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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour


HOWARD "HOWIE" ARTHUR HODGE (08/31/39 - 01/28/17)
prepared by Polly Reid

Saturday afternoon on January 28, 2017, Howard ‘Howie’ Arthur Hodge passed away at the St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, CT. Surrounded by family at the time of his passing, Howard was 77 years old.

Born on August 31, 1939 at the Hartford Hospital, Howard was the second of three children to Dorothy (Hoadley) and Leon Hodge.

His first few years were spent in Glastonbury, CT before the Hodge family moved to East Hartford where Howard went to school graduating from the East Hartford High School in 1957.

Growing up, Howard had a paper route for ‘quite a few years’. The pile of papers would be left on the front lawn and Howard would be responsible for folding them, putting them in the big cloth bag then ride around the neighborhood delivering the Hartford Times. His sister Lois fondly remembers his bicycle that ‘he fixed up until it was like a motorcycle’ complete with a windshield, skirts, streamers and side view mirrors.

Howard became interested in short wave radio and after being a SWL, short- wave listener, he became an amateur short wave radio operator. He was a member of the Amateur Radio Relay League.

Enlisted in the Army for three and a half years from1958-1961, after basic training, Howard was stationed in Orleans, France at a transmitter sight maintaining communications gaining the rank of SP3.

Returning from France, Howard met Mary Garraway through his older brother Bob and sister-in-law Virginia.

Howard and Mary were married on May 18, 1963 at the Hockanum United Methodist Church on Main Street in East Hartford. They made their home in Manchester.

Howard worked at Hartford Electric Light, now called Eversource from 1961 until his retirement in 2005.

Most likely, Howard will be remembered for his nearly fifty years of motorsports photography. Along with his wife Mary, they captured decades of auto racing through their lens for such publications as Area Auto Racing, Speedway Scene and The Chrome Horn as well as numerous other trade magazines and speedway programs. In the earlier years, Howard and Mary used to operate the photo booth at Stafford Motor Speedway and then the Waterford Speedbowl as well. That evolved to the pair becoming NASCAR photographers for the now called K&N Series as well as the Whelen Modified Tour. Working as a team, Howard and Mary’s travels brought them to over 150 speedways around the country with well-planned trips to local tracks along the way no matter what direction they were headed. Their last assignment was with Area Auto Racing News.

In 1996, Howard and Mary received the Dedication Award from NASCAR.

Howard earned the Smiley Waterman Award from the Modified Tour Auxiliary in 2004.

The Ace Lane Memorial Award from EMPA for Outstanding Motorsports Photography in 2008 went to both Howard and Mary.

In 2010 they received the Jack Ratta Memorial Media Award, presented by the New England Antique Racers and in 2012, Howard and Mary received the Sony Richards Memorial award as well.

Earlier in January, Howard and Mary were inducted into the Eastern Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame.

Howard is predeceased by his parents, Dorothy and Leon Hodge, his older brother Bob, brother in-law Daniel LaPorte and sister in-law Sarah G. Yeager.

Married for fifty-three years, Howard is survived by his wife Mary, son Kevin, sister Lois LaPorte, sister in-law Virginia Hodge, sister in-law Marjorie Cary and her husband Jack, sister in- law Janie Bonner and her husband Tab and brother in-law Billy Garraway. Howard is also survived by several nieces and nephews as well as numerous great nieces and nephews.

A special thank you for all their help to both the staff at the St. Francis Hospital Cardiac Unit and the Racing With Jesus Ministries, Reverend Don Rivers.

Calling hours will be Wednesday February 1st from 3:30pm to 7:30pm followed by a brief memorial at the John F. Tierney Funeral Home, 219 W Center Street, Manchester, CT 06040.

Burial will be at the convenience of the family.

Messages of condolence for the family can be left at the John F. Tierney Funeral Home website www.tierneyfuneralhome.com.
Source: Prepared by Polly Reid
: January 30, 2017

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