Mary Hodges

Mary Cecile Hodges, 92, Wapello, died Friday, January 19, 2024, at Wapello Specialty Care, where she had been a resident since July of 2022. She had been in hospice care for approximately two months.

She was born in rural Van Buren County March 27, 1931, to Arthur Marion Poling and Etta (Morris) Poling. In 1936, she and her parents moved to a farm west of Keosauqua, where she lived the remainder of her childhood and youth.

She attended a one room schoolhouse through eighth grade, and then graduated as valedictorian in the Keosauqua High School Class of 1948.

She was a Rainbow Girl and was a high school basketball cheerleader.

Following high school graduation, she worked as a bank teller in Keosauqua. While working in the bank, she met her future husband, James (Jim) Hodges, who was the editor of the local weekly newspaper.

They were married in April of 1951 in Keosauqua, and after a short time in Odebolt, Iowa, moved to Wapello, where Jim was editor (and soon the owner) of the Wapello Republican.

The paper was soon incorporated as Louisa Publishing Company, which eventually owned and published seven weekly newspapers in Southeast Iowa, and had the area’s first web press.

Mary was Secretary/Treasurer of Louisa Publishing Company, retiring in 2002. She was active in the St. Paul Lutheran Church in Wapello, T.T.T., Wapello Chamber of Commerce, and in Republican politics.

She was an excellent cook, specializing in casseroles that could be prepared in advance so supper would be ready soon after arriving home from work, and in many other dishes as well.

She was preceded in death by her husband Jim in 1994, and by her parents.

Mary is survived by her sons Mike (Joan) Hodges of Wapello, and James David Hodges of Grandview; grandchildren Bob (Elissa) of Ankeny, Ben (Courtnee), Murray, KY, and Stephanie (Noah David II) Conner of Riner, VA; and great-grandchildren Madeline, Abigail, Tyson and Emerson Hodges, and Coralee and Noah David Connor III.

Visitation will be held 2-4 p.m., Sunday, January 28, 2024, at Snyder & Hollenbaugh Funeral and Cremation Services in Wapello.

A private graveside service will be held at a later date.

A memorial in the name of Mary Hodges has been established. Memorial funds will be directed to Wapello Fire and Rescue and St. Paul Lutheran Church in Wapello. Memorial monies may be mailed to P.O. Box 306, Wapello, IA 52653.

The family would like to extend sincere thanks to the staff of Wapello Specialty Care and Southeast Iowa Regional Hospice for Mary’s care.