Cover photo for Rae Hodges's Obituary
Rae Hodges Profile Photo
1941 Rae 2018

Rae Hodges

January 13, 1941 — September 23, 2018

Rae C. Hodges passed away on Sept 23, 2018. He suffered a brain aneurysm while visiting Helena, where he was participating in the Five Valley Cluster dog show. He died at Providence Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, WA. His friends and family relate that the day before his collapse was a joyful one for him, as his dog Windy, who he personally handled in the ring, won Best of Winners that day.

Rae was born January 13, 1941, in Chicago, Illinois to Eileen Dickson Logan and Lawrence Wayne Hodges. His family moved to Stevensville, MT in 1943, then to Charlo, where the family lived in the house built by his grandfather, Simon Rae Logan, in the 1930’s, known to all as the “Stone House.” Rae simultaneously attended the University of Montana in Missoula while finishing his high school education at Missoula County High School, graduating in 1959. Rae secured a highly competitive nomination from U.S. Senator from Montana Mike Mansfield, and was accepted to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. While attending the Academy, he belonged to the varsity judo and the pistol teams.  He was one of six cadets in his class to score higher than 700 in each of three graduate record examinations. He graduated as a Second Lieutenant from the Academy in 1963, receiving his Bachelors of Science in International Relations.  Shortly after his graduation, he earned his black belt from the prestigious Kodokan School of Judo in Tokyo, Japan.

But it was in Colorado Springs that he met and fell in love with Amanda Hamilton of Dallas, TX. They were married on June 27, 1964, in a military wedding ceremony at Church of the Incarnation in Dallas, TX. Rae and Amanda looked glamorous in their formal-wear, despite the fact that Rae brought two left shoes to go with his dress uniform and had to borrow a set from one of his groomsmen.

Rae attended Air Force Pilot Training and received his pilot’s wings at Vance Air Force Base in Enid, OK. His first assignment was at a Strategic Air Command unit at Turner Air Force Base in Albany, GA, followed by a post in Guam, where he was assigned as a B52 pilot. Rae was then transferred to Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, CA. In May of 1969, two months after his daughter Mary was born, he deployed to Vietnam as a B52 pilot.

In Vietnam, while flying with the 716th Bomb Squadron, Rae earned the Silver Star for gallantry. From February 23 to February 28, 1970, as captain, he directed tactical air and ground artillery support for allied troops blocking enemy infiltration. The operation pitted an allied company against an enemy force of battalion size in rugged, mountainous terrain. Despite the continuing danger of enemy ground fire, he repeatedly flew over the battle area, controlling air attacks and artillery fire. Severe losses were inflicted on the enemy, and he was cited for insuring the success of the blocking mission. Rae flew 175 missions during a 12-month tour with the 20th Tactical Air Support Squadron at Pleiku Air Base, Vietnam.

Upon return home, his assignment was piloting the jet-powered B52 Stratofortress heavy bomber. He then flew with the Strategic Air Command's 479th Bomb Wing at Kincheloe Air Force Base, MI, where he was presented with the Silver Star. It was at Kincheloe AFB that his daughter Margaret was born in 1971.

His next assignment was at March Air Force Base in Riverside, CA. In 1973 he joined the Air Force Reserve Squadron as a KC135 tanker (refueler) pilot. He earned his Masters of Science degree in Systems Management from University of Southern California in 1975. He flew refuelers in the first Gulf War. Rae retired from the Air Force Reserve in 1996 as a Lt. Colonel. He returned to his family home in Charlo, MT in 1997.

Beginning in the early 1990’s, Rae was a whip with the Santa Fe Fox Hunting Club. He was an active member of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Polson, MT, where he sang enthusiastically in the choir as a tenor. He was also a member of Lions Club and the Five Valley Kennel Club. Rae and Amanda raised Black Angus beef and chickens in Charlo.

Rae and Amanda have been prominent figures in the dog show world since 1981 when they started showing standard longhair dachshunds. They have also shown borzois, border collies, and miniature longhair and smooth dachshunds. The Hodges Family would like to extend special thanks to their many friends who have rallied around the family at this difficult time.

Rae is survived by his wife Amanda Hodges, his two daughters, Mary Hodges, residing in Montana and Argentina, and Margaret Hodges Von Behren and her husband Daniel Von Behren, residing in Brooklyn, NY, and Rae’s sister Susan and her husband John Gardner who live in Charlo, MT.

Services Oct. 13 are as follows: Viewing 9:00-11:00 AM at Lake Funeral Home, 101 6 th Ave. E. in Polson; service at St. Andrew’s Church at 1:00 PM, 110 6 th Ave. E. in Polson; burial at Ronan Cemetery at 3:00 PM, 46727 N. Foothills Dr. in Ronan; reception to follow at Leon Hall, 984 Leon Rd. in Charlo. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations in Rae’s memory be made to St. Andrew’s Church, 110 6 th Ave. E., Polson, MT 59860.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rae Hodges, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Starts at 1:00 pm (Mountain time)

St. Andrew Episcopal Church

110 6th Ave E, Polson, MT 59860

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