Feb. 7, 2024 | iCare Newsletter
by Bullseye Media

Saying Goodbye to a Friend

In spring 2023, our Foundations, the Huntington area and all who knew her lost a dear friend – Mrs. Mary Hodges. She was a wonderful woman with a

generous heart and a deep desire to help people.

There is a story behind Hodge’s name adorning the Joint Replacement Center at Cabell Huntington Hospital (CHH) that most people don’t know. It starts with Mary needing knee replacements, which were done in Columbus, Ohio. She was always quick to point out she had her knee surgery done out of town because Ali Oliashirazi, MD, orthopedic surgeon, professor and chair of the department of

orthopedic surgery at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, had not set up shop

at CHH yet.

Sometime after the surgery, she and her husband,

Churchill, had a car wreck that damaged her knee. After a small operation in

Columbus, Mary returned home. But two weeks later, a serious infection sent her to CHH.

Thanks to the skills of, at the time, newly arrived Dr. Oliashirazi and infection control specialist Murray Batt, MD, Hodges emerged from the life-threatening condition. However, she spent 66 days in the hospital before the doctors could bring things under control.

“That’s when Churchill (who died in 2011) wanted to do a naming opportunity, thanking them for saving my life,” Hodges said. “We were both lifelong Huntingtonians and felt we should do something to help the community.”

Her name doesn’t just appear on the Joint Replacement Center. Hodges named elevators at the hospital’s parking building, as well as Marshall University’s Fine Arts Center. She was a long-time supporter of the Huntington Museum of Art, the Ronald McDonald House, and

many other organizations around town.

Hodges lived quite a life. She worked at the old Anderson-Newcomb department store as a Marshall University student. In the 1950s, she became director of domestic travel for the AAA Auto Club, at a time when automobile travel was just starting to take off.

More recently, she acted as a landlord, renting out space at an office building on Sixth Avenue once owned by Churchill’s father, Dr. Frank Hodges. She later

gave the deed to the Cabell Huntington

Hospital Foundation.

Hodges had a generous heart and was always thinking about others.

“Mary was always helping organizations and people,” said Bradley Burck, Vice President of Foundations. “Her impact on our community will last for many generations. Her heart to give should inspire all of us to do just a little more. I think she would love that.