Russell Wayne Hodge

Russell Wayne Hodge, born in Hampton, Virginia, on November 29, 1945, died May 13, 2024, after a short illness. He was preceded in death by his loving mother, Gertrude Moore, and stepfather, Grady Moore. His father, Thomas Hodge, also preceded him in death. 

Russ attended Hampton City Schools and then proudly served four years in the Air Force and retired after 29 years in Civil Service. 

He had many special loves: his music, the water and fishing, gardening and nature, and most importantly, his family. Russ was a talented musician and played in multiple bands from his teen years through his forties. He never knew a guitar he didn’t love and called them his “ladies,” all 15 of them. He patiently taught two of his granddaughters, Sydney & Kassie, how to play the guitar and the ukelele, which fostered their love of music and provided endless happy memories of growing up playing special songs with him.

His love of the water led to many happy times on his boat, named after his daughter, Kelli. He enjoyed fishing, crabbing, and lighthouses. 

Russ was considered a “master” gardener and had a prolific vegetable garden every year. He loved nature, particularly birds, and cared for them as if they were his extra family. He had a thirst for knowledge of history and space and an outstanding memory of all he learned. 

His family was first and foremost in his life, and he loved them unconditionally. He is survived by his loving daughter, Kelli, her husband, John, and three precious granddaughters, Sydney, Kassie, and Emme. Also surviving him are son Michael Rackley, wife Shannon, and another precious granddaughter, Amelia, and daughter Melissa Volosky and adult grandson Christian. 

Russ’ mother would be proud of the deep bond he maintained with his surviving siblings, Helen Lufsey, Juanita Bailey, and Tom Hodge. He had a close relationship with many nieces and nephews, and they are grateful for that.

Russ met Kay Reigel in 2023, and she ultimately became the love of his life. They shared so many adventures together, a relationship they had both searched for that was sadly shorter than they both deserved. She is forever a cherished part of the Hodge family.

The mother of his daughter, Kelli, was Joanne Schuhle, who, despite no longer being married to Russ, had a 57-year relationship that endured as they became the best of friends. Joanne’s current husband, Roger, was also a loyal friend who made his blended family complete. Kelli, Joanne, and Kay stayed by his side lovingly through his illness. Russ was fortunate to enter the gates of Heaven while daughter Kelli reminded him how loved he was by everyone.

A celebration of his life is scheduled for Sunday, May 26th, 2024, at 2:00 p.m. at Peninsula Funeral Home in Newport News. If attending, the family requests that you wear blue, his favorite color.


  1. Bill Gardner

    I wish to offer my condolences and prayers to the entire family of Russ Hodge. I knew Russ since we were teenagers playing music together. We got into a little mischief from time to time. Social media kept us in touch for the last several years and we discussed many subjects. I know that Russ was proud of his entire family. I am deeply saddened by his passing.

    • Helen Lufsey

      Thank you Bill. My brother loved playing in the bands he was with and made lifelong friends of those he played with.He will be dearly missed.

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