Jim Daly Christian Blog and Commentary

A Death in the Family

  • Jim Daly Jim Daly is president and chief executive officer of Focus on the Family, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families thrive.
  • 2012 Oct 15

Posted by Jim_Daly Oct 12, 2012

It’s with a heavy heart that I share the news that Barbara Hodel went to be with the Lord at 10:30 Mountain time last night after battling significant health struggles following her fall and subsequent paralysis five years ago.

Barbara was the wife of Don Hodel, who served as the interim president and CEO of Focus on the Family from May 2003 until February 2005. Don also was a member of the Board for more than 10 years, beginning in 1995. We continue to benefit from the wisdom and insight he sowed into this ministry. One example is our Option Ultrasound program that he and Barbara championed.

Barbara and Don modeled for all of us here at Focus and beyond a close and godly marriage. They were nearly inseparable throughout Don’s career as Barbara offered him her support and involvement on a daily basis. Those of us who recall Don’s time at Focus will remember Barbara coming to work with him each day and laboring faithfully alongside him. The Hodels enjoyed an incredible relationship for 55 years, and I can only imagine the grief Don is experiencing after saying goodbye to his beloved wife. 

During this very difficult time, I ask you all to be in prayer for Don, their son, Dave, and the entire family. Despite the deep sadness they’re feeling, we know they take joy and comfort in the knowledge that Barbara has been ushered into Christ’s presence and is finally free from pain and suffering. 

I can’t help but think of that wonderful passage found in II Timothy 4:8:

“Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing.”

That encouraging promise certainly applies to Barbara, and I’m confident her loved ones are finding solace in their unshakeable assurance that they’ll see her again one day.

I know you’ll join me in lifting the Hodels before the Lord as they bid farewell to this remarkable woman. 

I leave you with Don’s own words: 

I say with complete confidence that if we were offered the chance to live the exact same life we have just shared and could not change a single thing including these last five years, I know that I would accept that offer instantly, and I believe Barbara would react exactly the same. We have been blessed beyond all comprehension and merit, and we never lost sight of that fact.


Follow me on Twitter @Dalyfocus

Follow me on Facebook

Keep up with Focus on the Family on Facebook


Follow Crosswalk.com