Cover photo for John William Hodgens's Obituary
John William Hodgens Profile Photo
1941 John 2022

John William Hodgens

February 6, 1941 — February 26, 2022

Red Wing

John William Hodgens, 81, of Red Wing, formerly of Richfield and Bloomington, passed away at home, from cancer, on February 26, 2022.

He is survived by Anna, his wife of 37 years; daughter, Patricia (John) Vannucci; son, Michael (Marybeth) Hodgens; their mother, Sharon (Dick) Hodgens Wood; Anna’s daughter, Jennifer Jackson and son, Timothy (Susan) Jackson; grandchildren, Olivia, Erica and Anthony Vannucci; Sage and Lara Hodgens; Ken, Steve, Matt and Michelle Schow; sister, Janet O’Brien; nephews, Jeff, Brian, and Shawn; and great-nephew, Brandt Gumbert. He was preceded in death by his parents, John Graham and Sarah (Hughes) Hodgens.

John was born in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, where he graduated high school. After a year at the University of Miami, he finished his undergraduate degree in chemistry and mathematics at the University of Wisconsin and later, earned a master’s degree in chemistry at Notre Dame.

After short teaching assignments in Wisconsin, most of John’s teaching career was spent at Richfield and Eden Prairie high schools where he taught chemistry and math. He was nominated as teacher of the year by one of his Eden Prairie co-workers and was regularly chosen by individual students to be their guest at student recognition festivities. John was thanked by a former student who described him this way: “I owe my success to him in a large way because he believed in me and my potential. No one had expressed a belief in me before this. No other teacher had a more profound influence on me than Mr. Hodgens…I would not be where I am today without you.” A former colleague remarked that John’s calm, even demeanor was something to count on in the world of teenagers. After retirement he often observed that what he missed most about teaching was the students and that now he had to get used to people his own age.

John and Anna’s summer travels, always by a highway vehicle, ranged from Fortress Louisbourg and Cope Brenton Island, Novia Scotia; to Fairbanks, Alaska; Angle Fire, New Mexico; Salt Lake City, Utah, Friday Harbor, Washington; the Oregon and northern California coasts; Camden, Maine; Morristown, New Jersey; Duluth, Minnesota and Lake Superior’s North Shore. This allowed them to experience the immensity of the North American continent and visit national and state parks, monuments and historical sites.

After retirement, John pursued his lifelong passion for fishing by fly fishing both locally at Hay Creek and the Rush River and at Yellowstone National Park and Nelson’s Spring Creek Ranch, Livingston, Montana, most often with his son Michael and recently, also with granddaughter, Lara. Anna has said that, on their first trip together, when John would comment that a stream looked like a trout stream, she really had no idea of the import of those observations.

A private family service will be held in Red Wing. A private burial will take place at a later date at Eksjo Lutheran Church Cemetery, Lake Park, Minnesota, near the burial sites of four generations of Anna’s family.

Arrangements with the Mahn Family Funeral Home, Bodelson-Mahn Chapel. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.mahnfamilyfuneralhome.com.

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

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