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Deacon Isreal Ray Hodges, Sr.
January 3, 1944 ~ November 1, 2023 (age 79) 79 Years Old
11 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of Deacon Isreal's family - View on Tribute Wall
Deacon Isreal Ray Hodges Sr. was born on January 3, 1944, in Walterboro, South Carolina, peacefully returning to his Lord on November 1, 2023 at the age of 79. Ray, as he was affectionately known throughout the community, was the son of the late Deacon Harris Hodges Sr. and Martha Ann Jenkins Hodges. Hailing from the Springtown Community and graduating from Ruffin High School in 1961, Ray was not only a dedicated worker but also an outstanding teammate. Throughout his life, he worked diligently, notably at the Charleston Naval Shipyard, General Electric, and Scott Huber Essick, primarily as a machinist before concluding his career at Holset Turbo.
At an early age, Ray devoted his life to Christ, becoming a member of Oakman Branch Baptist Church. His faith was unwavering, leading him to serve as a deacon at Magnolia Baptist Church in Givhans, SC, before returning home to serve at Oakman Branch. He tirelessly served as the Sunday School Superintendent and was an integral part of the finance committee. He was known throughout the Lovely Hill Brotherhood Association as a vital source of advice, contributions, and inspiration for many years.
Ray's dedication extended to his community, where he selflessly gave of himself. He volunteered as a firefighter with the Canadys Fire Station for over 20 years, even earning the title of Fireman of the Year in 2006. He was committed to the Jacqueline Elvira Hodges Johnson (JEHJ) Scholarship Foundation from its inception in the 1980s. Ray played a pivotal role in establishing the Springtown\Oakman Branch Crime Prevention initiative. He was a lifetime member of the NAACP and spearheaded efforts for the Harrison-Jenkins family reunion. Wherever a need arose in the community, Ray stepped up, even taking on the responsibility of leading the area’s Adopt-A-Highway program to keep the streets and neighborhoods clean.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents, three sisters, Mary Lou Hodges, Charlotte Salley, and Queen E. Walker, and two brothers, Harris Hodges Jr. and Elder Curtis Hodges.
He leaves behind a loving legacy, survived by his wife of 38 years, Deaconess Eleanor Hodges, and their beautiful blended family. Ray is survived by five daughters: Deaconess Felicia H. Brown (Deacon James), Tina Hodges, H. Faye Clavier (Henri), Gwen Hodges, and Kimyetta Grant. He is also survived by three sons: Isreal Ray Hodges Jr. (Porsha), Reggie Farmer (Stacey), and Rick Grant (Chandra).
Ray's love and influence extend to his eight grandchildren: Daniel, Brianna, Kaya, Raquan, Kendrick, Wesley, Raquel, and Chance. He is further survived by his sister, Minister Estell Virginia Brunson, and his brother, Reverend Paul Hodges Sr., as well as two aunts, Bertie Mae Jenkins and Williette Walker. Ray's impact is immeasurable, as he leaves behind countless nieces, nephews, and extended family members who have been touched by his unwavering love and support.
In the story of Deacon Isreal Ray Hodges Sr.'s life, we find inspiration, dedication, and selflessness. He showed us the true meaning of service, both to his faith and his community. Today, as we bid him farewell, let us remember the legacy he leaves behind and strive to live our lives with the same commitment to faith, family, and community that he exemplified