Helen Jeannette Beadles Hodges

Published 2:04 pm Monday, April 15, 2019

FRANKLIN — Helen Jeannette Beadles Hodges, who devoted her life to family and faith, died on April 13, 2019, two days after her 89th birthday.

Helen Jeannette
Beadles Hodges

She was born in Richmond, Virginia, and spent the early years of her life in the Varina area. She was a resident of The Village at Woods Edge in Franklin, Virginia, and then the East Pavilion Nursing Home after the death of her husband, Mark Hodges Jr., in 2018. Many of the years between these locations were spent in Warsaw, Virginia.

She married the love of her life, the boy who lived across the road, with whom she attended classes in a two-room schoolhouse. They built their dream home nearby, between her beloved sister, Audrey, and her parents, shortly after their marriage in 1950. It was there she raised five children and enjoyed her favorite pastime, which was being a mother.

She was a gardener and nature lover, and led many walks with the young folk over the Civil War bulwarks in the woods behind their home; admiring their forts or looking for wildflowers like Lady Slippers or Indian Pipes. Crouching at the stream’s edge, there she demonstrated how to make little boats out of leaves and twigs and send them sailing.

Sledding and bike riding on the Yahley Mill Hill were other favorite activities with the kids. Caring for family pets including cats, birds, fish, turtles, rabbits and dogs often fell to her and she found a special favorite in Herman the beagle. The cousins next door and other neighborhood children, especially Jimmy Trusty — a faithful friend till the end — were always welcome in her home.

She served as the local Cub Scout Den Mother and the parade of young boys in their blue and gold uniforms looked like a line of ducklings exiting the school bus to meet and enjoy craft projects and refreshments in her kitchen after school. Clipping every newspaper article and saving all programs and awards that involved her children enabled her to make each of them a scrapbook of special life memories from first grade through college.

The church was central to her being and she started each day with a devotional. She was very active in congregations wherever they lived, and had a greeting card and a lemon meringue pie ready to deliver to anyone sick or bereaved. Playing old hymns on her piano was a great joy throughout her life.

A quiet, literate person, her social activities were largely limited to intergenerational family dinners at her parents’ home, the quilting club and Women’s Missionary Union meetings.

She loved a good crossword puzzle, “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy.” Watching her teach her grandchildren and great grands to play games, assemble jigsaw puzzles and enjoy creative activities was a treat.

She was generous to all with her time, talents and money. She will be greatly missed.

She is survived by her children, Nancy Williamson Douglas (Charlie), Kathy Herbert (Bill), Mark Hodges (Karan), Helen Wylie (Larry) and Audrey Hodges; and her grandchildren, Timmy Hodges (Emmy), Jason Hodges (Jackie), Matt Wylie (Ashley), Megan Saunders (Scott), Tommy Herbert, Bill Williamson (Sidra), Chance Herbert (Hannah) and James Ogletree.

She is also is survived by her aunt, Mary B. Kehoe; and “sisters-in-love,” Juanita Ragsdale and Bernice Mae Nelson.

She was predeceased by her parents, Will and Lola Beadles; her husband, Mark Hodges Jr.; her sister, Audrey Gillespie; and her son-in-law, Harry Williamson.

The graveside service will be on Wednesday, April 17, at 1 p.m., in the Hardy Central Baptist Church, 4655 Darbytown Road, Henrico, Virginia. The reception will follow the service in the church fellowship hall.

In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations to the International Mission Board, SBC, 3806 Monument Ave., Richmond VA 23230, or a charity of your choice.

The family would like to express deep gratitude to the staffs at the Village Assisted Living and the East Pavilion Nursing Home for their care and concern for our mother.