Troy Dean Hodges

Posted: Thursday, March 04, 2010

Troy Dean Hodges, 76, of Phoenix died Sunday, February 28, 2010 at the age of 76. With friends and family at his side, Troy ended a brave battle with cancer. He will be sorely missed.

Services will be held at 1 p.m., Thursday, March 4, at Mountain View Lutheran Church, in Phoenix, followed by a celebration of life in the Family Life Center at the church.

Mr. Hodges was born March 30, 1933, in Wink, Texas,

"Troy had a lifelong love of flying and traded work for lessons at an early age. He soloed on his 15th birthday and flew for over 62 years. In 1959, Troy drove to Alaska to seek his fortune and braved a long and mostly unpaved road to an uncertain future. Troy worked the oil fields on drilling rigs and saved up enough money to buy his first plane. He supplemented his oilfield income, by flying hunters as a bush pilot. When a big earthquake hit Alaska in 1963, the roads were rendered impassable. In response to this, Troy bought a six-place Piper Cherokee and founded Soldotna Air Service. Later this business grew into Troy Air based in Anchorage, Alaska. While operating Troy Air, he amassed a large fleet of planes and also built the largest privately-owned hanger in Alaska. Troy was an avid hunter and fisherman and, to this end, flew clients, friends and family all over Alaska," his family said. "He retired in 1989 and spent the winters in Phoenix. Alaska was always his real home and he enjoyed visiting with friends and family both in Alaska and in Phoenix. Troy liked to say 'Great friends were better had than Great riches.' In this respect he was a very blessed man. Troy was a 32nd degree Mason and a life member of the Kenai Lodge and a proud member of Jesters On Wheels . As a Shriner he became an accomplished balloonist and often left a balloon animal for the delight of children, waitpersons, and perfect strangers. A member of the Lone Star Ski club, Troy was an accomplished skier and loved the people he met while skiing. A love of travel took Troy all over the world. He immersed himself in his host country's culture and made friends wherever he traveled, and, of course, left a telltale trail of balloons with the children he met. Troy had a contagious enthusiasm for life. He said 'When I'm gone, tell 'em I got every second out of it!' Wow, did he ever."

Mr. Hodges was proceeded in death by his first wife, Norma; son, Dean; parents, Jennie and O.M. Hodges; and brother, H.L. Hodges.

He is survived by his wife, Cecile; daughter, Diane Hodges, of Soldotna; son, Ross (Tiger) Hodges, of Phoenix; stepdaughter, Angela Boomer, and her husband, Terry, and grandson, Timmy of Canton, Ga.; stepdauter, Krissy Rowell; granddaughters, Kailynn and Hallie, of Beaumont, Texas; and brother, Nathan Hodges, of Ohio.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Troy's memory to Hospice of the Valley Sherman Home or the American Cancer Society.

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