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.
Mary Jane Dockeray Scholarship Fund (GVSU)
Regional Math and Science Center
183 North C Living Center
Grand Valley State University
183 Residence Court
Allendale, MI 49401
Blandford Nature Center
1715 Hillburn Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
When reflecting on the life of Peggy Hodgins, it is easy to see her unwavering strength and unconditional love for her family. She truly understood the value of hard work and responsibility, her life an inspiration to all who were near. Peggy was a shining example of kindness and selflessness, and she treasured her loved ones above all else. Her caring spirit touched the lives of those around her, and she was always willing to help others in any way she could. Deeply loved, Peggy will be forever missed.
It was great to be an American during the decade that we commonly recall as the Roaring Twenties. Cars were more affordable thanks to the mass production abilities of the assembly line, and the world of flight was soaring to new heights as well. This decade also brought great joy to Clifford and Imogene (Keyes) Bell as they announced the birth of the baby girl they named Peggy Jean on May 20, 1927, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Growing up, Peggy was a typical young girl of her generation in many ways. She was raised in the family home on Richmond Street alongside her four younger siblings, David, Bob, Donna, and Bonnie. As the oldest child in the family, Peggy took responsibility around the house and often helped care for her younger siblings. Though the Depression years were tough on the Bell family, frugal living got them through the hard times. Peggy attended a two-room schoolhouse before moving to Oakleigh School where she founded several lifelong friendships. She went on to attend and graduate from Union High School.
New and exciting changes were on the horizon for Peggy when she met her soul mate. His name was Clifford Hodgins, and the two were first introduced when Peggy was out with a group of friends. After Peggy heard that Clifford broke up with her previous girlfriend, she was quick to ask him out. Over time, their relationship continued to blossom, and it didn’t take them long to realize that they were made for each other. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, Peggy and Clifford were married at Richmond Reformed Church on June 28, 1947. The newlyweds settled into a one bedroom apartment where they would live for the next several years as they saved for a home of their own.
Of all the things Peggy loved in life, she treasured her family above all else. She and Cliff were able to buy a house on Wendover Drive NW, which would be their lifetime home together. Over the next few years, Peggy and Cliff were overjoyed to welcome two beloved children, Mary and Jim, into their hearts and home. She was dedicated to her children and devoted herself to raising them into kind, hardworking individuals. Peggy was always supportive of their interests and activities. Mary shared her love of art and learned to sew and make her own clothes, while Jim excelled in the water and she took him to all of his swim practices and meets, and when he was in college she would travel to see him swim in the AAU Nationals.
Nothing brought Peggy greater joy than spending time with her loved ones even in the simple moments they shared. She remained friends with several girls from Oakleigh School for many years, even making monthly trips to visit with them. The Hodgins family enjoyed camping and going to the beach, and though Peggy didn’t like going in the water she loved going to Hoffmaster State Park for the day. Later in life, Peggy was thrilled to become a grandmother and even a great-grandmother. She adored spending time with them every chance she could, and loved hosting family dinners for birthdays and the holidays. She was known for her large collection of nutcrackers and treasured the last one Cliff gave to her before he passed.
Never one to sit still for long, Peggy pursued many hobbies in her free time. She fell in love with art at a young age and even had dreams of going to art school when she was a child. Peggy continued to enjoy crafts and, thanks to her frugal nature she loved to make anything she could by hand. Cliff would make household items out of wood and Peggy loved to paint them. Peggy also loved knitting and sewing. She could make clothes for herself and Mary, and she often knitted mittens and hats to donate as well as blankets for the babies from her church. Peggy loved to exercise, and she taught classes at the YMCA for years. She enjoyed reading everything thing from romance books and murder mysteries to books about women in the Bible. Peggy would often do the driving for her family, friends and grandchildren. She was always on the go and willing to help anyway she could.
In order to support herself and her family, Peggy worked in the office at RC Allen and was even asked to model for the cover of their brochure. She also found employment with Mieras shoes for over a decade and loved working with the customers and serving others. She especially enjoyed watching the children grow older over the years. In addition, Peggy was able to travel all over West Michigan to different craft shows to sell her puppets and other handmade crafts.
Faith was one of the most important elements in Peggy’s life. She and Cliff were members at Valley United Methodist Church, which later merged and formed Faith UMC. They continued to be active members for many years. Peggy taught adult Sunday school for over 20 years. She volunteered in the kitchen, traveled with friends on the church bus trips, and for several years she used her art skills to create a tablescape for the Christamas by Candlelight event at the church. Peggy loved to teach and serve others through the church, and her faith helped her through even the most difficult of times.
As family and friends can attest, Peggy Hodgins truly understood the secret to a life well lived. She valued her friends and loved ones and was a humble spirit ready to serve. Peggy was never afraid to speak her mind, and she was a constant source of strength for those around her. Known for her resilience and fortitude, she will be deeply missed, Peggy leaves behind a priceless legacy that her loved ones will proudly carry on in her footsteps.
Peggy Hodgins (nee Bell), age 94, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, passed away peacefully at her home on August 15, 2021 and is reunited with her husband of nearly 75 years, Clifford, who passed away in May. She is survived by her children, Mary (Mike) Yoak and James Hodgins; grandchildren, Teneill (Christopher) Bolton, Becca (Ben) Wilson, Whitney Hodgins, and Jessica Yoak; great-grandchildren, Gabriel, Bryce, Aria and Cody; grand puppies; sister Bonnie Alt; family friend, Chad Tyrell and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her brothers, David and Bob Bell; and her sister, Donna Impellizzeri.
When discussing her funeral service, Peggy requested that guests NOT wear black, but rather wear bright colors. The service to celebrate Peggy’s life will be held at 11 AM on Thursday August 19, 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. Peggy’s family asks that instead of flowers, please consider a donation to either the Mary Jane Dockeray Scholarship (at GVSU) or Blandford Nature Center. Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to submit a favorite memory, photo or to sign the guestbook online.