Cover photo for James Wilson Hodges's Obituary
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James Wilson Hodges

June 30, 1930 — June 21, 2022

James Wilson Hodges

James Wilson Hodges, age 91, of SUWANEE, GA passed away peacefully at home June 21, 2022, at 6:30 p.m. with his family by his side. The retired Engineering Executive and longtime resident of Oak Ridge, TN was born June 30, 1930, in Detroit, MI to the late Charles Henry Hodges, Jr. and Grace Marion Wilson Hodges. He follows his brother Charles H. Hodges III (Ruth) of Lake Forest, IL; his sister Elizabeth Hodges Rumely (Scott) of Birmingham, MI. 

Mr. Hodges will be forever remembered by his beloved wife of 63 years Frances Herald Hodges; his three children Grace Anne Hodges, Mary Hodges Spahn (Warren), James Wilson Hodges, Jr (Vicki); three grandchildren James Wilson Hodges, III, Henry Hodges Royal, Jade Victoria Hodges; his seven nieces and nephews Alex Hodges (Jane), Hank Hodges (Vicki), John Hodges (Barb), Virginia Rumely Mueller (Jim), Betsy Rumely, Scott Rumely, Tammy Herald Dronebarger (Mark) and many great-nieces and nephews.

Mr. Hodges was born in Detroit, Michigan, grew up in Grosse Pointe, attended prep school at The Lawrenceville School, received his BSME degree from Yale University (1952) and his MS degree from University of Tennessee Knoxville (1967) before settling down to live and work in the Secret City of Oak Ridge. Mr. Hodges married Frances Herald Hodges on April 11,1959 and had three children.

Mr, Hodges’s career spans 41 years working on the Manhattan Project as an engineer and project manager at Y-12 and K-25 operated by Union Carbide Corporation, later taken over by the Martin Marietta Corporation.

Y-12 National Security Complex is a United States Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration facility located in Oak Ridge, TN. It was built as part of the Manhattan Project for the purpose of enriching uranium for the first atomic bombs. Among his many career accomplishments, Mr. Hodges was especially proud of his design input on the Apollo Lunar Sample Return Containers — aka “moon boxes” — that brought back the first rocks from the moon. 

Mr. Hodges was an active member of St. Stephens Episcopal Church, the BPOE Lodge and the Huron Mountain Club. He was an oarsman, an avid fly fisherman and outdoorsman who enjoyed boating, water-skiing and spending time with his family.  

A funeral service and interment was held at Crest Lawn Funeral Home & Memorial Cemetery in Cookeville, TN. A celebration of life will be held in Michigan at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to The Huron Mountain Wildlife Foundation online at or St. Stephens Episcopal Church in Oak Ridge.

From your family…”We love you to the moon (box) and back and are praying for eternal peace and tight lines…until we meet again!” 

Arrangements are under the care of Ingram Funeral Home.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Wilson Hodges, please visit our flower store.


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