Col. Hodes (Ret), a Korean War Veteran and Purple Heart recipient, passed away on April 9th, 2012 at his home near Austin, Texas. He was 85. Col. Hodes is a graduate of the Military Academy at West Point, Class of 1949. He served 30 years of active duty, including Korea, Germany, and Vietnam. "Jack", as he was known to his friends, was born at Fort Laramie, near Cheyenne, Wyoming and grew up in an Army family.
Jack was predeceased by his parents Gen. and Mrs. Henry I. Hodes and his sister Jean Hodes Quereau, of San Antonio.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Alma Russ Hodes, a sister, Laura Celeste Fry (Little Rock, Arkansas) and eight children: Russ Hodes, Laurinda Poisson (Aptos, California), Hank Hodes, Priscilla Sabol (Smithville), Mary Engel (San Mateo, California), John T. Hodes, Jr. (Las Vegas, Nevada), Jennifer Manweiler, and Timothy Hodes (Tampa, Florida).
A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m., Wednesday April 12, 2012 at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, 4800 Convict Hill Road in Austin, Texas 78749. Col. Hodes will be interred at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, on Monday, April 16th, 2012 in a private ceremony.
During his 30 year Army career, he commanded American troops in Korea, in West Germany, during the Cold War, and again in Vietnam. He attended the Staff and Command School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and the Air Force War College in Montgomery, Alabama, where he earned a Master's Degree in International Relations. His favorite commands were with the 101st Airborne Division, where he loved paratrooper jumping and earning a senior parachute rating. He was attached to the 1st Calvary during the Korean War and later served as President of the First Calvary Association at Fort Hood, Texas. Col. Hodes served three consecutive tours in South Vietnam. He helped lead the Vietnamese Pacification program before leaving South Vietnam. After the war, he kept in touch with his Vietnamese interpreter and supported him and his family.
At Fort Hood, Colonel Hodes founded and helped build the first recreational horse stable at West Fort Hood and later the much larger stables that the Army Horse Cavalry uses today. After he retired, he organized and founded the Fort Hood First Calvary Museum and the memorial commemorating fallen soldiers from the Korean War and Vietnam.
After retiring in Killeen, Texas, he went back to college in Austin where he earned his teaching certificate from the University of Mary Harden Baylor. He then taught math courses at Ellison High School in Killeen.
Col. Hodes' favorite sports were gymnastics at West Point and competitive tennis for most of his life. He loved golf; he sponsored his sons in professional motocross racing for a number of years. He learned to fly recreationally and as often as possible in his duties, particularly in Vietnam.
Col. Hodes' military awards include: The Army of Occupation Medal (German); Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal; National Defense Service Medal (one Oak Leaf Cluster); Senior Parachutist Badge; Korean Service Medal ( 4 bronze stars); United Nations Service Medal; Vietnam Service Medial (1 Silver and 2 Bronze service stars); Glider Badge; Combat Infantryman Badge, 2nd Award; Army General Staff Identification Badge; Vietnamese Cross for Gallantry (w/ Gold star); World War II, Victory Medal; Vietnamese Cross for Gallantry (w/ Palm); Vietnamese Rural Revolutionary Republic Vietnamese Armed Forces Honor Medal, First Class; and the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation.
John was an active Catholic who enjoyed service work with the St. Vincent DePaul Society. At one time, he and his wife fostered children in their home. He was an active member of St. Catherine's of Siena Catholic Church in Austin, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, those desiring may make donations to the St. Vincent DePaul Society chapter, at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church.
Cook-Walden/Forest Oaks Funeral Home and Memorial Park