Cover photo for James Donal Hodges's Obituary
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1939 James 2021

James Donal Hodges

December 19, 1939 — April 19, 2021

On the evening of April 18, 2021, James Donal Hodges of San Antonio, Texas, joined our Lord at the age of 81. Born to Harold and Maurine Hodges in Mexia, Texas, in 1939, James grew up in San Antonio. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Sharon L. Hodges, and by his children David & Greg Hodges and Morgan Bailey. James also leaves behind his sister Sandra Slazer, his sister-in-law Nelda Stroud, his nephews Court Stroud, Lonnie, Karl, and Harold Slazer, and nieces Laura Ivy and Samantha Talbert, in addition to beloved cousins, friends and extended family.

James learned welding as a teenager, joined the Coast Guard for a brief period then moved on to work for the San Antonio Police Department in 1961. He retired in 1994 after 33 years of service. Working his way up to the rank of Lieutenant, James took charge of the Task Force undercover unit and was kept there many years past the normal supervisor rotation schedule. He later moved to the Robbery Unit, and in 1983, the department sent James to a 9 week Police Staff and Command course at Northwestern University. His greatest professional achievement occurred afterward when he was tasked with the re-creation of what is now the Evidence Unit. James transformed the division from being a place to shuffle problematic officers to a highly desired assignment in the department, creating the Standard Operating Procedure and establishing modernized training criteria. His results were so noteworthy, the Deputy Chief at the time pressed him to recreate the S.O.P. for another unit as well.

One of James’ greater interests involved fishing trips with a close friend from the SAPD, Sgt. Billy Cockrell. Together they built a cabin & pier along the Intracoastal Waterway, north of Port Mansfield, Texas, rebuilding after hurricanes. In his years after retirement, he made a few fishing trips inland with a cousin and spent several other years taking long road trips through the U.S. with another cousin.

Throughout his life, James was a true example of a Christ-like man, devoting many years as a church deacon and serving the community in multiple capacities. He was always generous, caring, and wise, with a clever sense of humor. Everyone who knew James has been enriched by the experience. James is deeply loved and will be greatly missed. Due to the concerns of health and group gatherings, there will be no

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