Obituary of Thomas Louis Hodges
October 6, 1935 - October 13, 2023
Thomas Louis Hodges. Age 88 of Trenton.
Thomas was born in Lincoln Park, MI to Leo and Ethel (Liddle) Hodges. During his teenage years he worked at Calder Brothers Dairy, Detroit, Michigan for a weekly wage of $55.00. He spoke fondly of his childhood days exploring Elizabeth Park in Trenton while living with his grandparents and visited that park often in his later years.
After attending Lincoln Park schools, Thomas entered the U.S. Air Force on October 30, 1952 at the age of 17 (with signed consent from his Mom). He was an Airman 1st Class. After serving late in the Korean War, Tom saw combat in Vietnam and belonged to outfits including 1st Air Commando Group, 5th Bombardment Wing, 509th Bomb Wing (heavy), and the 812th Air Base Group. He spent time in over 28 countries while serving, including Jordan, Ethiopia, Lebanon, N. Africa, Cambodia, and most of Europe. Serving as an Aircraft Mechanic, gunner, and flight engineer, he was a vital part of the flight crew on the B-25, B-26, C-47, and C-54 aircrafts. He attended NCO Prep School, and was decorated with the National Defense SVC Medal and Good Conduct Medal. Thomas served at Walker AFB (NM), Dhahran SFB (Saudi Arabia), McClellan Field AFB (CA), Hurlburt Field AFB (FL), and Bien Hoa Air Base (Vietnam).
While at McClellan AFB, he met and married S. Ruth Dunmire (Brant), the mother of his three surviving children. They shared a love of travel, especially the National Parks, and their young family experienced numerous trips out west in the family station wagon and to Pennsylvania to visit close relatives. Tom worked at General Motors many years as a car fabricator. Taking college classes as an adult inspired him, as did his love of sports. As he grew older, Tom loved spending time with his grandchildren, especially birthdays and holidays. Some of his favorite memories included festive meals, goofy shopping trips after Christmas, beach days, and the infamous "Monopoly" game. Thomas also served as secretary for the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) chapter in Rockwood/Flatrock and joined the Catholic Church.
With his kind heart and handsome smile, Tom could strike up a conversation with anyone. He loved to hear his family share stories and laughed right along with them all. He thoroughly enjoyed reading, taking walks on a beautiful day, Elliot donuts from the Trenton bakery, collecting coins, and mastering crossword puzzles and word searches. He will be greatly missed by his family, who is forever thankful for the years God gave them to enjoy life together. What joy we have in the promise of heaven to those who believe and accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Tom is the beloved father of Carole (Cliff) West, Cheryl Hodges and Matthew (Michele) Hodges. Loving grandfather of Mitchell (Maggie) West, Derek Hodges, Sylvia and Effie Hodges, Samuel West and Aaron Hodges. He is the great-grandfather of Braidyn and William Hodges, and dearest brother of Norma (Hodges) Day. He is preceded in death by both parents, step-mother Josephine Hodges, step-father Victor Kleeman, and his sister Alice Cassel.
Cremation will take place at The On-Site Crematory, located within Molnar Funeral Homes - Brownstown Chapel.
A private family ceremony will be held at a later date to honor his life and passion for family and the Air Force.
John 14:1-3 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."
John Molnar, Sr. opened the Detroit Hungarian Funeral Home, now the Molnar Funeral Homes, in 1923. The funeral home began in his home until relocating across the street to it's Delray location at 8623 Dearborn Avenue, in 1936. He had a strong work ethic and believed that you should never stop learning...