Ervin E. Hodges
City of Lawrence Mayor, Lt. Colonel, USMC
Liberty Memorial High School
Ervin E. (Erv) Hodges was born on a small farm just outside of Lawrence, Kansas.
Erv attended a one room country school and entered Liberty Memorial High School as a ninth-grade student. He graduated from LMHS in 1946 and subsequently attended Kansas City Junior College, Kansas University. University of Hawaii and the University of Maryland.
He joined the United States Marine Corps and after serving in Hawaii and the Pacific area was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in 1952. He continued a 23- year military career that would take him to tours in Korea and Vietnam, where he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with combat V, as well as tours with the American Embassy in Paris, France and the Marine Corps Test Unit which developed procedures for conducting helicopter operations. He also served on Naval Staffs of Amphibious Group II in the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas and as Commander of the 2nd Shore Party Battalion. He was a graduate of the Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School.
Following retirement from the Marine Corps as a Lieutenant Colonel, Erv returned to Lawrence where he was appointed the director of Personnel for the City of Lawrence. He later became Director of Utilities and remained in that position until his departure to join the ITT Corporation. While with the City he was Chair of the Government Division of the United Fund drive.
Erv was national sales and marketing manager for Hamel Dahl, ITT, a major supplier of control valves for the nuclear power industry. After the sale of a portion of the company to Tyco Corporation, he became Regional Manager with offices in Kansas City and St. Louis.
In final retirement Erv returned to Lawrence where he has been active in local affairs. He is a past president of the Sertoma Civic Club as well as Sertoman of the year in 2002. He is a member of American Legion Post# 14 and is a life member of the Military Officers Association of America and is a past president of the Jayhawk Chapter. In 1997 he was elected Lawrence City Commissioner and served as Mayor in 1999-2000.
He has received numerous awards for his community service including Lawrence Kiwanis Club Substantial Citizen Award, Lawrence Public Schools Outstanding Citizen Award, Baker University Civic Service Award and selection to the Lawrence High School Hall of Honor.
Recognizing a need to honor the many heroes of our community who have given their lives in the service of their country and community, Erv organized the Douglas County Memorial of Honor Foundation to create a memorial featuring a major work by local sculpture Jim Brothers. He was the only Chairman of that group and was successful in raising the money and building the Memorial at the Lawrence Visitors Center.
He has been married to Shirley Rothberger Hodges for the past 61 years and they have two children, Mark A. Hodges and Cynthia L. Fritzel. They have eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren.