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Mr. Albert Joseph "A.J." Bodker

Mr. Albert Joseph "A.J." Bodker
  • October 16, 1929 - October 22, 2021
  • Ponchatoula, Louisiana

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“I am honored and proud to have had Mr. Bodker as both my principal and first boss. I worked for him as a custodian from 1971-1974 while I attended...Read More »
1 of 39 | Posted by: Jimmie Smith - Brandon, MS

“Mr. Bodker was my principal at Ponchatoula High School. I was a Business, Mathematic, & Social Studies teacher at Ponchatoula High School for 14...Read More »
2 of 39 | Posted by: Nae Vernon - Baket, LA - Coworker

“I'm sorry to hear of Mr AJ's passing. My thoughts & prayers are with you. ”
3 of 39 | Posted by: Ann Thibodeaux - Hammond, LA

“Prayers for the family and so many close friends. A.J. loved doing whatever he could to help in the community. I am proud to know him from First...Read More »
4 of 39 | Posted by: alan juderjahn - LA - Friend

“My prayers are with the family at this time. ”
5 of 39 | Posted by: Percy Donald - Hammond, LA

“A. J. was such a special person! He loved his family, friends and church. We will miss him so much. ”
6 of 39 | Posted by: Ann Poche - Ponchatoula, LA

“I am so sorry to hear of Mr. A.J.'s passing. He was a great and kind person who truly understood his students and he always greeted you with his...Read More »
7 of 39 | Posted by: Caryn (Larrieu) Schoeffler - LA

“I met Mr. AJ while working in the Education department at Southeastern. I am so sorry to hear of his passing - he was an extraordinary man who did so...Read More »
8 of 39 | Posted by: Pam Bentivegna - Hammond, LA

“One of my favorite memories (along with his teaching eighth-grade Science, being in congregation when I've filled in at First Presbyterian, and later...Read More »
9 of 39 | Posted by: Kathryn Martin - Ponchatoula, LA

“Lots of good memories of Pop (Bert) and Mr A.J. growing up. Those two friends always working on some projects in town or down the river. He and...Read More »
10 of 39 | Posted by: Chris Disher - Ponchatoula, LA

“Mr. A.J. was a good man. He was a positive influence and role model in my life, as he was for so many others over so many years. ”
11 of 39 | Posted by: Tim Heitman - Baton Rouge, LA

“One of the most respected men alive . Jerry and I always looked up to A.J. Bodker . Praying for his entire family . ”
12 of 39 | Posted by: Jerry and Bonnie Methvin - TX

“One of the most respected men alive . Jerry and I always looked up to coach A.J. Bodker . Praying for his entire family . ”
13 of 39 | Posted by: Jerry and Bonnie Methvin - TX

“Mr Bodker, I thank God for his service as a principal during my time at PHS, he was the greatest. 1971-74 (MVP in basketball) ”
14 of 39 | Posted by: Leon (BB) Brown - Racine, WI

“We students of AJ truly loved him as our teacher and principal. I knew him first as my teacher in elementary school and then as our principal in high...Read More »
15 of 39 | Posted by: Judy Shaffer-Meades - LA

“We students of AJ truly loved him as our teacher and principal. I knew him first as my teacher in elementary school and then as our principal in high...Read More »
16 of 39 | Posted by: Judy Shaffer-Meades - LA

“We students of AJ truly loved him as our teacher and principal. I knew him first as my teacher in elementary school and then as our principal in high...Read More »
17 of 39 | Posted by: Judy Shaffer-Meades - LA

“I regularly sat with A.J. at Ponchatoula Rotary meetings. He and I were "Birthday Buddies" and enjoyed the singing of the birthday song. A.J. was a...Read More »
18 of 39 | Posted by: Garnett Bedenbaugh - Hammond, LA

“My deepest sympathy at the loss of such a lovely man. My family and I have known him from high school days and I had the pleasure of seeing him...Read More »
19 of 39 | Posted by: Bobbie Newman Abel - Covington, LA

“I extend my sincere condolences to Mr. A. J.'s family. He was an fine a man as I have known in my lifetime. His many services to the Ponchatoula...Read More »
20 of 39 | Posted by: Jim Perrin - Ponchatoula, LA

“Peggy, David, Mellie and Carol,Your dad was the best. We couldn't have asked for better next door neighbors down the river. He and your Mom were...Read More »
21 of 39 | Posted by: Laura Lee Bauerle Jaworski - VA

“Sending prayers and condolences ”
22 of 39 | Posted by: Roslind Batiste - Ponchatoula, LA

“What a sweet wonderful person love and prayers God bless Mark and Stacy Badeau Watts ”
23 of 39 | Posted by: Mark Watts

“Oh so sorry for your loss and the loss of a very interesting gentleman to be a round.It was always interesting to listen to Mr. AJ talk about the...Read More »
24 of 39 | Posted by: Gordon Anderson - Hammond

“Please accept my condolences on the loss of your father. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful man with the community that he loved. He will...Read More »
25 of 39 | Posted by: Evelyn Kluka Meier - Gulf Breeze, FL

“I have known AJ my whole life. He was a great human being. ”
26 of 39 | Posted by: Patrick Lanier - Hammond, LA

“Rest in peace and we will get our lunch when I get there!ut3Hk ”
27 of 39 | Posted by: Reverend Mark Square - Hammond, LA

“So very sorry for your loss. Mr. A. J. Was a truly remarkable loving man. He always greeted people with a smile and words of kindness. He will be...Read More »
28 of 39 | Posted by: Cathy Tricou - Ponchatoula, LA

“I have such fond memories of Mr. AJ. He was one of whom I consider a true "Ponchatoulian"!!! He lived a long, loving life! Praying for your family...Read More »
29 of 39 | Posted by: Alyson Lapuma - Tickfaw, LA

“What an icon of the community! He was loved by so many. I remember his love and support of the PHS girls basketball team during the years I played....Read More »
30 of 39 | Posted by: Brenda (Cutrer) Cassels - Cairo, GA

“Will surely be missed. I worked at TPSS for 36 years in Human Resources- Great man! ”
31 of 39 | Posted by: Regens Anzalone - Infependence, LA

“So saddened by the loss of a wonderful man, educator and genuine servant of his Lord and to his community. His loss is great and he will be missed....Read More »
32 of 39 | Posted by: Patricia Flint - Ponchatoula, LA

“We Loved our high school princiabl ”
33 of 39 | Posted by: Bruce and Janet K. Mitchell - LA

“Mr AJ Bodker was my principle through high school, thought alot of him great man ”
34 of 39 | Posted by: Rocky Rakocy - Ponchatoula, LA

“Ponchatoula will miss this great man, teacher/Principal, all out great man. Always welcome everyone with a smile. I always enjoyed seeing and talking...Read More »
35 of 39 | Posted by: Doyle Hoover - Ponchatoula, LA

“Sorry to hear of Mr A.J.passing, I was care taker for Ms Adele. He and his family were so sweet and kind to me. ”
36 of 39 | Posted by: Denise Galat - Hammond, LA

“I am soooo sorry for your loss!!! He was an extraordinary man!!! I loved him as my Principal and then friend as I grew older also!!! He always had a...Read More »
37 of 39 | Posted by: Kara Chaney - Ponchatoula, LA

“A great man, ex principal and friend. He will be sadly missed ”
38 of 39 | Posted by: Pat Wallace - Ponchatoula, LA

“Oh so sorry for your loss and the loss of a true gentleman who Was very interesting and fun to be around. He will certainly be missed by everyoneAnd...Read More »
39 of 39 | Posted by: Gordon Anderson - Hammond

Albert Joseph Bodker
October 16, 1929 - October 22, 2021.
Albert Joseph "A.J." Bodker passed away peacefully in his home, surrounded by family, on October 22, 2021, at the age of 92.
A true Ponchatoula treasure, A.J. wore many hats: husband, father, pawpaw, teacher, principal, Presbyterian, Rotarian, advisor, and friend. He was beloved in each of these roles and he excelled at them. A.J. was married to his late wife, Colleen, for sixty-nine wonderful years and they had four beautiful children: Peggy, David, Mellie and Carol.
Mr. Bodker was born and raised in Ponchatoula, and his blood ran green and white for the Ponchatoula Greenwave. He graduated from Ponchatoula High School himself, and after obtaining a Bachelor's degree in education from Southeastern Louisiana University and a Master's degree in education from Louisiana State University, he returned to his alma mater to teach and serve as principal. Mr. Bodker is one of the most esteemed principals in the history of PHS, serving in this role during one of the most heated times in our nation's history - integration- and ushering in this new era with grace. He was on the planning committee and helped implement the construction of the new high school which houses PHS students today. He was adored by students and teachers alike, and his commitment and professionalism motivated those under his tutelage to rise to the occasion and succeed. Even after retiring as principal after a 25-year term, A.J. could never stray far from his precious PHS, and he enjoyed working the scoreboard at Friday night football games in the swamp.
Mr. Bodker's work as a civil servant extended beyond working tirelessly for his students and their education. A.J. was a member of the Ponchatoula chapter of Rotary, where he held the title of eldest member and previously served as President. He truly lived by the moto "service above self" as Rotary exemplifies daily. He loved serving gumbo and beer at the Rotary booth every Strawberry Festival weekend throughout his lifetime. Not only did he participate in volunteer work through Rotary, A.J. was a member of the Tangipahoa Parish library board, an honoree of the Boy Scouts of America, and he served as both Chairman and Board member of the North Oaks Hospital Board of Commissioners and later North Oaks Hospital Foundation Board. He loved working in his community to help Ponchatoula grow and thrive.
When Mr. Bodker was not volunteering or working in his many roles in education, he enjoyed spending time at his family camp on the Tangipahoa River that he built himself in 1971, Camp Big Time. A.J. loved running trot lines for catfish or taking his grandchildren and great grandchildren for rides in his party barge. Always the teacher, he regaled his children and grands with stories on the clearing of the cypress trees along the Tangipahoa River and a history of the camps along its passage. He would allow children and grandkids to drive the party barge if they could pass a written test and master the boat tying knots to his precise specification- which was no small feat. Mr. Bodker had quite the sweet tooth, and he would treat his loved ones to his handcrafted milkshakes, perfected from his years working as a soda jerk in Harris drug store which stood in the building now housing Paul's Café. His family and friends will miss both his lessons and his treats.
Mr. Bodker is preceded in death by his parents, Ruby and Joe Bodker, and his wife, Colleen Howes Bodker. He is survived by his sister, Dorothy Bodker Furr, and his children: Peggy Bruges (Tony), David Bodker (Diane), Mellie Bodker, and Carol Wiggins (John). He is survived by his grandchildren: Jay Wiggins (Aimee), Lee Bruges (Megan), Amy Bruges, Megan Kelley (Dean), and Becky Bodker (Blake). He is also survived by three great grandchildren: Brock, Elizabeth, and Hudson.
A memorial service to celebrate the life of Mr. Bodker will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Ponchatoula on Saturday, November 27, 2021 at 11:30 am with visitation beginning at 9:00 am.
In lieu of flowers, his family requests donations be made to his beloved First Presbyterian Church of Ponchatoula. To show A.J.'s love and devotion to Ponchatoula High School, the family will be wearing Ponchatoula green to the memorial and asks attendees to do so if they desire.
Arrangements are entrusted to Harry McKneely and Son Funeral Home and Crematory.

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