It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Shirley Edna Hodge (nee Watts) at the age of 74. Shirley passed peacefully in Fort Frances on Sunday, January 29, 2023, surrounded by loved ones. Born to Arthur and Arlien (nee Lundy) Watts on April 9, 1948, in Emo, Ontario, Shirley went on to marry her favourite dancing partner and the love of her life, Douglas Alan Hodge, in 1966. The newly-wed couple settled in Marathon, Ontario, where they added a son and daughter to their family.
Home is where the heart is, and the Hodge family left large pieces of their heart in Northwestern Ontario and Alberta (with a short stop in Winnipeg, Manitoba). They spent decades in Fort McMurray, Alberta, where friends became family, followed by a few years in High River, Alberta, where they tackled the role of stay-at-home grandparents.
Doug and Shirley made their way back to the Rainy River District in the summer of 2018, spending time with family and renewing old friendships. Although Shirley lost her dancing partner shortly after they celebrated their 53rd anniversary in August 2019, she maintained an active social life – in person when her health allowed, and on-line when it didn’t (many will miss her morning Facebook affirmations).
Shirley was predeceased by her son-in-law, Shawn McDonald; her “little” big sister Maxine Ruymar; and her loving husband, Dougie. She is survived by son, Trevor (Andrea) Hodge and their three girls, Ariana (Colin Nash), Rachael, and Sara-Lyn; and daughter, Marni-Lyn McDonald and her two girls, Shaelyn and Delaney. Shirley was fiercely proud of her five granddaughters and loved them dearly.
Special thanks go out to Shirley’s niece, Rhonda Ruymar, and her “double” cousins, Elaine Advent and Dianne Stafford, for sharing Shirley’s final journey, and being such an invaluable support to Trevor and Marni.
As she did not want a service, Trevor and Marni ask that you raise a glass in Shirley’s honor with the knowledge that “Pookie” and her Dougie are reunited and no doubt jiving in heaven.