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Barbara Hodges

Barbara Hodges was an educator who loved kids, loved her immediate and her extended family, and closely followed politics and all sports, especially KU basketball and K-State football. She was born Oct. 28, 1935, to Theodore and Dorothy Craig in Seminole, Oklahoma, and passed away Thursday Jan. 18, 2018, at a Topeka hospital.

Peabody, Kansas, was her home from age 5, and she graduated from Peabody High School in 1953. She married Patrick Hodges, a high school classmate, and with him had three children — Nancy, Rick, and Dorry — before they divorced.

Barbara resumed her education, graduating from Emporia State University with an education degree, and later completed her master’s degree at ESU in primary education. In 1964, she moved with her children to Lincoln, Kansas, where she taught for five years. She moved to Topeka in 1969 to begin a 37-year tenure with Topeka schools. The most satisfying part of her teaching career was when she served as principal for the Head Start program where she had a passion for the children, their families, and Head Start staff. Barbara was active in national Head Start programs, attending conferences, serving on committees, and participating in reviews of other Head Start programs around the country. She also owned and operated Rainbow Resources in Topeka offering post-graduate training for elementary teachers. Barbara belonged to KNEA, NAACP, and First Congregational Church.

She leaves her children, Nancy McDonald; Rick Hodges and wife, Vickie Marlatt; and Dorry Olsen; six grandchildren, Stacy Alonzo and partner Jason Spence; Brianna Russell and husband, Matt; Johnathan Olsen; Kellie Olsen; Kayla Harmon; and Emily Olsen; three great-grandchildren, Jensen Spence; Zela Spence; and Levi Olsen; brother, David Craig and wife, Virginia; sister, Susan Craig; and a large family of cousins for whom Barbara served as the unofficial documentarian.

A funeral service was Wednesday, Jan. 24, at Penwell-Gabel Mid Town Chapel. Graveside committal services followed at Prairie Lawn Cemetery, Peabody, Kansas.

Memorial contributions may be made to Peabody Community Foundation, 218 N. Walnut St, Peabody KS 66866, or by contacting admin@peabodycommunityfoundation.org; or a charity of your choice in Barbara’s name.

Last modified Jan. 24, 2018

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