N.C. mayor passes away after battling COVID-19

N.C. mayor passes away after battling COVID-19
According to his daughter, Washington Mayor Mac Hodges has passed away after being hospitalized for COVID-19. (Source: via WITN)

WASHINGTON, N.C. (WITN/WBTV) - According to his daughter, Washington Mayor Mac Hodges has passed away after being hospitalized for COVID-19.

Beth Hodges Fickling posted on Facebook, “Our family has been completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of prayers and support during this journey. Mac Hodges earthly journey ended this afternoon. Words cannot express how much he meant to us. He lived the best kind of life, one filled with a family that adored him and so many friends near and far. He loved Washington, the Pirates, and the beach. Wherever he went, people who met him smiled and loved him. This was true in the hospital as well. He quickly became a favorite up there. We know people love us and want to be there for us but we ask that you give us some space and time to grieve. We believe it is most important during this time of COVID to practice social distancing and the use of masks. We are not ready for visitors at this time.”

Hodges tested positive for COVID-19 on July 16. He had been hospitalized at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville Since July 21 and on a ventilator since July 29.

N.C. Governor Roy Cooper mentioned Hodges during a press conference on Wednesday, Aug. 13.

“Mayor Hodges was one of these people that people instantly like and trust. He was a strong leader in eastern North Carolina,” Cooper said, in part. “I’m deeply grateful for his life in public service, and send my deepest condolences to his family, his friends, and all the people not only in Washington, but the east Carolina community and all over eastern North Carolina who knew him.

This past Sunday community members gathered for a prayer vigil for the mayor across from his home at Festival Park in Washington.

Mayor Hodges, a Washington High School and ECU graduate, was 67-years-old. He owned Hodges Appraisals and has been Mayor of Washington since 2013.

Tuesday night his daughter posted that tests had come back showing extensive damage.

Jay Martin, Pastor of Church of the Good Shepherd in Washington and Hodges family spokesperson says, “Mac loved this town. He served it well and knew no stranger. He made people feel as if they were the most important in the room. He loved ECU. This is a huge loss and void but will also be a source for unity and his legacy will transcend his passing.”

Martin also says the family has been thankful and overwhelmed by all of the support.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Hodges Family.

Copyright 2020 WITN. All rights reserved. WBTV contributed to this report.