Willard D. Hodgen
July 07, 1937 - March 16, 2014
Wonderfully Unique and Fun
Willard Hodgen died at his home on Camano Island March 16, 2014. He was born July 7, 1937 in Walla Walla to parents Darrel and Alice Hodgen of Milton Freewater OR. He joined older sister Velma in a 2 room house on his grandfather’s land of orchards and farmland. He often called it an ideal childhood of hard work and great play. Although he spent his adult life in Seattle, he remained a country boy at heart and loved his childhood memories of fishing and hunting throughout that area. His trips back “home” were always a wonderful mix of being with family and friends and an opportunity to fish, pheasant hunt or golf. He managed to maintain long, lifetime relationships.
Will graduated from McLoughlin High School in Milton Freewater as a popular student and athlete in both baseball and football. He attended the University of Idaho in Moscow where he played football and Eastern Oregon University in LaGrande where he played baseball and pursued a relationship with his future wife, Bernice Tracy. They married in the chapel at First Presbyterian Church in Yakima on July 22, 1956. He was 19 she was 20. It was a love affair that lasted 57 years.
They moved to Seattle where he worked at Boeing in the model shop. The rest of his work years were primarily as a Teamster driver or warehouseman, with a 9 year interim as owner/manager of Smokey Point Radiator Service. He retired on April fools day 2000.
He was a young boy who became a man in a very short time – and he did it well, routinely working 2 jobs to provide for his growing family. He worked hard, always managing to make time for play and fun. His smile could light up a room He enjoyed life and people enjoyed him. Health issues eventually slowed him, but the memories sustained him. The love and support of family and friends carried him through the tough times.
He was a wonderfully unique and fun husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. He loved his family, friends, hunting, fishing, golf, music, sports, food, drink and laughter.
Survived by Bernice, his loving wife of 57 years. Daughters Teri (Dick) Jones, Linda (Art) Samuelson, Sandy (Bruce) Kuenzi. Son Brian (Jenny) Hodgen. Grandchildren: Todd, Kelle, Scott (Laura) Jones; Stephen (Celia), Alyssa Samuelson; Kyle, Taylor Kuenzi; Colby, Hayley, Brady, Alyce Hodgen. Predeceased by his mother Alice, father Darrel and sister Velma.
Services are scheduled April 5th at 10 am at Camano Lutheran Church, 850 Heichel Road, followed by a luncheon Celebration of Life at the Camano Country Club, 1243 Beach Drive.
Donations if desired to your favorite charity or the American Lung Association.
Love Lives On
Those we love remain with us,
for Love itself lives on.
Cherished memories never fade;
because one loved is gone.
Those we love can never be
more than a thought apart,
for as long as there's a memory
they live on in our heart.
Think of her as living
in the hearts of those she touched,
for nothing loved is ever lost,
and she was loved so much.
Miss Me, But Let Me Go
When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me,
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room,
Why cry for a soul set free?
Miss me a little-but not too long,
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared.
Miss me-but let me go.
For this is a journey we all must take,
And each must go alone.
It is all a part of the Master's plan,
A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart,
Go to the friends we know,
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds.
Miss me-but let me go.