Russell W. Hodges passed away Wednesday, March 16, 2016, at an Oklahoma City hospital from complications of diabetes.

Russell W. Hodges passed away Wednesday, March 16, 2016, at an Oklahoma City hospital from complications of diabetes.

He was born Sept. 28, 1953, in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, to Dr. Dan and June Hodges. Most of his childhood was spent in Texas. He moved to Shawnee, Oklahoma, with his family in 1969.

Russell was graduated from Shawnee High School in 1971. In 1975, he graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University with honors. During his college work he was active in the OBU Chorale, Yanseh Band, O.D.K. and Phi Mu Alpha. He served as an officer in each of these organizations.

He received a Master of Music degree from Oklahoma University in 1976. He majored in the pipe organ for both degrees. His organ teachers were Dr. Virginia Reese and Dr. Mildred Andrews. Russell served as organist at First Baptist Church in Shawnee from 1971-1976.

In 1976, Russell joined the faculty of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. He taught organ, piano, and other courses there for 35 years. He earned a second masters degree in Library Science from North Texas State University. He then added the job of Music Librarian. He also served as organist-choirmaster at First Presbyterian Church in Arkadelphia.

His battle with diabetes necessitated early retirement in 2011. His university honored him with the title Professor Emeritus in 2012. He moved back to Shawnee in 2011 and to Primrose Retirement Community in 2014.

A memorial service to honor Russell's life will be held at First Baptist Church of Shawnee on Saturday, March 19, at 10 a.m. Pastor Ray Miller will officiate.

Russell was preceded in death by his brother, Timothy, and his mother June.

He is survived by his father, Dan Hodges and sister, Terri Pickering and her husband Jerrry. He is also survived by his nieces Carrie Hill and husband Matt, and Emily Lawson and husband Jeremy. He doted on his great nieces and nephews, as well as faithful chihuahua, Chico.