Earl “Hod” Hodsdon left this world on August 2, 2020. He was born in Kenmare, North Dakota, on September 9, 1930, to Earl and Hattie (Nordeen) Hodsdon. The family eventually moved to Mellen, Wisconsin, where Hod graduated from. As the youngest of three brothers, he spent much of his childhood playing sports (basketball and baseball) and ice skating. Stories he proudly shared often, if you were lucky enough to enjoy a cup of coffee or two with Hod. He went on to obtain a scholarship to college for his talents in basketball; however, the world had different plans for Hod. After taking a significant injury, working on the Railroad the summer before he was to start college, he had to adjust his dreams.
In 1952, Hod met the love of his life, Leah Kettering, at the Lakeside Ballroom in Glenwood, Minnesota, dancing the night away. They were married shortly thereafter and spent their Newlywed years in a travel trailer, while Hod worked countless hours for the railroad. Their greatest goal was to be together, regardless of where they were living or which depot community, they were calling home. Eventually, Richard and Timothy, their two sons, were born and joined the caravan. Stories of raising two busy boys, while traveling from state to state, were often shared by Hod, met with laughter and joy from his audiences.
Glenwood, Minnesota eventually became home for Hod and Leah. Both their boys graduated from Glenwood High School. Hod was very active in the community from Boy Scouts to bowling to softball leagues to volunteering at the Glenwood Retirement Home and his church home. He was an avid outdoorsman, who enjoyed hunting and fishing. He spent countless hours on “Grandpa Duty”, teaching his grandchildren everything from how to catch a baseball to how to trap pocket gophers.
In 1992, Hod retired from the Soo Line Railroad after not only being a direct Signalman but also a leader within the National Union. Many trips to Washington, D.C., to advocate for his fellow worker’s rights, created successes that can still be seen in railroad policies today. Never wanting to be slowed down, he proudly worked at Kadejan Farms for 5 years, after his retirement. He would often tell tales of the diverse and kind coworkers he befriended during his time there.
Hod’s legacy continues through his wife, Leah Hodsdon; sons, Richard (June) of Stillwater and Timothy Hodsdon of Burnsville; Grandchildren - Nicole Hodsdon, Sara Stallman (Chris), Matthew Hodsdon, Timothy Hodsdon (Rebecca); and Great Grandchildren - (Cole Hodsdon, Riley-Avery-Kayce Stallman, Wyatt-Everett-Sawyer Hodsdon), as they strive to show the integrity, kindness, work ethic and compassion he showed throughout his life. Although Grandpa Hod, has “retired” his superhero cape in this world, he has so many committed to carrying his legacy forward and making him proud. Also surviving him would be his brother George (Rosemary) of Sacramento, California; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Roy Hodsdon.
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