BANGOR - Gerald "Gerry" Hodge, died June 19, 2014, after a lengthy illness. He was born July 6, 1927, son of Benjamin and Geneva (Cummings) Hodge. Gerry graduated from Bangor High School in 1946, enlisted in the army, and served 18 months in Japan during the Korean War. When Gerry returned stateside, he completed a post graduate year at Maine Central Institute and then attended
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the University of Maine at Orono, graduating in 1953. Having excelled in football throughout his school years, Gerry began his college football career as a linebacker. Although he preferred playing a defensive position, when his coach insisted he play center, he "did it for the team" for his remaining three
After graduation from UMO, Gerry taught and coached football, basketball, and baseball at Mexico High School. He served as head football coach at Mexico High until 1956. During that time his teams compiled a record of 30 wins, 4 losses, and 2 ties, including 2 undefeated seasons; and Gerry left Mexico High with a 24-game winning streak. Gerry's coaching career was off to a great start!
In 1957, at the request of the superintendent of Bangor schools, Gerry applied for and accepted the positions of assistant football coach and physical education teacher at Bangor High School. For Gerry this was a dream come true. He
became head football coach at Bangor High in 1958, a position he held for the next seventeen years. Throughout this time,he also coached golf at Bangor High, another one of Gerry's favorite pastimes.
During his years at Bangor High, his football teams had 2 undefeated seasons, were co-champions based on the season
records in the state Class A conference in 1964, played in 3 state championship games, took his team to the first-ever high school playoffs in 1967, and won 2 state championships in 1973 and 1975. His overall coaching record was 116 wins, 40 losses, and 2 ties. However, Gerry was more proud of his players and the young men they became, than the successes his teams achieved. He truly understood what was important in life. Gerry was more than a coach of football fundamentals; he was a mentor to his players, sharing his thoughts on life and leading by example. Gerry retired from coaching in 1975 and from teaching in 1985.
During his years coaching, Gerry served as President of the Class A Conference and the Maine Coaches Association; received the Class A Coach of the Year award in 1964, 1973 and 1975; and coached two Fitzpatrick Trophy Winners, Pete McCarty in 1973 and Mike Edwards in 1975. The Fitzpatrick Trophy is awarded each year to the top high school senior
football player in the State of Maine. Although Gerry's passion was coaching football, his golf games and playing poker with his buddies were both a close second. Gerry loved the time he spent playing golf at Bangor Muni and
in Naples, Florida, with Maureen and his friends. Anyone who heard Gerry and his friends playing poker understood from
Gerry's laughter, joking, and teasing that his friends and their weekly game meant the world to him.
Gerry understood what was important in life and understood the importance of passing that on to the young men whose paths crossed his. His players learned from Gerry, and yet he also learned from them. Gerry appreciated the gift of time
he was given these last two years and chose to spend it with family, reminiscing with friends, catching up with former players and coaching friends, teasing his new friends at CCOM, and enjoying the time he had with Maureen. His was a life well lived.
Surviving are his wife, Maureen (Doyle) Hodge of Bangor; a son and daughter-in-law, Jeffrey and Kim Hodge of Etna; sister-in-law, Rosalie Hodge of Brewer; several nieces and nephews; and Maureen's extended family. He was predeceased by his son, Adam J. Hodge and two brothers, George and Richard Hodge.
The family would like to thank Dr. Chodkiewicz and Gerry's "special girls" at CCOM and all the wonderful friends and neighbors who have supported Gerry and Maureen through this journey.
A service in celebration of Gerry's life will be held 1 P.M. Saturday June 28, 2014 at Brookings-Smith, 133 Center St.
Bangor. Private interment will be in Mt. Pleasant Catholic Cemetery. Relatives and friends are invited to call at Gerry and Maureen's home, 4-6 p.m. Saturday June 28, 2014. Those wishing to remember Gerry in a special way, may contribute in his memory to, Friends of Cameron Stadium, C/O Bangor School Department, 73 Harlow St., Bangor, ME. 04401; or to the Lafayette Family Cancer Center, C/O EMHS Foundation, P.O. Box 931, Bangor, ME. 04402-0931. Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com.
133 Center Street Bangor, ME 04401
Published in BDN Maine on June 21, 2014