A Life Lived: Margaret Hodge’s meals always had a little something extra

Published 11:04 am Tuesday, July 26, 2022

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Whether you prepare food for yourself, friends or family – or maybe someone cooks for you – remember, cooking from the heart will give your meal that little something extra.
Margaret Hodge’s daughters raved about her cooking. Her daughter, Carol Pierce, who lived next door to her mother described her mom as “an old-time cook.”
“She had that special touch, and my favorite was her macaroni and tomatoes and her soup beans and cornbread. When we were growing up she made the best chocolate eclairs. They would melt in your mouth,” said Carol.
Margaret died July 9 at the age of 98. She was the widow of Floyd “Chick” Hodge and the mother of three daughters – Glenda Fritts, Diane Timbs, and Carol Pierce. Additionally, she had six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. She spent the last few months of her life at Ivy Hall Nursing Home after suffering a stroke, which left her unable to walk.
“Mama loved cooking for her family, especially at holidays and on special occasions. At Christmas, she would make the best fudge,” said Carol.
“She enjoyed cooking and we enjoyed eating it,” added Glenda, who the last couple of years had fixed supper for her mother and went and eat with her. “There was nothing she couldn’t cook and make it taste good. She made the best pies and her yeast rolls were out of this world,” Glenda shared.
She said her mother moved to Elizabethton from Boone, N.C., when just a young girl. “Mother stayed with the George Westmoreland family. She was their live-in babysitter. Mr. Westmoreland was pastor at Calvary Baptist Church at the time, and that is where she met her husband,” Glenda said.
Margaret was always a stay-at-home mother, and her husband, Floyd worked at the local rayon plants. “We lived across from East Side Elementary School and mother always enjoyed watching the school children, especially when they came outside to play. Each day at lunch, she would walk across the street and bring us home for lunch and then walk us back across the street to school,” said Carol.
In addition to cooking, Margaret in her younger years enjoyed gardening and canning. “She would can beans, corn, and tomatoes,” recalls Carol.
“She had certain days she would do things. Always, on Monday she did her washing, and I still do it now,” said Carol with a laugh.
“Every Friday, she and daddy would go to Bristol. Sometimes, we would eat out; other times they would grocery shop. She knew where the bargains were and how to save,” said Carol.
Glenda added that they always went to JC Penney, and recalls they bought Penny Loafers there.
“She was a stay-at-home mom. Dad always worked. Even after he retired at the plant, he worked as a school janitor,” said Carol.
Margaret was a faithful member of Roan Street Free Will Baptist Church as long as she was able to go to church, and at one time taught Sunday School. Glenda recalls that her mother until her eyes got bad enjoyed reading. “She also enjoyed the cooking shows on TV,” she said.
Glenda noted that her mother lived a good Christian life and set a good example for her daughters and grandchildren.”My son, Michael did her funeral and he said “Mother preached her own funeral by the life she lived. That was so true. She was the best,” Glenda said.
Margaret was laid to rest at Happy Valley Memorial Park. She leaves behind so many wonderful memories for her family, especially those times when they gathered as a family to eat a bowl of soup beans and cornbread on a cool autumn day.

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