Chester Roosevelt Hodge

Published 8:49 am Monday, December 1, 2014

A 92-year journey on earth ended November 26, 2014 and an eternal life in Heaven began. Chester’s life began on November 27, 1922 in the small town of Vichy, Mo. He was the second of 14 children born to Aaron and Josie Hodge. At the age of 16, he joined the “Three C’s” and spent most of his time in St. Louis. World War II began and in March 1943, he volunteered to serve with the Marine Corps. He went to the training base for 4th Marine Division in Camp Pendleton, Calif. He was a member of the expert rifle team. Soon after training, he was sent to the battlegrounds in the South Pacific Islands. The first was Saipan and after only two weeks, he was wounded. He spent three weeks recuperating on a hospital ship and then four months in Guadalcanal. In 1945 he was involved in the assault and capture of Iwo Jima. He witnessed the history making American flag raising on Suribachi. After being wounded a second time and spending four more months in a military hospital, he was sent back to the states. After one more year of duty, he received an honorable discharge and was also awarded the Presidential Citation, two Purple Hearts and a Gold Star. The Hodge family holds the National record for having the most members of one family serving in the armed forces. There were 11 brothers who represented all branches of the military.
In August 1945, he married Grace Humphreys and they settled in East Tennessee. He retired from the Mountain Home Veterans Administration. After retirement, he enjoyed the things he loved: travel, hunting and fishing.
Mr. Hodge was a member of Sinking Creek Baptist Church and served many years as head usher and assistant Sunday School teacher. His love of the Lord was reflected in his love and compassion for others.
His wife, Grace, went to Heaven in 1999. He is survived by his loving daughter, Carolyn Milan and her husband Buddy. The love of his life was family and he loved sharing time with his granddaughters, Karisha Larkins and her husband Tim and Bridget Solomon. Great-grandchildren are Keturah Larkins, Jake Larkins, Gabe Larkings, Kaya Larkins, Colby Solomon and Bryce Solomon. Also surviving are brothers and sisters, Herman Hodge, Clarence Hodge, Lew Hodge, Riley Hodge, Lloyd Hodge, Iva Yates, Marjorie Light and Janette Cox. Most live in the Rolla, Mo. area. A very special niece, Pam Hughes and husband Doug, gave much love and comforting support.
We will forever be grateful to the compassionate staff of the first floor of the VA Nursing Home.
A graveside service to honor the life of Chester Roosevelt Hodge will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, December 1, at the VA Cemetery Pavilion. Assisting in this ceremony will be Pastor Pete Tackett and the Military Honor Guard. Interment will follow in the VA Cemetery. Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting and signing the guest book or by fax (423) 542-9499.
Tetrick Funeral Home, Elizabethton, is serving the Hodge family. Office: (423) 542-2232. Obituary Line: (423) 543-4917.