Charles David Hodgin
July 10, 1937 – March 1, 2023 (age 85)
Charles David Hodgin was born on July 10, 1937, in Mountainair, New Mexico, the first child of Ralph Lee and Mary Ellen Medley Hodgin. Charles graduated from Estancia High School in 1956, then attended New Mexico State University where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with a major in Range Management in 1961. He completed extended education coursework in resource and Game and Fish management at the Universities of Wisconsin, Montana, Utah, California at Santa Cruz and Colorado State.
Charles met his first love, Joyce Aileen Evans, at the Baptist Student Union in the fall of 1958 and they were married in August of 1959, in Belen, New Mexico. He was proud of his three daughters born to them: Sandra Lee, Mary Cathryn and Kristy Aileen.
Spending his entire career with The Bureau of Land Management, Charles’ roles included range conservation, land use, leading forest and range firefighting crews and area management of very large portions of New Mexico. A career highlight was his leadership of the May 1970 dedication of the Rio Grande and Red River Wild and Scenic Rivers, the first to be dedicated in the U.S. Burl Ives, the new Christy Minstrels and actor Ricardo Montalbán were all part of the dedication. He received a Federal Employee Executive Board award for Distinguished Federal Government Service in 1981 and a Unit Award for Service Excellence by The U.S. Secretary of the Interior for leadership in fighting the China-Eagle Creek fire in Idaho in 1967.
After his early retirement, Charles became a fulltime rancher and raised Beef Master cattle in Willard, New Mexico. He served as president of the Torrance Farm and Livestock Bureau for ten years and served five years on the board of directors for the State Farm and Livestock Bureau. As the Estancia Basin Regional Water Plan representative for Torrance County and vice chairman for the Claunch Pinto Soil and Water Conservation District he worked to improve and conserve water. Sadly, Charles’ ranching days ended when Joyce, his wife of 45 years passed away suddenly on September 21, 2004.
Charles knew his second love, Ilene Harral, for many years prior to reconnecting when she shared her personal grief journey, having lost her husband, Gerald, several years before. A visit to Flagstaff led to more visits and many phone calls, and they married on April 15, 2006, at the Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe. The Willard Ranch was sold, and they split time between Lubbock, Texas and Flagstaff, Arizona, eventually settling in beautiful Flagstaff.
Charles was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis in 2014 and suffered a severe exacerbation in December 2018, when his oxygen level suddenly plummeted. He was hospitalized and advised to move down to a lower elevation. While in rehab in Camp Verde, Arizona (4,000 ft. lower in elevation) Charles received an inquiry about their unlisted Flagstaff home and simultaneously found a beautiful home across the street from friends and Camp Verde became their new hometown. Charles was a gifted woodworker and spent many happy hours in his shop turning pens and making beautiful handmade gifts for family and friends. Other hobbies included collecting antiques, Bass fishing and hunting. His travels and mission work took him to Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and the throughout the United States.
His love of family was his greatest gift – including his wife, his three girls, three stepchildren, sons-in-law, his daughter-in-law, grandchildren, greatgrandchildren, and extended family. Charles is survived by his wife, Ilene Harral Hodgin, of 16 years; sisters Judy Chilton and Alice (Mario) Martinez; and children Sandy (Eddie) Montoya; Cathy (Darrell) Melcher; Kristy (Robert) Chavarria; Gayla (John) Irwin; and Geof (Keely) Harral. Grandchildren: Evan (Edin) Woodard, and great grandchildren Rowan and Millie; Jessica Woodard (Brian Croke); Jeremy Davenport; Brian and (Breanna) Davenport; Joshua Melcher and great grandchildren Noah (Maryah), Faith (Devin) Nicholas, Trinity and Jonah; Danielle Melcher (Nathaniel Sanchez) and great grandchildren Haylea, Haedyn, Constance and Atticus; great grandsons Christian and Liam Melcher; Cameron (Becky) Melcher and great grandchildren John and Charley (named after her great grandfather); and Lorena Melcher (Matt Russell); Kailer, Saige and Bryn Chavarria; John III Irwin, Dr. Grace (Scott) Hamman and great grandchildren Margaret, Simon and Constance; and Anna (Austin) Appelbach; and Ellyse and Andrea Harral.
He is also survived by amazing cousins and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Joyce Hodgin, his parents, Ralph Lee Hodgin (KIA in WWII) and Mary Ellen Hodgin Hansen, his stepfather, James D. Hansen, stepson Greg Harral, and grandson, Jordan Melcher.
Charles passed away Wednesday, March 1, 2023, at home. We are comforted by his deep faith and knowledge that he is in the loving arms of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
A Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, March 12 at 3:00 p.m. at Parkside Community Church, 401 Camp Lincoln Rd, Camp Verde, AZ 86322, followed by a reception at the Hodgin home.
Interment will be held in the June timeframe at the Mountainair Cemetery, Red Bluff Road, Mountainair, New Mexico, 87036.
The family is grateful for the great care provided by the staff and volunteers of The Pines, Home Health & Hospice, Home Instead and their many close friends and neighbors over the past two years.
In lieu of flowers, Charles requested donations to the Faith Works Mission Program, Flagstaff, AZ, P.O. Box 2757, Flagstaff, AZ 86003-2757, 928-774-0504, or to The Pines, Home Health & Hospice.
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