Services to commemorate the life of Delores Van Hodge will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, March 25, 2022, at Mt. Canaan Baptist Church with Rev. Johnny C. Harris, eulogist and Dr. Lewis A. Shepherd, Jr., officiating. Interment will be at Boggy Cemetery in Marshall, Texas.
Visitation will be from noon until 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 24, at Williams Funeral Home in Arkadelphia.
Delores Van Hodge was born on March 23, 1938 in Elysian Fields, Texas to the union of James and Adeline Hodge. She and her five siblings were reared by their grandmother, Savannah Powell and Uncle, Robert Hodge in Marshall, Texas, following the death of their parents.
Delores attended public schools in Marshall and graduated from H. B. Pemberton High School. She furthered her education at Bishop College in Marshall, receiving a B. S. Degree in English. While attending Bishop College, she sang with the famed “Cobridge Taylor Choral Society.” She received a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education, Administration and Supervision from Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas.
Delores completed continued education courses at Henderson State University, Ouachita Baptist University, University of Oklahoma, University of Mississippi, and the University of Arkansas. She received an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Arkansas Baptist College. She was a graduate of the LeadAR Class IV, sponsored by the University of Arkansas, where she embarked on a two year study program. This study program allowed her the opportunity to travel throughout the United States and to Eastern Europe-Paris, France, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Berlin, Czechoslovakia, Belgium and many other countries.
Delores began her teaching career in Okolona, Arkansas at Simmons High School, and later taught for over 25 years in the Gurdon School District before retiring. She served on the Board of Directors for the Arkansas Education Association, Southwest District Association, WMU President: Section I Mission President, Southwest District Choirs Instructor, New Members Class at Mt Canaan, Announcement Clerk, Benevolence Committee, and Education Committee Chairman, Education Committee, and the Consolidated Voice Editor. Other affiliations include: AEA, NEA and OES #192. Delores was initiated into Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, twenty years ago into the Sigma Beta Omega Chapter in Camden, Arkansas. She was currently a member of Chi Nu Omega Chapter, Arkadelphia.
After retirement, she was employed by the Save the Children Foundation, serving as Director of Clark County Youth Development Center. Delores received a grant to purchase the old Gurdon Middle School, the former Henry Bell High School and renamed it the “Clark County Youth Development Center” where she held adult education classes, programs for disadvantaged youth, recreation, meals, and remedial education programs for children with special needs. She was also instrumental in the “Miss Gurdon Lake Pageant” which was held for several years to develop poise, talent, and beauty for children to exhibit their charm on stage. Delores created the first pre-school program to Gurdon. Later, she served as Director for the Gurdon Rural Family Friends Program. This program sponsored by the National Council of Aging, matched older adults with special needs children.
Delores received an award from the State Chapter Order of Eastern Star as a thirty year member of the Holly Grove Chapter # 387. She received recognition from the Consolidated Missionary Baptist Convention and from Mount Canaan Baptist Church as the Outstanding Mother of the Church.
Delores was proceeded in death by her parents and brothers: James Hodge, Cordell Hodge, John W. Hodge, Sr. and Gloria Faye Hodge Edwards. She leaves to mourn a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives and friends.
Submitted by the Hodge Family