David Lee Hodges

David Lee Hodges of Lawrence, Kansas, passed away on November 20, 2020. 

David was born in Lawrence, as was his father and his father’s father. His dad Glenn now resides in Lumberton, Texas, with his wife Glenda. His mom Nancy Alstrom Hodges Wells resides in Tonganoxie, Kansas. David is survived by his siblings, whom he loved very much: Eugene Hodges, Michelle Tannehill, Shelly Pruitt, and Bill Wells. 

David grew up in Kansas City, Kansas. Later, he and his family moved to Tonganoxie, Kansas. There he attended high school, enjoying friends and playing football. It was in Tongie that he met his sweetheart and future spouse Mary Fales…all thanks to the ‘foresight’ of his science teacher Mr. Pat Wakeman, who by all accounts was the most patient teacher in the world, but who upon one occasion did find reason to move David, and about a half dozen of his somewhat boisterous friends, from the very front of the class near where he was teaching, to separate areas within the class which were as far away from him as possible. David was deposited right next to Mary. Mr. Wakeman was heard to say, “Perhaps she can teach you some manners!”…which she attempted to do throughout their subsequent three years of courting and 38 years of marriage. 

Along the way, David and his wife had two children: Sydney who married Tara, and Henry who married Wendy, a union from which sprung David’s most precious treasure, his grandson Theodore David. Theo was very much Grandpa’s best bud and often worked right alongside him on any project he could talk his Grandpa into. In fact, Theodore’s first paying job (at the age of 3 years) was cleaning air conditioning coils with his Grandpa Dave…albeit wet, it was a good start I’m sure David’s brothers and sisters of UA Local 441 would appreciate. 

David worked many years in commercial HVAC and formed many close friendships with those he worked for, those he worked with, and those he served. He especially enjoyed mentoring and working with young people coming up in the trade. It brought him great joy and pride. David’s work ethic was instilled in him at an early age in his grandfather Walt Hodges’ plumbing shop in KCK working amongst a family of  plumbers. His work history included many years in Facilities at the University of Kansas, Huxtables, and later P1. He also worked many years for his friends Alan Wright and Bill Harmon of A&H.  

David was a past member of Hell On Wheels, Rolling Thunder, and the Military Vehicle Preservation Association while restoring his 1942 Willy’s Jeep ‘Alice’, which graced the Lied Center stage during the opening celebrations for the Dole Center at KU. ‘Alice’ (named after his wife’s middle name so she wouldn’t be jealous of all the time he spent with her), and a later restoration, his 1942 Ford Script ‘Eugene the Jeep’, participated in many a parade and event and provided great experiences for David and his family. David graciously encouraged young children and their parents to jump in his jeep for pictures and to marvel at and touch all the “cool stuff” inside. He especially loved sharing his Jeep with veterans of WWII who had first hand experiences themselves during the War in just such a vehicle. David was more than happy and thrilled to share his ideas and knowledge, or to dig right in to help others on their restorations. Many very close friendships were made and cherished by David, and much fun was had especially at the annual family military vehicle ride and campout. 

Most of all, David was a kind fellow with a big heart who never knew a stranger. When he saw someone in need he would graciously give them a helping hand, whether that meant running a plate of Christmas feast to an elderly man waiting in a post office on the holiday during a snowstorm so the man didn’t have to travel all the way back home in between two part time jobs on that stormy day, buying a piece of old junk from a traveler who needed gas money to continue on to his destination, fixing a car on the highway in the rain so a mom with babe in tow could be on her way, or fixing a power wheelchair on the sidewalk for a man on his way to the neighborhood grocery store. It wasn’t something he thought about, it was just something he did. David was a wonderful loving husband, father, grandfather, son, son in law, brother, brother in law, friend and neighbor. 

His family would like all to know that they are most grateful for those who have shared their memories of David with them, and they sincerely appreciate all those who have expressed their condolences in his passing. His family finds great comfort to know so many loved David as they did. Thank you! He will be missed very, very much. 

The family won’t be having a memorial right away due to the pandemic, but will announce a memorial for David at a later time and will do their best to try to get that information out to those who may want to share that time with them. 

Condolences may be sent at rummest-yost.com.