Funeral service today for longtime JC newsman

JOHNSON CITY -- A celebration of life will be held today at 4 p.m. at First United Methodist Church for longtime Johnson City newsman, Tom Hodge.
   Hodge, who worked at the newspaper here since 1948 and became known in the region for his editorials, died Saturday at the Bristol Motor Speedway.
   Hodge, 74, was working the gate at the track to help raise money for the local Kiwanis Club when he suddenly collapsed. He was pronounced dead at Bristol Regional Medical Center, the Johnson City Press reported.
   A native of Johnson City, he started his long career with the Johnson City Press as a part-time sports writer in 1948. He joined the paper full time after graduating from the University of Tennessee, where he received a bachelor's degree in journalism and was editor of the Orange and White.
   Except for two years of military service during the Korean War, he worked for the paper continuously, serving as the editorial director since 1977.
   Hodge was perhaps best known for his columns, "A Look Around" and "Here and There," in which he entertained and enlightened the paper's readers for nearly 50 years.
   Born Oct. 17, 1929, he was also an associate professor in the Department of Journalism at East Tennessee State University from 1968 to 1986, and a member of the Tennessee Press Association Board of Directors from 1969 to 1971.
   He is survived by his wife, Ann, four children and eight grandchildren.
   Hodge will be buried at Monte Vista Burial Park.