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Influential figure in Naples history celebrates her 94th birthday

Posted at 7:03 PM, Aug 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-27 19:03:11-04

NAPLES, Fla. — An influential figure in Southwest Florida history celebrated her 94th birthday on Saturday.

In 1955, Thelma Hodges became one of the first nurses to serve at what would later become Naples Community Hospital. She and three others traveled from their hometown of Boston, Mass. to work at the newly-established hospital. At the time, Naples was considered a small fishing village.

Hodges didn’t originally plan to stay in the area, but it was here that she met her future husband Earl.

The couple married in 1958 and went on to open their own funeral home business. They are now the namesake of the Hodges Funeral Home in Naples, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year.

Hodges was recently recognized as a Pioneer Nurse by NCH at their Gala this spring. She celebrated her 94th birthday at the Naples Memorial Gardens at Hodges Funeral Home.