LAMM AT LARGE: Jacksonville loses a great friend in George Hodges

LAMM AT LARGE: Jacksonville loses a great friend in George Hodges

By: David Lamm

I hardly knew George Hodges. Because of my profession, he knew me better than I knew him.

In fact, few people knew Mr. Hodges or what he did for our city. He was far more likely to be seen wearing overalls and driving his tractor than making speeches and being honored.

Yet, he was one of our city’s most generous philanthropist.

That included significant donations to athletics through The Bolles School and JU, his alma maters, as well as UNF. Think Hodges Track and Field Stadium on the UNF campus.

He donated land and developed much of the huge area between Southside Blvd. and the Beaches. Hodges Blvd. is named for him; Kernan Blvd. for wife. J. Turner Butler Blvd. wouldn’t exist without Mr. Hodges.

He did most of this developing without costing the city one penny. He gave his friendship to people such as me, who could offer little in return.

Mr. Hodges recently passed at 81. Little fanfare was made of his death, but he’ll sorely be missed and likely never replaced.