Neva Hodge-Lemorande, 97, Oconto Falls, formerly of Plymouth, arrived at her heavenly home Monday evening, July 26, 2021 at St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay. She was born October 28, 1923 in rural Suring to Lars and Angeline (Reed) Johnson. The 6th of 13 children was baptized and confirmed at Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church in the Town of Maple Valley. Neva began her education at the Suring Public Schools in grades 1-2 and at the age of 7 moved with her family to a farm in Kelly Brook where she attended a one room country school, “Oak School”. She continued her high school education and graduated from Oconto Falls in 1941. Following graduation she attended Teachers Training at Sheboygan Falls County Normal.
On December 7, 1941 the United States entered World War II and due to a shortage of teachers, Neva started teaching grades 1-8 the same year at Rural Russell School in Elkhart Lake. On September 15, 1943 she married Robert N. Hodge who had entered active service in 1942. Later in 1944 his military mission was on Tinian Island in the Pacific Marians and Neva went to be with her parents where she taught grades 1-8 one year at Kelly Brook, Oconto County. Later the couple made their home in Plymouth where Neva continued teaching grades 1-8 for a total of nine years. The next seven years were teaching grades 1-2 before serving as Elementary Principal for the Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah School District for 29 years.
Throughout these years, Neva received a bachelor degree from UW-Oshkosh and obtained her Masters Degree in Supervision and Administration of Education from UW-Milwaukee. To keep abreast with the latest educational trends and technology she continually attended workshops and leadership seminars. She also performed leadership roles as a long standing member of Wisconsin Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (WASCD). After retiring, Neva served as an Adjunct Instructor at Lakeland College for Introduction to Elementary and Secondary Education. Neva has dedicated her life to the education of young people, always encouraging students with a positive attitude, helping to instill in them an “all things are possible” sense of awareness.
While attending an Oconto Falls High School Class reunion, Neva visited with an old classmate, Ralph Lemorande, and the two were united in marriage on May 7, 1994 in Atlanta, GA. Following their marriage, the couple made their home in Oconto Falls and made the most of their time together, until Ralph’s death on November 16, 1996. Since moving back to her native area, Neva became very active in the Oconto Falls Friends of the Arts, continuing her life’s passion of reaching others through the arts. While being a member of Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church, she served on numerous committees, visited the shut-ins, led bible study groups and served as an advisor on vacation bible and Sunday school curriculum. Over the years, Neva served on numerous local, state and national boards and committees, attending meetings and conferences all over the world including the World Council for Curriculum, World Congress of Parents and Teachers, National Assoc. of Supervision & Curriculum, Elementary Principals Assoc., UW-Milwaukee and Oshkosh Alumni Associations. For her efforts and dedication to education she received numerous accolades including certificates of appreciation from St. Norbert College, Elkhart-Gleneulah School District, WREA, Creativity Recognition Award, the WASCD Publication Award for outstanding contributions to Wisconsin Association Curriculum and Development, induction into Oconto Falls High School Wall of Fame and for the 46 years in public education. Neva co-authored the books entitled “A History of the Schools in the Town of Russell and Rhine” and “A History of the Public Schools in the Township of Plymouth and City of Plymouth, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin” and was recognized in the 2009 Cambridge Publishing’s “Top 101 Industry Experts” in the field of education.
Her family include one sister, Dora Slang, Suring; four sincere and loving stepdaughters, Anne Marie (Troy) Glawe, Atlanta; Mimi (Jay) Knick, Stevens Point; Ruthie (Tom) Coughlin, Appleton; Lisa (Doug) Ahlborg, Green Bay; one stepson, Rusty Lemorande, Los Angeles, CA; seven dear grandchildren: Andy, Amelia and Amanda Glawe; John and Margaret Coughlin; Abby and Michael Ahlborg; sisters-in-law, Elizabeth (Betty) Hodge, Mary Johnson amd Judy Philipsen; many very caring nieces, nephews, special friends and grateful former students.
Besides her parents and two husbands, she was also preceded in death by an infant son, Daniel Robert Hodge, six brothers, Lars, Ronald, Kenneth, Clyde, Dale (Philipsen) and Virgil Johnson, five sisters, Mae Olick, Audrey Kralovetz, Wilma Valenta, Beverly Arneson and Laurel Herich and two dear people who lived with Neva and husband Robert in Plymouth, Edward Ziegler (21 years) and Guy Vanderhoff (4 years).
Visitation will take place after 9:00 am Wednesday, August 4, 2021 at Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church in the Town of Maple Valley until the time of service. Funeral services will be held 12 noon Wednesday at the church with her friend Pastor Fred Mai officiating. Graveside services will be held 1:00 pm Thursday, August 5, 2021 alongside her first husband in St. John the Baptist Cemetery, Plymouth. Jones Funeral Service in Oconto Falls is serving Neva’s family.
In lieu of other expressions of sympathy memorials may be made to Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church or the Oconto Falls High School Music Department.
“Promoting art education, being a mentor, sponsoring youth and adult programs, and providing assistance to students seeking higher education have been very rewarding to me”. Neva Hodge-Lemorande