Donald "Buck" L. Hodges, August 12, 1928 - July 9, 2019

Donald "Buck" L. Hodges
Donald "Buck" L. Hodges
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Donald Laurin Hodges, aka Buck, passed away peacefully at Care Partners on Birch Street in Eau Claire on July 9th, 2019 after a long battle with dementia. Don was ready to meet his Lord and Savior.

Don was born August 12th, 1928 to Joseph Stanley Hodges and Carrie (Thiede) Hodges in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Don is survived by his loving wife of 17 years, Wilma Toy-Hodges; daughters, Sheila Hortman and Marilyn Freeman (Jess); son, John Hodges (Barb) and daughter-in-law, Kathy Hodges. He is also survived by his grand-children Michelle Landon, Shannon Caldwell, Vanessa Garman, Amanda Hodges, and MJ (Miriam Joy) Hodges and ten great- grandchildren; and sister, Muriel Brown. Also Wilma’s children and families; Steve and Sue Gould, Tim Gould, Bobbi Jo Toy Schwagel, Becki and Jason Keiser, Tom Toy, Christine Toy, Renee Toy, Heidi Toy, grandson James Toy, granddaughter Olivia Keiser, and numerous other grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Don was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 50 years, Shirley (Pippenger) Hodges, son Charles Hodges, son Steven Hodges, grandson Charles “Charlie” Hodges, brother Stanley Hodges, sister Shirl Stavnaw, brother Jim Hodges, sister Margie Vance, and stepdaughter Dana Kratochvil.

Don started work as an apprentice at C.R. Stocks Electric two days after his 16th birthday on August 14th, 1944. He was the youngest electrical apprentice in the state of Wisconsin. Don worked for Stocks Electric for 38 years and started Hodges Electric in 1982, retiring February 28th, 1991. Don married Shirley on December 25th, 1951. Upon Don's retirement, he and Shirley built a lovely home in Mountain Home, Arkansas and resided there until her untimely death. After Shirley passed away, Don then married their lifelong, family friend, Wilma Toy on November 12, 2002. They resided in Eau Claire.

Don was a lifelong member of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Union 14. Don proudly served as a Corporal in the USAR Fifth Artillery during the Korean War. Upon discharge, Don was invited to join the CIA, but declined to be with his wife and family. Don loved golfing, fishing, traveling, playing cribbage with his buddies, telling jokes, teaching Sunday School and music. Don especially loved spending time with his family and as much time as he could with Wilma at their lake home in Holcombe. Don will be deeply missed by his family and a host of dear friends.

The family would like to especially thank the staff at Care Partners and Interim Hospice for their tender loving care, Calvary Baptist Church for their prayer support and weekly visits, Pastor Fred and Sandy Whyte for providing spiritual care, and Qourtnie Ohms, Bella Kong and Kari Trisdale, aka “Lipstick,” for their constant support and for being extra-special lights in the last months of his life. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Hope Gospel Mission, the Swazi Orphans at Teamwork Africa, or a charity of your choice.

Funeral service will take place at 11 am on Monday, July 15, 2019 at Hulke Family Funeral Home in Eau Claire with Pastor Fred Whyte officiating. Visitation will take place Monday morning at the funeral home from 9:30 am until the time of service.  Interment with military honors rendered by the American Legion Post #53 will take place at Rest Haven Cemetery in the Town of Washington immediately following the service. Those attending are invited to a lunch reception at Peace Church, 501 E. Fillmore Avenue in Eau Claire, following the committal service at the cemetery. Please utilize the west parking lot at the church.

Friends and family are invited to offer their condolences online at

Hulke Funeral Home, 3209 Rudolph Road, Eau Claire, WI 54701 is assisting the family with the arrangements.


  1. Ruth Ziegler Oakes July 30, 2019

    Hodges family and Wilma,
    So sorry to hear of your loss. When I think of Don, I remember Dad sharing a story of God's miraculous protection when Don was flying one time. Love the beauty of how the Lord intertwines lives and families and uses them to bless each other. I rejoice that Don is with his Lord and Savior, and we will see him again! Blessings to all of you.

  2. william jones July 15, 2019

    Worked with Buckey quite a few yrs. He was rough some times, but we were really good friends. He will be greatly missed. Bill...

  3. Scott Geroux July 14, 2019

    I was so shocked to read of Don's passing. He had a big influence on my life as a teenager when I was best of friends with his son Chuck. After Chucks death in April 1971 I saw the family just a handful of times before they moved South. As I read further in Don's obituary I was again shocked to see that he moved back and married Wilma, who is mother to Steve, Tim, and Tom who I've known for many years. I've been flooded with so many wonderful memories this last couple of days. I cannot make the funeral but I will be praying that God's peace surround Don's family and friends to bring you all the comfort that only He can provide. My mom, Lois Geroux, wishes to pass on her condolences as well.

  4. Luanne Lehew July 13, 2019

    Thoughts are with you as you say goodbye to a special man. Don was a person to turn to for advice, knowledge and honesty.

  5. Wendy Ziegler Brunson July 11, 2019

    Hello Hodges family: I just wanted to let you know how sorry I am for the loss of your father. He came to mom's funeral and I was able to visit with him for a little bit. Brought back such good memories! I still recall him singing and strumming the guitar! So many of the people I remember as constants in my Eau Claire days on North Shore Drive are now together in heaven. Blessings to you and your family.

  6. Marilyn Freeman July 11, 2019

    Our Dad was a wonderful father and friend. He will be dearly missed.

  7. Tom and Barb Anderson July 10, 2019

    Wilma and family,
    So sorry to hear about your husband. We will not be able to come to the services as we will be in Michigan. So sorry that I can’t be there to give you a hug. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Love, Barb and Tom.