Retired Lt. Col. William Bill Hodge, 78, died March 14, 2021, at Mission Hospital in Mission, Texas, due to complications after surgery.
He was born Jan. 13, 1943, to the late Dewey and Lucille Hodge, Poplar Bluffs, Missouri, where he grew up.
Bill joined the U.S. Air Force in 1960 and was stationed at Forbes Air Force Base, Topeka. In 1964, Bill joined the Oregon Air National Guard in Portland. He transferred to the Kansas Air National Guard in 1968, after which he received his bachelors degree.
Bill was instrumental in logistical support during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm when the 190th Air Refueling Wing deployed to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, from August 1990 to March 1991. On March 9, 1992, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his leadership and devotion to duty. He retired from the Air National Guard in 1997 after 38 years of service to his country. Bill was an extremely valuable member of the team and he will be missed.
In 1962, while stationed at Forbes Air Force Base, he met Mary Jo Robinson and they were married Nov. 2, 1962. The couple relocated to Portland, and eventually settled in Osage City, Kansas, in 1997, where the couple lived for over 40 years.
Bill had a love of travel and enjoyed taking his family on trips. He enjoyed camping, boating, golf, flying and RVing. Bill and Mary Jo enjoyed being winter Texans and lived in Palmview, Texas, in the winter months.
Bill is survived by his wife, Mary Jo Hodge, Topeka; his son and daughter-in-law Jeff and Christine Hodge, Colorado Springs, Colorado; son and daughter-in-law Jason and Katie Hodge, Osage City; and he leaves behind grandchildren Makayla Hodge and Kaitlin and Ryan Bebout; and three great-grandchildren, Hayden, Hudson and Harlyn, Kennard, Nebraska.
He will always be remembered as a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather and friend.
A memorial service will be announced at a later date.