A Life Lived: Lawrence Hodge was happiest when he was around people

Published 11:22 am Tuesday, January 23, 2024

BY ROZELLA HARDIN
Editorial Director
rozella.hardin@elizabethton.com
It’s been said that the happiest people are those who have invested their time in others. Lawrence Hodge was one of those people. Hodge was a barber for over 60 years, working at a number of barber shops in the area. He was a school bus driver for over 30 years, served on the Carter County Commission for more than 20 years, and was a devout Christian and church-goer.
Those positions put Hodge in touch with a lot of people, whom he served and loved. When Hodge was barbering, he would make his school bus route before arriving for work, and in the afternoon, he would lay his clippers down long enough to make his bus run, and often would return to the barbershop to work a couple more hours, cutting hair before calling it a day. He knew a lot of people and enjoyed being around kids. His wife, Jenny, shared that Lawrence enjoyed people – young and old. “He never met a stranger. He loved to joke and laugh. He was a good family man. Lawence knew a lot of people and was a good friend to many.”
Hodge was one of nine children born to Starling and Clydia Hodge. His death leaves only two surviving brothers, Richard and Hugh. Lawrence died January 5 at the age of 83. Jenny said Lawrence enjoyed visiting his brothers and spending time with them.
During his lifetime, he left his mark on many people through his Christian witness and acts of love. Jenny said Lawrence enjoyed going to church and serving the Lord. He was a member of Hunter First Baptist Church for over 40 years, serving the church as a deacon and in other capacities. For the past seven years he had attended Lynn Valley Baptist Church.
Hodge enjoyed his “Breakfast Crew” friends, and if you were around, you often would hear a hearty laugh from none other than Lawrence. He also enjoyed outings with the senior group at church.
In his spare time, Hodge enjoyed watching television, mostly old westerns and ball games. Of course, he was a Tennessee Vol fan.
He also enjoyed hunting and fishing, and his favorite hunting partner was his son, Russell.
Hodge began barbering at the age of 17 when he finished barber school. “He loved barbering because he got to meet with people,” said Jenny.
“His first love was the Lord and the church. He always went to church. He got me into church when we were dating. He was always witnessing and sharing his love for Christ. It was real with him. If he could demonstrate his love for the Lord by loving others and helping someone in need, he did it,” Jenny shared.
Jenny said Lawrence liked good home-cooked meals, but he also enjoyed eating out. “We usually ate out on Friday and Saturday nights. He didn’t have a favorite place, but he did like a good steak. He just liked good food,” Jenny said.
Hodge also enjoyed politics, and when he served on the county commission, he stayed engaged with his constituents. “He knew almost everyone on Stoney Creek, and he tried to help not only the people in his district, but all Carter Countians,” Jenny said.
Hodge was a family man, who enjoyed his children and grandchildren. He and Jenny were the parents of three children, David, Russell, and Mitzi. They have three grandchildren.
For sure, Lawrence never met a stranger. He could talk to anyone, and he loved to share about Jesus and His love. He was never afraid to step out of his comfort zone,
Lawrence was one of those people who worked hard, played hard, and surrounded himself with people who had a positive influence on him. He was one of those people who believed you were only as good as the people you surround yourself with.
Lawrence Hodge left his mark on a lot of people. He was laid to rest January 9 at Happy Valley Memorial Park.

(Editor”s Note: In last week’s article about Martha Odom, we incorrectly stated that Mrs. Odom’s birthday was Dec. 29. Her birthday was April 7. She died Dec. 29. We regret the error.)

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