Brailford Hodges, an evangelist and construction foreman, died on Friday, Jan. 3, 2020. He was 91.
He was the son of the late Jimmie and Beatrice Hodges and was born on Sept. 12, 1928, in Treutlen County, Georgia. He was one of nine siblings.
His family said that for years, he understood his birthdate to be Nov. 28, until a request was made for an original birth certificate.
Hodges received his early education in Treutlen County Public Schools.
“Dick,” as he was affectionately called by friends and family, was raised as a Christian and accepted the Lord as his personal savior at Love Quarter Baptist Church in Soperton, Georgia.
He started working at a very young age in the tobacco fields of Georgia and collected pine resin for turpentine in pine timber stands. He eventually went to seek employment in Florida and ended up migrating North to Philadelphia, where his older brother Woodrow Hodges lived in the early 1950s.
He met Phyllis Eldridge in 1963 at a social affair in Philadelphia. They were married on July 31, 1965. From this union came two children. He had two other children from a previous relationship. “He loved them all as his own and they all knew him as dad,” said his family.
Hodges worked in construction for more than 20 years as a foreman. For most of that time was at Lisbon Construction, where he laid water and sewer lines in new suburban housing developments in the 1970s and ‘80s.
Before he retired in the early 1990s, he worked on building the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s new Blue Route connector in Plymouth Meeting and the new Vine Street extension in Center City. He also painted many homes in the Delaware Valley.
Hodges served as a trustee at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church. He was ordained as a deacon of the Christian Church in Philadelphia. He was called to preach under the direction and study of the Rev. Gordon S. Houston, senior pastor of the Christian Church in Philadelphia.
He preached his trial sermon and received his study of the Bible certificate from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. He was also called to serve as the interim pastor at Victory Baptist Church in the Germantown section of Philadelphia for six months until the church secured a permanent pastor.
Hodges loved to fish with friends and family. He made an annual trip to Soperton to see his family, especially his mother, children and grandchildren.
“He loved the Lord, he loved his family, he was extremely close to all his brothers and sisters and was a friend to all,” said his family in a tribute.
He was preceded in death by his son Donnie.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by: his daughters, Yvonne and Manella Hodges-McLemore (Jimmy); son Daryl (Gwen); 11 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held on Jan. 10 at Christian Church of Philadelphia, 8044 Stenton Ave. Viewing is at 9 a.m. Services will follow at 11 a.m. Burial is at Chelten Hills Cemetery.
Beckett-Brown & Hodges Funeral Home handled the arrangements.