Larry Don Hodges passed away peacefully at home at Yankee Hollow on Sunday, October 1, 2023, at the age of 85. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, October 14, 2023, from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Pine Knolls Golf Club 1202 S. Attica Rd, Knoxville, IA, on the lower level. Toast and sharing of memories will begin at 4:00 p.m.
Larry was born on February 21, 1938, in Tracy, Iowa, to William Forrest Hodges and Sarah Arabella (Glenn) Hodges Murphy. He was raised in Knoxville, Iowa, and attended Knoxville High School with the Class of 1956. Larry joined the United States Air Force after high school, attending Basic Training at Parks Air Force Base in California and completing specialty training at Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming. During his service, Larry was stationed at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. Larry received an Honorable Discharge in May of 1959.
On May 18, 1960, he married Darlene June Abernathey in Marion, Iowa. They enjoyed almost 50 years of marriage, with Darlene passing away one week short of their 50th wedding anniversary.
Larry and Darlene spent most of their marriage in Knoxville where they raised three children, Lori, Bill, and Candy. He worked for his father at the family coal mine, Beard Coal Company, for many years before it was sold. He then went on to drive for Continental Trailways before joining 3M Company when they opened in Knoxville in 1974. Larry was proud to say he was one of the first seven employees hired at 3M Knoxville. He worked for 3M until his retirement in 1998, after which he worked as a guard for the security company there where he was able to continue seeing many lifelong friends he had made during his time at 3M.
Larry will be remembered for many things, not the least of which includes his love for his family and his way of entertaining the masses. He humored many with his skill at playing the spoons, card tricks, telling jokes, doing impressions (especially John Wayne), and going for golf cart rides on his trails at Yankee Hollow. One of the most important gifts Larry and Darlene gave their children and grandchildren was the ability to laugh and find humor even during the most difficult of times.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Darlene; their son, Bill; his mother, Sarah; and his father and stepmother, Bill and Imogene.
Larry is survived by his two daughters, Lori Hodges of Des Moines and Candy Wilson (Brandon) of Knoxville; grandchildren: Brian Coady Clarke II (Madie), Ross Clarke (Kennedy Wall), Abigail Rector (Mike), Nolan Wilson (Katie Caughey); and great-grandchildren, Stella and Luna Rector and George Wilson. He is also survived by one sister, Billie Wahl (Kevin), and many nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank EveryStep Hospice for the excellent care given to Larry over the past many months. A special thank you to his aide, Nikki Stone, who kept him laughing through it all and was as much his friend as she was his caregiver.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Save Our Stadium (SOS) – Knoxville’s Historic Ken Locke Stadium, where Larry played football and ran track, or a charity of your choosing.