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The spirit of Marlene Hodges Callis of Gwynn, Va., was freed from the pains of her earthly body Sept. 19, 2014.

She was born in Norfolk to Mathews natives Capt. James David and Hazel Hudgins Hodges, who preceded her in death along with her infant brother, James David Jr. She grew up in Norfolk and Craddock before coming home to Gwynn’s Island where her parents lived in and operated the hotel there.

Marlene graduated from Mathews High School and was a member of Gwynn’s Island Baptist Church. She loved movies, music, playing cards, bowling, and SHOPPING! Marlene married Roland Callis in 1960 and his Coast Guard career took them to duty stations in Virginia, Hawaii, Washington State, and Connecticut. She even snuck over to Roland’s isolated duty station on Yap Island, Micronesia, at the height of the Vietnam War.

Marlene and Roland retired to their home, Belle Haven, on Gwynn’s Island in 1977. They cleared the lot with the help of their children and drew up the plans for the home themselves, as she had done in the yard of each and every house in which they lived, Marlene planted roses. Marlene worked at various jobs on occasion, but her greatest vocation was supporting her husband in his career and raising her children. Their friends were always welcome in her home, wherever that may be. In the Hodges tradition, great food was always on hand! 

Marlene is survived by her husband of 54 years LCDR (ret.) Roland Callis, as well as their children, and their spouses, Lisa Callis Lewis and Craig, and Capt. David Callis and Carla. Marlene’s greatest joys were her grandchildren, Cori Callis Williams (Chet), and Malia and Luke Lewis. She had one great-grandchild, Dominic Williams. Marlene is also survived by her sister, Renee Hodges Callis (Skip), and sister-in law, Barbara Callis Chapman (Jimmy); three nieces; three nephews, and their children.

Marlene was an organ donor. Her beautiful eyes, perhaps, will give the gift of sight to another.

A celebration of Marlene’s life was held Sept. 22 at Gwynn’s Island Baptist Church. Burial followed at Gwynn’s Island Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made to Gwynn’s Island Baptist Church, P.O. Box 26, Gwynn, Va. 23066 or your home church, and the Mathews Volunteer Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 723, Mathews, Va. 23109.

A “Special Thanks” to Joe Bessler, Jackie Orren and Lynn Payne.