Visitation will take place from 10 AM until the start of the funeral.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Wounded Warriors Project
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Cliff Hodgins would agree that he was an exceptionally caring and generous person. He especially loved his family and was no stranger to the hard work it took to provide for them over the years. Cliff leaves behind a rich tapestry of memories shared with those he loved. There is no doubt that he will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by his many special loved ones.
William and Barbara Hodgins welcomed home their only son, Clifford Jack on November 6, 1925, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His birth brought great joy to his loving parents. The Roaring Twenties were a significant time in our nation’s history with jazz music booming and the automotive industry gaining momentum. However, by the end of the decade, the nation was hit by tough economic times leaving nearly all aspects of life deeply affected by an era known as the Great Depression.
Growing up on the city’s west side, Cliff lived a typical childhood of the times. The family used their resources carefully and relied on the large garden on the side lot near their home for food. Although his father held a steady job at a local manufacturing plant, they saw their fair share of hard times. Tough as well as self-sufficient, Cliff learned the value of a solid education attending Sibley Elementary and later picked up small jobs as a developing teen to support the family income. He was a proud graduate with the Class of 1942 from Union High School. Cliff worked hard to graduate a semester early so he could enlist in the United States Army along with his cousin, Roger. Fortunately, he was held back from deployment for one week due to his allergies. His cousin was sent on without him and died fighting in the Battle of the Bulge.
Cliff was immensely proud of his years of service and would earn the rank of Corporal serving in battle in Germany. After almost a year, he was discharged and returned back home to work at a local window manufacturing company as a draftsman. Successful in anything he set out to accomplish, he later worked at RC Allen. He spent most of his career at Gall Meyer and Livingston which manufactured grinding machines. Cliff had a way with people and his strong self discipline led him to many successes in his career.
Not to be forgotten was the meeting of his bride-to-be in the fall of 1946. Joining a group of friends for an evening out on the town, his eyes met the eyes of Peggy Bell, who was out on a date with one of his friends. As luck would have it, they later broke up and Cliff was first in line to ask her out on a date! Smitten from the start, the happy couple later joined in marriage on June 28, 1947 at Richmond Reformed Church. With a tight budget they settled on a honeymoon to Wellston where Peggy had relatives. They settled into their apartment on Alpine Ave NW. Working tirelessly for seven years to save up enough money, they eventually purchased their one and only home on Wendover Drive NW from a Sears catalog. Together they raised two wonderful children, Mary Ann and James.
As a family, they shared many lasting memories. They enjoyed several camping trips throughout the state. Cliff loved collecting rocks along the shore and would often consult their family friend, Mary Jane Dockeray to help identify their treasures. Before long he had taught the kids how to look and wash stones as well. Their favorite destination for collecting rocks was a memorable trip around Lake Superior. Busy juggling work and pleasure, Cliff would often drive out to the campsites along the shoreline after work. An avid outdoorsmen, Cliff and James took a trip to Canada to visit relatives and then spent another two weeks in Alaska. He instilled in his children the importance of faith and family. Although he was more serious and stern during these years, they never doubted his love.
Cliff was always active and on the go. Raised with a great appreciation for items he worked hard to earn, he took meticulous care of his home, tools, and car. When it came time for home repairs and projects, Cliff was resourceful and loved to do the work himself. When the family home grew too small, he put on a large addition. The project included pouring the basement, running the electric and plumbing, putting up the drywall, as well as designing a custom built kitchen. There simply wasn’t anything he couldn’t do with a little patience and time.
Cliff held many special pastimes over the years. In addition to his love of fishing and spending time at the beach, Cliff loved having fresh vegetables and always had a large garden with tomatoes and cucumbers. Never one to remain idle, Cliff dabbled in photography and even had a darkroom for developing film in the basement. He taught Mary the tools of the trade as well as spending quality time together. He loved to journal and document their every vacation with dates and pictures. When he eventually grew tired of the process, he turned the darkroom into a wine cellar and made his own wine! Later in life, he enjoyed his daily swimming at West YMCA and golfing. He was very active with the Walker Seniors and enjoyed many special trips to Chicago, Canadian Rockies, New York City, and San Francisco. Highlights were the trips to see his son James in Kansas and Alabama.
Cliff followed his Detroit Tigers throughout his life and was a lifelong member of Faith United Methodist Church. The past few years he and Peggy slowed down some and moved into Villa Maria. During the midst of the global pandemic, Cliff was recovering from hip surgery at the rehab center. With the safety protocols making it hard for visitors, the isolation added to his steady decline. He returned home to his sweetheart, Peggy, as well as Hospice care. Cliff left a legacy of living life to the fullest. His adventurous spirit will be dearly missed. May the many special memories he left behind surround the grieving hearts of his close friends and loved ones during the times they need it most.
Mr. Cliff J. Hodgins, age 95, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, passed away peacefully at his home on May 11, 2021. He is survived by his wife of nearly 75 years, Peggy; children, Mary (Mike) Yoak and James Hodgins; grandchildren, Teniell (Chris) Bolton, Becca (Ben) Wilson, Whitney Hodgins, and Jessica Yoak; great-grandchildren, Gabriel, Bryce, Aria and Cody; grand puppies; sister-in-law, Bonnie Alt, family friend, Chad Tyrell and many nieces and nephews. Cliff served overseas in the U.S. Army during World War II. The funeral service (masks and social distancing) will be held at 11 AM on Monday May 17, 2021 at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr NW with Rev. Dick Ter Maat officiating. Visitation will be from 10 AM until the time of the service. Contributions in his memory may be made to Mary Jane Dockeray Scholarship or Wounded Warriors Project. Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to submit a favorite memory, photo or to sign the guestbook online.