Joe Bill Hodges, age 96, went to his Heavenly home on Thursday, November 22, 2012. He was born in Graceville, Florida, on October 11, 1916, the son of A. A. and Ozie Register Hodges.
Funeral services will be held on Sunday, November 25, 2012, at 2 PM at Williams Funeral Home in Graceville, Florida, with the Rev. Tim Folds and Dr. Jerry Windsor, officiating. The family will receive friends at the Funeral Home at 1 PM immediately prior to the service. Burial with a Masonic service will follow at Marvin Chapel Cemetery in Graceville.
Joe Bill graduated from Graceville High School in 1936. Following graduation, he worked several years for Powell Produce Company of Pensacola, Florida. On January 6, 1942, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and served four years during World War II in the Army Air Corps. Three of these years were spent in the European Theater of Operations in England. Joe Bill always took great pride in his service to his country. Following his discharge from the Army, he was self-employed in various jobs in Graceville before becoming an employee of the State of Florida. He retired from the Florida Environmental Health Department in 1990. Following retirement from the State of Florida, he returned to his home town of Graceville, where he enjoyed many good years of retirement. He was a member of the American Legion Post No. 42, the Masonic Lodge of Bethlehem No. 276, the Steadfast Sunday School Class of the First Baptist Church of Graceville, and the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 87 of Dothan, Alabama. He was an associate member of the Graceville Lions Club.
Several years ago, Joe was thrilled to go on an Honor Flight with other World War II Veterans to visit the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. This trip was one of the highlights of his recent years. In October of this year, he was honored to the Grand Marshal of the Graceville Harvest Festival Parade. On October 11, he enjoyed the company of 75 friends to celebrate his 96th birthday and to place, in his own yard, a U.S. flag which had flown over the Capitol in Washington.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his three brothers, L. C., Millard, and Buford, and his sister, Mary Evelyn Watford. He is survived by one sister, Frances Roberts of Tallahassee, a niece, Sharon Roberts Young and her husband, Randy, of Atlanta, a nephew Roy W. Watford of Dothan, and a great-nephew, Andrew Young of Atlanta.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the First Baptist Church of Graceville, P.O. Box 565, Graceville, FL, 32440, or to the charity of your choice.