David Roland Hodges

Dec 15, 1969 – Aug 13, 2015

David Roland Hodges obituary image 1



David Roland Hodges, 45, formerly of Lakeland, FL, died at his home in Vashon, WA, on August 13, 2015, as the result of a pulmonary embolism. 

He was born December 15, 1969, in Lumberton, NC, to Francis R. and the late Barbara Gillis Hodges.  He attended primary and elementary school in Wayne County and Craven County, NC, and finished high school at the Milton Hershey Academy in Hershey, PA.  In 1994, he graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from Florida Southern College, where he was a member of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity.

Dave was an avid outdoors’ enthusiast with a special love for fishing and water sports.  Before he was two years old, he was able to swim underwater for the length of a public swimming pool.  At Milton Hershey he was on the school swim team, and he later earned National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) certification to qualify as a SCUBA teacher.  The terrible damage to his lungs which eventually led to his death was sustained many years ago when his car was struck by an intoxicated, unlicensed driver while on a scuba diving trip in the Florida Keys.  Dave recovered sufficiently to work for a few years as an aquatic sports instructor for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines in the Bahamas and in Labadee, Haiti, and for Red Sails Sports in the Cayman Islands.  In more recent years, he had been employed at various other jobs, including those of automobile salesman, truck driver, construction worker, track coach, and Special Education teacher in both Florida and North Carolina.  His skill at working with his hands enabled him to perform nearly any task required for maintaining or improving a home.  At the time of his death, he was living on Vashon Island in Puget Sound and had recently completed a course to become eligible for a ship pilot’s license.

Though Dave’s life was filled with personal struggles, he took seriously the charge to serve others and always found time to do so.  On several occasions, he assisted in serving Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless at Lighthouse Missions, and he often performed difficult tasks without pay.  Recently, he spent a day digging a deep trench for a neighbor who needed a place to install a septic tank and lacked the funds to have it done.

In addition to his mother, he was preceded in death by his paternal and maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. F. Roland Hodges and Mr. and Mrs. David B. Gillis, all at one time residents of Mount Olive, NC.  He is survived by his father and stepmother, Francis R. and Marianne M. Hodges, of Lakeland, Florida; his brother and sister-in-law, Lawrence Albert (Al) and Angela Hodges of Kathleen, Georgia; two nephews, Shea and Lincoln Hodges; one niece, Alana Hodges; an aunt, Charlotte H. Maxwell of Goldsboro, NC; two uncles, Milton B. Gillis of Louisville, KY, and Dr. David B. Gillis, Jr., of Houston, TX; and his beloved yellow dog, Shiddy, rescued by Dave when she was only eight weeks old.  His wit, charm, and instant likeability have also insured that he leaves a large number of friends throughout many parts of the country.

Memorial contributions may be sent to the SPCA Florida Adoption Center, 5850 Brannen Rd S, Lakeland, FL 33813, or to your local SPCA.

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends,
It gives a lovely light!    
– Edna St. Vincent Millay 


De Day
St. Thomas, VI
May 16, 2017

Devasted to now know I won't see you again. You were truly a beautiful person and a great roommate !

Peace be always with you.

Frank Hodges. Dad
Lakeland, Fl
Mar 11, 2017


I still miss you. I keep an album with your pictures in it on the coffee table and I look at it every morning It helps though it still hurts



Al Hodges
Kathleen, GA
Aug 13, 2016

Davee, it has been one year and there is so much I want to say but I tend to get extremely wordy so I will just say...... I miss you! ......love you ...

David Gillis
Houston, TX
Feb 17, 2016

An unfortunate, premature loss. Rest in peace.

Robert Rodriguez
New York, Ny
Sep 12, 2015

Dave. What can I say. You are one of the funniest people I knew. I remember even on the football field you being a comedian. Again, I wish I knew all your hobbies and the fact that you worked for Royal Carib. I have lots of family that work there and I am a rescue diver in PADI. I could have done so much more with you. Life caught up and after high school we went different ways. I should have kept in touch. You are missed and can't wait till the next time I see you. Keep the angels and everyone laughing there eyes out. Oh and GOT YA! LOL.

Oliver Pechacek
Burleson, TX
Aug 31, 2015

I'll miss you Dave. You were surely of life's unique characters who had a bigger heart than most. I'll miss your zany ways and the intense debates we so often had. I always admired you for living life your way and how you brought joy to others. Your passing leaves a huge void, but your memories will be cherished forever. Until we meet again, take care. My thoughts are with you and your family, especially your Dad (Dr. Hodges).

Matt Morgan
Rainier, Or
Aug 27, 2015

Such great times and great memories with you my good friend. You will be missed by many.

Tommy Myers
Seffner , FL
Aug 25, 2015

RIP my friend. I won't ever go fishing again without thinking about you all day long. You were a great friend and I will miss you more than I can express.

Gary Sawyer
Lakeland, FL
Aug 25, 2015

"Death may part friends, but the friendship lives on forever as long as one friend remains to remember." Unknown

R.I.P. Brother till we see you again.

Ross Cable
Plano, TX
Aug 25, 2015

Every time I think of Dave, I know that a smile comes to my face. Dave was always the fun-loving person in the group and kept the mood light. I have many memories of our time together that will be cherished forever.

Chuck Pons
Wesley Chapel, Fl
Aug 25, 2015

Dave, you touched so many lives. Words can not express how much you will be missed.

Marti & George Crenshaw
Mooresville, NC
Aug 25, 2015

RIP our friend! We had many adventures in the Keys, the Bahamas and Cuba. Thank you for all the adventures and being our personal diving instructor. One of our wildest memories was being in the Bahamas scooting along a deserted island in a dingy with you and my husband and a Tiger shark attacked our dingy almost tipping us in the water. We will see you again in Heaven.

Deanna (Martin) Cooper
Columbia, TN
Aug 24, 2015

Thank you for being a great Teacher in my life. So sorry to hear bad news.

Jessica Anne Wheeler
New Orleans, LA
Aug 24, 2015

Thanks for the laughs, Coach Hodges. May you rest in peace. We remember you fondly.

Ed Schwabeland
Baltimore , MD
Aug 24, 2015

Rest in peace my friend. You had a knack of making me laugh and to not take myself too seriously. We all need that in life.

Ansley Wales
Lake Alfred, FL
Aug 24, 2015

A more genuine, generous soul does not exist. As my coach and my friend, Coach Hodges changed my life for the better. Never backing down from what he felt was right despite personal risk, Coach was always a champion of people society had forgotten or ignored. Sad to imagine a world without you in it.

Lu Bennett
Olathe, Ks
Aug 24, 2015

Dave its hard to believe we'll never see you again. Im so glad you were a part of my MHS family. RIP my milt brother

Amber Wnek
Dallstown, Pa
Aug 24, 2015

Gone way too soon! You will be missed but never forgotten. You always had a smile that now will grace the halls of heaven.

TJ Scharfenstein
Sarasota, FL
Aug 24, 2015

I'm going to miss you Dave. I have been thinking of all the fun times we had diving, camping, making furniture and just hanging out. I am glad I was able to see you this spring in Lakeland and mad I wont be able too again. You may be gone but your memory will live on forever. Good bye my friend.

Zack Bonczek
Huntersville, NC
Aug 24, 2015

We're all very sad you're gone but extremely happy for all the hilarious, zany and ridiculously off the wall memories you've left all of us with! You're one of a kind, Hodges! Until we meet again...Rest In Peace, brother.

Jen Harrington Willet
Mohnton, PA
Aug 24, 2015

To my Milt brother, I was privileged to have the opportunity to know you and call you my friend. You always made swim team fun Rest in peace Dave you will be missed.

Andrew Greenstein
Loveland, CO
Aug 24, 2015

Remembering you on this day, comforted by so many memories.RIP David..!!!

Sāntiago Escobar
Colombia, SA
Aug 24, 2015


Mark Raponi
Apopka, FL
Aug 24, 2015

David touched many of our lives and will be missed dearly. He was not only my fraternity brother but a great friend!! RIP David!!!

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