Verna Hodson – a big part of Camden history

Longtime Camden resident Verna (Bohanon) Hodson passed away on August 2 at the age of 102.

Verna and her ancestors have a long history here in Camden. Her great grandfather, John C. Bohanon, was the second white settler in Camden who arrived here on March 27, 1852, just one day after John Ware Dow. Verna was born at the family home in Camden on April 1, 1915 and grew up at 4241 Emerson.

She attended the old Hamilton Elementary School and was in the first class of students at Patrick Henry Junior High when it was a rather small building with no gym, auditorium or lunchroom. She graduated from North High School in January of 1933 where she was an honor student. She attended the American Business College, took music and photography classes at the University of Minnesota and studied organ at the MacPhail School of Music. One of her first jobs was at the Metropolitan Building, which Verna said was kind of scary for her at first because it had glass floors and an open cage elevator.

In 1935 at the age of 19, she became the organist at North United Methodist Church. Seventy-eight years earlier in 1857, Verna’s great grandfather had donated the land for the church. Verna was the organist there for 70 years!

In 1955 Verna married Milton Hodson.

Verna was one of the founding members of the Camden Community Historical Society where she eagerly shared a wealth of knowledge about Camden’s history.

Verna was pre-deceased by parents Anna and Eugene Bohanon, husband Milton, her stepdaughter Novelle Townsend, Novelle’s husband Dean, and their son Steven Townsend. Survived by daughter Anne, daughter-in-law Rachel Syverson, and step-grandchildren Michael Townsend, James Townsend, Laura Foss, Cindy Miklethun, Elizabeth Rathbun, Diane Menk, Sue Haim, Sonja Genke and their spouses, children and grandchildren.