Former Messenger, H-F Insurance owner passes


Chris McCarthy/Messenger

Former Messenger newspaper and Hodges-Ford Insurance owner Phil Hodges of Gadsden, 69, passed away on Tuesday, April 11, 2023.

Born on June 18, 1953 to the late John E. and Marie Hodges, Hodges was a 1971 graduate of Gadsden High School. He graduated from the University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in Business. He was a member of Beta Theta Pi Social Fraternity while at UA.

After college, Hodges worked in Washington, D.C., with the FBI. He later moved back to Gadsden and became owner of Hodges-Ford Insurance Agency and worked in the community up until his retirement in 2017.

Hodges was an active member of Meadow Brook Baptist Church and was recently elected President of the Gadsden High Gold Tiger’s Club. He enjoyed going to the gym, traveling to the beach and eating with his lunch buddies. He especially enjoyed the time he was able to spend with his family and friends. He never met a stranger and was loved by all who knew him.

“Phil Hodges was my business partner for 17 years, and he loved his family, friends, church and community,” said longtime business partner and current City of Gadsden Mayor Craig Ford. “Most of all, Phil loved the Lord. Phil was a mentor, friend and confidant to me since I was a youngster and eventually grew to be one of my closest friends. I would not be where I am today without Phil Hodges.

“Phil and I went through a lot of years together as partners, but most importantly, as friends. I can honestly say I took more from our relationship than I could ever imagine giving back. I know where Phil’s heart and faith were. Thank you, Phil, for teaching me, for being my business partner and most of all, for being my friend. You will be missed.”

Hodges is survived by his wife of 46 years, Myrna Hodges; son, Phillip Hodges, Jr.; daughter, Lindsay Hodges; granddaughters, Katie Hodges, Harper Hodges and Ava Hodges; brother, John E. Hodges, Jr.; and sister, Kimberly Hodges Hogg. In addition to his parents, Hodges was preceded in death by his brother, Dr. Stephen Nears Hodges.

A visitation and funeral service was held on Tuesday, April 18. Pastor Randy Gunter officiated the service. Hodges was laid to rest in Crestwood Cemetery. Pallbearers were Bill Hogg, Don Davis, Craig Ford, Raymond Lane, Glenn Leslie, Steve Martin, Sid Nelson and Wendell Oden. Honorary pallbearers were Lloyd Boman and J.R. Matthews.

The Hodges family wished to extend a special thanks to a host of friends and family that assisted Phillip during his ICU stay at UAB, as well as Judy and Steve Martin, who were devoted friends that unselfishly helped care for Phillip during his sickness.

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