D’Renne Ving Hodson, age 83, of Billings, a devoted homemaker to her family for over 60 years, passed away peacefully in her home on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. Formerly a resident of Custer, D’Renne was born to Stacia and Leon Ving on April 18, 1933, becoming the fourth of five Ving generations in that community.
Her principles towards life were formed by growing up in a small town where you knew everyone and everyone knew you and your family; where the key to a successful activity meant the participation of everyone; and during a time when you weren’t supplied with fun, but instead had to create your own. Involvement, accountability, responsibility, integrity were qualities that she in turn imparted to her children.
D’Renne trained and worked for American Airlines in Chicago, where she met her first husband, Matthew Eckert. Together, they had two children. After returning to Montana, she met and married Griffin Hodson from Cody, Wyo., and, together, the family lived there before returning to Custer to assist in the care of her parents. She was blessed with two more children from this union.
Sewing was D’Renne’s passion and she had a talent for it. Not one inclined to verbally express the emotions of her heart, D’Renne instead sewed her love and caring into every stitch of the many, many garments she made for her family and friends.
As a member of Big Sky Clown Alley, she created and sewed her own various clown character costumes. D’Renne found that bringing smiles and cheer to others through her clown humor was a very rewarding experience. She volunteered at Billings Clinic as a hospital caring clown, where she was able to make a heartfelt connection to those in need of a listening ear and a compassionate smile.
D’Renne always looked forward to and treasured time with her children and grandchildren, of whom she was very proud. She had an unwavering faith in God and, because of that belief, was reassured that Heaven awaited her. Words cannot express how much she will be missed or how grateful we are that she was our mother and grandmother.
D’Renne was preceded in death by both of her husbands; her son, Vaughn Leon Hodson; her parents, Stacia and Leon Ving; and her brother, Delphin Ving. She is survived by her sister, LaVonne Ving of Portland, Ore.; her daughter, Ti Hodson of Billings; son Griff Leon (Natalie) Hodson of Thermopolis, Wyo.; son Brook (Kimberley) Hodson of Mora, Minn.; and grandchildren Alyssa (Chris) McNelley, Brady, Galen, Cullen and Hayden Hodson.
Our family would like to give Dr. Steven Gerstner of the Billings Clinic, his physician colleagues, nurses and hospital staff our greatest gratitude for the outstanding care our mother received from them. We would also like to acknowledge and thank RiverStone Hospice for the compassionate comfort they provided our mother in her end-of-life care. We are truly thankful.
Our family welcomes friends and loved ones to a service in D’Renne’s memory to be held at the First Congregational UCC Church Downtown Billings at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 3. Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary is entrusted with directing the final arrangements. Interment of ashes will be conducted at the Custer Cemetery in Custer at 2 p.m., following the memorial service. All are welcome to attend.
Should you wish, donations may be made in D’Renne’s name to the RiverStone Hospice Program.