly looking out for bears this time, to the bones where I found a single ivory tooth right where Uncle Mike said it would be. He confirmed its authenticity when I showed it to him. I brought that tooth back to Florida. Today, that tooth rests in a jar nestled with small but lovely seashells that I’ve collected from Florida beaches. For a Florida boy adventuring west, it’s a proper place for a piece of Arizona ivory gathered with the guidance of a very orange and blue man.
August 9, 2018
You will be greatly missed, Mike! Camping and pool parties were awesome with you behind the grill. From your cheeseburgers to Auntie's Beans, you always had a recipe to share. You are the only one I knew with the patience to cut off the "icky black stuff " off the hot dogs for Max. Thank you for so many years of happy memories, you were very special.
August 9, 2018
I remember Mike and Jeff picking me up in his Jeep the night before my wedding to Patti. Needless to say it wasn’t my best hour but Mike made sure I got home that night. He was probably thinking what is my sister getting in to. Once when he had a fishing trip planned and a customer canceled he invited me. Picked me up at 4am and we had a great day fishing out of Mayport. We hunted Kings Bay together many times which was always fun. Any time I called him he’d say he’d answer with K MAN which I’ll miss. Whenever we did make it out to AZ Mike was always helping us in numerous ways. I watched Mike be such a great son to Nanny and big brother to my wife Patti and to Cathy and Jeff. He always thought of his mom for every occasion and even at times when there wasn’t an occasion. He did things for us often, little things and big things . Patti loved talking Gators with Mike. He’s an example to me to be a better son to my parents and brother to my siblings. Will miss you Wild Man!
August 7, 2018
Thank you for all the love you have given me. Thank you for raising two wonderful children (Scottie was one of the few cousins that was gentle when tortured me), and thank you for always being there when we needed you. Heaven enjoyed every second out in Arizona and you helped that cross-country trip be the best. You showed me Bun Huggers and for that I'll always love you Uncle Mike. I'm going to miss you dearly.
- nephew of the decade
August 7, 2018
Mike was an amazing man, son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, and friend to everyone he touched in his life. I always enjoyed conversations with Mike because he was such a sincere person. He was kind and tender in his approach to others and he loved so deeply and his love of family was the soul purpose for his life. He will be missed for sure and his shoes may have trouble being filled because he was such a compass for those who depended upon him. Mike Hodges....I know you are with the Angels now....and I believe your family will join you in their time.
May the Grace of God surround your family Mike as they endure these days they had not prepared for. You will be remembered fondly by me Mike.