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Santa Stash 2017

Remembering Dr. Merle Hodges

KSAL Staff - April 24, 2017 9:20 pm

Longtime Salina doctor, and former mayor Merle Hodges is being fondly remembered.

A longtime Salina doctor, and former mayor, is being fondly remembered by family and friends. Dr. Merle Hodges passed away early Monday morning.

Hodges, and his wife of 63 1/2 years Nancy, lived most of their life in Salina. Both were very active in the community.

Nancy, the co-host of KSAL’s “Friendly Fire” program reminisced Monday night to begin the program. She began by thanking everyone who has reached out to her. She said that she has been overwhelmed by those offering condolences, prayers, and kind words.

After graduating from the University of Kansas, where he also played football, Merle established the Hodges Women’s Clinic in Salina. As a respected Medical Doctor he practiced women’s health services for decades. According to Nancy, Merle delivered upwards of 10,000 babies during his medical career.

The clinic, now known as Salina Women’s Clinic, is still in existence. Merle’s son Dr. Merle “Boo” Hodges, who joined his father at the clinic in 1987, and Dr. Christopher Graber operate it.

Merle was also active in politics in Salina. He served two four-year terms on the Salina City Commission in the 1980s, and served two terms as Salina Mayor.

Current Salina City Commissioner Jon Blanchard, who has also has served as mayor, fondly remembers Hodges. “His was a life well lived in the service of others,” Blanchard told KSAL News. He went on to say “Mayor Hodges holds a special place in the heart and in the memory of the citizens of Salina.”

Nancy said “Merle had such a blessed life, he had two wonderful children and four wonderful grandchildren. We have been very blessed through our life, and I miss him like crazy”.

Merle was preceded in death by his daughter Melissa. “Merle is happy, he is with our daughter again,” Nancy said.

A memorial service to celebrate the life of Dr. Merle Hodges is planned for 3:00 Friday afternoon at Christ Episcopal Cathedral at 138 S. 8th Street in Salina.


Merle and Nancy Hodges were married for 63 1/2 years.


Mary Schmidt-Hough

April 24, 2017 at 10:53 pm

This doctor was mazing..he saved the life of my mother and myself before i was born..he delivered my two brothers and myself..his don Boo delievered both my children and saved the life of myself and my son dueing delivery! I got the chance to met Merle sr when he was still practicing..he was a great man..his beside manner was awesome..so is Boos for that matter..i love Boo..he musta habe learned some great things from his father..gonna miss him!

Georgie DeArvil

May 2, 2017 at 3:25 pm

Dr. Hodges saw me with all 4 of my children, & delivered 3 of them. In 1970 I saw him for the first time, he was young & I was younger. He popped his head in the door & said “Are you pregnant?” & I replied “I think so”, & he said “Hot Dog!” 2 years ago on Veternan’s Day, Bud & I spoke on Friendly Fire about his experience in Korea during the Korean Cold War & my experience as a waiting wife. Merle always waited in KSAL’s waiting room until Nancy was through with Friendly Fire. We had a great visit waiting for our time to go on air. We also had lived across from him & Nancy on Santa Fe in the 70’s. He didn’t recognise me, of course, which was OK. He did say that if I undressed he might recognise me! He had a great sense of humor & I am proud to say that I knew him.

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