M. Douglas Hodges, 93, of Smithville, Tennessee died on April 14, 2019, at his home surrounded by his wife, Evelyn, and children, Cheryll, Deborah, and Gregory.
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Doug was born in Williamson, West Virginia to Jesse and Edna Hodges. He graduated from Williamson High School in three years (1943) in order to volunteer as a 17-year-old enlisted person for service in the Navy. After serving as a radio technician in the Pacific Theater of WWII and qualifying as a submariner in 1945, Doug was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1946. His distinguished military career was not over, just changing course.
Doug’s first order of business after discharge from the Navy was to complete his education. He was a “Distinguished Military Graduate” of the Advanced ROTC Program at the University of Kentucky where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Philosophy and his Doctor of Jurisprudence. Among other degrees and certificates later earned are the following: Master of Law (LLM-International Law and International Trade), Georgetown University; Master of Arts (MA – International and Public Affairs), Columbia University; Certificate of the Russian Institute (Public Law and Government – now known as the Harriman Institute), Columbia University; Graduate, Department of Defense Language Institute (Russian), Monterey, California; Graduate, Department of Defense Institute of Advanced Russian and East European Studies, Oberammergau, Germany; Graduate, Advanced Course, The Judge Advocate General’s School, University of Virginia; and Graduate, Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia.
Doug was recalled to active duty in 1950 during the Korean War when he transferred into the Judge Advocate General’s Corp. He served as a military lawyer in the JAGC in various capacities at command levels including two tours of duty on the legal staff of the Department of the Army at the Pentagon, one tour on the legal staff, Headquarters, U.S. Army, Europe, Heidelberg, Germany, and as the Staff Judge Advocate, 11th Air Assault Division (Fort Benning), and 1st Calvary Division – Air Mobile (Fort Benning and Vietnam). He also served as a Military Attaché assigned to the United States Military Liaison Mission, Postsdam, East Germany and Berlin, West Germany. As such, he was accredited to the Commander-in-Chief, Group of Soviet Forces, East Germany. He was a legal and political advisor to the Chief of Mission. During his distinguished military service, Doug was awarded a number of medals and decorations including the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, and Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters.
In 1968, Doug retired from the Army as a Lt. Colonel after 22 years of military service to pursue a civilian career as a private lawyer in Columbus, Georgia (1968-1973) and Smithville, Tennessee (1979-1983 and 1986-1989) and banker/businessman in Smithville (1973-1979 and 1989-2007) and Bluefield, West Virginia (1983-1986).
Doug was also a tremendous athlete. In 2009, he was inducted into the Williamson High School Athletic Hall of Fame due to his prowess on the school’s basketball (guard) and football (quarterback and linebacker) teams. He also played quarterback and linebacker on the University of Kentucky football teams of 1946-1948 then coached by the now legendary Paul “Bear” Bryant.
Doug met the love of his life, Evelyn, while they both attended the University of Kentucky. They married in 1949 and raised their three children in the many places they lived in Europe and the United States.
His parents and two grandsons (Richard and David Mullin) predeceased Doug. He is survived by his wife, Evelyn, children (Cheryll Mullin (Richard), Deborah Mullin (William), and Gregory Hodges (Billie)), five grandchildren (Rebekah Harner (Robert), Brian Mullin (Kelly), Matthew Mullin (Alexandra), Erin Salzbrun (Benjamin), and Jesse Hodges), eight great-grandchildren, sister (Shirley Ann Coleman of Bluefield, West Virginia), and many other family members.
It was Doug’s wish that his body be cremated and the family followed his wishes. The family will hold a private service in due course at the Puckett’s Point home Doug and Evelyn built overlooking their favorite view – Center Hill Lake.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Doug’s name to the Muscular Dystrophy Association or Alzheimer’s Association.