Hodge Edward Lord

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Hodge Edward Lord, age 88, passed away on June 27, 2014. 
 
Hodge was the youngest of nine children born in Pleasanton on Jan. 2, 1926 to Hodge Pleasant Lord and Sallie Robinson Lord. He was the first of his siblings to be born in a hospital and the family, lacking cash, paid for the delivery in livestock. As a sixth generation Texan, young Hodge grew up hearing and loving stories of the Texas frontier: of cowboys and Comanches, rangers and outlaws. He also listened to accounts how his own ancestor, Andrew Kent rode with the Immortal 32 from Gonzales to take a final stand along with Travis and Crockett at the Alamo. He also learned how his other ancestor, George Lord survived the ill-fated Mier Expedition and Black Bean lottery to become a landowner and family patriarch in Cheapside. Hodge’s family moved from Westhoff to Kerrville then San Antonio before eventually settling in Millett. Hodge Jr. attended Cotulla High School and helped his father and siblings with farm and ranch work. Favorite past times were sports, hunting, fishing, reading and listening to the radio. By 1943 the world was engulfed in the flames of war and 17-year-old Hodge left home to enlist in the United States Marines. He won awards for his sharp shooting and after boot camp training at Camp Pendleton, was on a ship bound for the South Pacific. Serving with the 1st Division, the Old Breed, Hodge saw combat in the jungles of Saipan, Cape Gloucester, Peleliu and Okinawa. As a Rifleman, the “tip of the spear,” as Robert Sledge recounted in With the Old Breed, some of Hodge’s duties were to clean out caves and tunnels of entrenched Japanese soldiers. At Okinawa, he shared a meal with famed war correspondent Ernie Pyle, who was killed the following day. Hodge saw many of his buddies maimed or killed and was wounded many times himself, almost dying from gunshot wounds he suffered at Okinawa. Hodge served as an Embassy guard in China for a year as well. When asked if he regretted his service to his country, he replied, “No. Freedom is something that shouldn’t be enjoyed unless you are willing to defend it and that’s what we did.” Following the war, Hodge returned to South Texas and attended Texas A&I, but dropped out to help on the family farm. In 1956 he joined the Texas Highway Department in Pearsall. and worked for 25 years, helping build Interstate 35. When he joined the department he only wanted to work until the drought ended, and often joked, “It was the longest drought in history!” In 1957, he married Bonnie O’Neall and raised four children in Pearsall and Sabinal. He served on the school board, retired from the state in 1982 and was a member of the Masonic lodge for 50 years. After retirement, he resumed his love of farming and ranching, working as ranch foreman for Kincaid Land & Cattle Co. near Eagle Pass for 27 years. Hodge was fluent in Spanish and loved the adventure of working on the border. He reluctantly retired at the age of 80 due to health problems and resided in Sabinal. In 2013, he moved to Cuero, where he spent the reminder of his life. Everywhere Hodge went he made friends with his warmth, humor, outgoing nature, stories; and by following the Marine Corp motto Semper Fi. 
 
He is preceded in death by his parents, eight siblings, and daughter Rebecca Lord. Those left to honor his memory are his children, Brenda Lord of Cuero, Jennifer Lord of Kerrville, Kent Lord of San Antonio. His grandchildren Cameron Koppes, Caitlin Koppes, Clara Beth Kelly, Alexandra Moos, Eli Shurberg, Ethan Shurberg, and Grecia Lord.
 
The family would like to give their sincerest thanks to longtime friend James Kincaid, caregiver Jaime Davis, Dr. Raymond Reese of Cuero for his compassionate care and Cuero Nursing and Rehab Center for their loving care of our father.
 
Funeral services were held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 3 at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, 1520 Harry Wurzbach Road, San Antonio, TX. 
 
Arrangements entrusted to Peter’s Funeral home in Cotulla, 830-879-2615. 
 
Memorials may be made to Fisher House, Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, TX; 210-916-6458.
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