We'll remember Gene forever
The Geek shall inherit the Earth
  • 67 years old
  • Born on September 17, 1951 in Arkansas, United States.
  • Passed away on December 23, 2018 in La Jolla, California, United States.

There's a lot of "STORIES" and photos in the GALLERY.  For awhile, I couldn't see them with my iPad.  Seems to be fixed.  If you have an issue seeing them, let me know, gl


Gene Hodges died unexpectedly on December 23, 2018 at the tender age of 67.  

He was a believer in dying young as old as you can make it.  Alas, we all wanted and expected this to be at least 10 years later.

Gene leaves 4 incredible children:  Lisa, Annie, Sam and Ellie.  They way they support one another is inspiring and a tribute to him as a father.

Gene was born in Arkansas and liked to promote the legend that he was a Hatfield.  His formative high school years were in Tucson where he spent after school time at the famous University of Arizona Mirror Lab.  Somehow, he arrived at Haverford to study astrophysics.  He was a first generation college student from a working class family at a time when elite colleges didn't recognize that as a significant group.  At Haverford, he was a leader, serving as President of the Student Gov't during an extremely difficult time at the College.  He started the Presidency as part of a Triumvirate.  But, the Black Students Association staged a boycott of all college activities as soon as their term started.  The other two guys bailed and Gene was left with an extremely difficult Presidency negotiating the end of this boycott.  He was known by his closest college friends as "The Incredible Gene Hodges".

In addition to college politics, Gene did astrophysics research with Bruce Partridge at Haverford.  He was a skilled programmer and supported himself working for the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab.  Bruce lamented:  "I wish I could have paid him as much as they did, the work he did for me was unrivaled by any student I worked with".

After college, Gene and his college sweetheart, Dorothy Unger, relocated to Washington DC.  In those days, IBM and DEC were the places with the best hardware, compiler and software people.  DEC was more oriented to science.   Gene had his sights on DEC as he worked for a couple Beltway Bandits.  After a couple years, he and Dorothy were married and off to live in a brownstone in Boston's South End with Gene commuting to Maynard.  

Gene and Dorothy had two daughters, Lisa and Annie.

Gene then worked for a small company in Texas that he guided to be acquired by McAfee (aka "Network Associates" for 7 years).  With the acquisition, he joined McAfee.  Gene was a pioneer in pushing out antiviral software updates via networks, with two patents in this area while at Network Associates (a rebranding of McAfee that lasted 7 years, then they went back to "McAfee"). John McAfee has become infamous for his outlaw ways.  This had a positive and negative impact on the company.  During one huge "outlaw incident", Gene was catapulted first to the head of the "McAfee Division" and finally to the Presidency Network Associates. 

McAfee was particularly keen on acquiring other competing companies.  When he was division head, Gene was often sent in to make sure that key personnel were retained. When they acquired Dr. Solomon, his charge was to make sure that Amanda Clark (among others) stayed with McAfee.  He took this assignment more seriously than most.  They married and had two children, Sam and Ellie.

In 2006, he jumped to the CEO position at rival Websense and the family moved to La Jolla.  In these top positions, Gene was known for his skills in guiding technology development as well corporate strategy, sales and marketing.

Gene retired in January 2013 as the travel was too much for family life and Amanda's health.  He and Amanda lived in Windsor UK for several years.  Alas, Amanda died on May 6, 2015.

Gene relocated back to La Jolla with their children in 2016.  Sam is a key member of the 2485 W.A.R. Lords Robotics Team.  Ellie is an accomplished artist with a commission to illustrate a book on the Invention of the Telescope.  Both take after their father in their extraordinary scientific abilities.

Gene was living a healthy lifestyle in La Jolla, power walking for at least 40 minutes per day, taking stretching classes to deal with old issues in his back fascia.  Friends marveled at how he was looking fitter than he had for a decade.  

On December 23rd, Gene cooked up a storm for a holiday party.  Sam was in the UK, but Lisa, Annie and Ellie were all present along with a few other guests.  Everyone had a lovely time and were heading off to bed.  Gene threw an embolism; he died quietly and quickly.  

Posted by Andy Underwood on 16th January 2019
The Underwood's knew Gene through our cousin Amanda. Although we only met him on a handful of occasions we knew him as an incredibly generous person who knew how to have a good time. Our thoughts go out to his family.
Posted by Heidi Dorman on 7th January 2019
I met Gene a few years ago when he had made the decision to relocate from London to La Jolla. Gene's devotion to his daughters and single minded determination to make their transition a smooth and happy move impressed me. My heart and prayers are with you.
Posted by Catriona Bavington on 1st January 2019
Gene the proud father of his four beautiful girls .Gene the guy who made bloody sure my daughter Rosa and his Ellie would stay friends forever despite the miles .Gene Hodges your generosity to our daughter Rosa blew my mind the latest being a gastronomic trip to Rome with all the Gene and Ellie Hodges trimmings .You told me only 2 weeks ago how proud you were of your Clare getting a place early at Masachessues . You loved the sun and the beach in La Jolla and would often text me a weather update with a smiling emoji especially when it was freezing here .Your were so desperate for Trump not to be elected and we spoke many times about this . I got to know you when Amanda got sick and then you dedicated yourself to being the father they needed and became part of our lives too. It wasn’t your thing to be a social bunny but you tried your best and got much better at it . You are with your Amanda now and I just want to say babe I will miss your big laugh and your texts .Why did god have to take you now it seems so very unfair .Im always going to be here for your girls they are all beautiful and young Ellie will always be a part of our family in the UK. Love you big fella . Trina xxx
Posted by Alison Higgins-Miller on 1st January 2019
Gene showed us that a CEO could be human, humble and caring. He left his mark on all who encountered him - I am so grateful for the time, the memories, the laughter and the lessons. Even though we will miss you deeply your legend will live on! Thank you Gene.
Posted by Johanna Oviedo on 31st December 2018
I vaguely knew Gene through my friend Amanda during the Windsor years. What I can say is that he dealt with a terribly trying time with grace and all his children were a credit to him. Thinking of you all xxx
Posted by Bruce Partridge on 30th December 2018
Gene was among the astronomy and physics students who welcomed me to Haverford College in the Fall of 1970. I was accustomed to the polished, insistent and very smart students at Princeton. Gene was a tad unpolished, laid back and very, very smart. To my good fortune, I lined up Gene to help with a project I had underway – a search for “primeval galaxies,” the first to form after the Big Bang. Early on, I pressured him to do a Fourier transform of some data on an 80 x 140 grid (I don’t remember the exact numbers, but they weren’t 2n). Gene said something like “It would be easier if it were 64 x 128.” “No, I need 80 x 140.” Easier, schmezier, I thought; I wanted 80 x 140. I was the professor; I knew best. Gene then settled in to explain the Cooley-Tukey FFT algorithm to me. It was not the last time a Haverford student has taught me something I didn’t know, but Gene’s lesson was the first and most valuable. And among the gentlest. In his final year, I tried to pile the work on. Gene finally told me he had to cut back because of his “work at Princeton.” I found out that he was moonlighting as a consultant at a lab at Princeton University – as an undergraduate -- for many, many times the $2-$3 an hour I could pay him here. Working with Gene was a powerful element in my decision to make my career at Haverford. When I arrived here, I was far from sure I could keep up my scientific career at a small liberal arts college. The answer was yes, provided I could team up with bright, resourceful, independent students like Gene. It was a blessing to have had the chance to re-connect with Gene and his family at the boisterous celebration of the life and work of his good friend, George Lake.
Posted by James Loucky on 29th December 2018
Besides helping pioneer co-ed dorms between Haverford and Bryn Mawr colleges, Gene helped hatch the idea of a "triumvirate" of three people (including him) instead of the usual single class President. It didn't work particularly well, but it was emblematic of the close of the 60s (which our non-traditional class figured really ended at the same time we graduated). My favorite recollection was hitching cross country with Gene over the holiday break in late 1972, surviving a a terrifying 90+ mph ride through Truth or Consequences, NM, and a 50 hour drive back to Philadelphia in Gene's VW. Nice to hear of his feats, family, and friends in the long an admirable life since those days.
Posted by Jonathan Tumin on 29th December 2018
This is so deeply saddening. A terrible loss to all who knew Gene. He was a Haverford classmate of mine; I mostly knew him as a gentle soul who lived in the same co-ed Bryn Mawr dorm (Rhoads). I am so sorry for his family; my condolences to all. What a loss.
Posted by Terry Irving on 29th December 2018
Gene was the autocratic ruler of Haverford's one computer in 1972 when I took 6 weeks to learn how to do punchcards. He was cool, kind, and smarter than hell. My memory is that he was running an entire galaxy on the computer. It doesn't surprise me that he did so well in IT. My condolences to the family. If any of the kids are in the DC region, please reach out.
Posted by Dennis Omanoff on 29th December 2018
Gene was an amazing boss, mentor, coach and friend. Fiercely smart and passionate and always welcoming to his home. I will miss his inspiring and thought provoking debates and his friendship. Always ready to help, always there for support, you are missed my friend!
Posted by Nick Felicione on 29th December 2018
My condolences to the family and close friends. I worked with Gene at Mcafee and then for Gene at Network Associates. He was a good man. May his family find comfort in knowing the positive impact he had on so many people. Rest In Peace Gene.
Posted by Andy Phillipou on 29th December 2018
I just got the news and was sad to hear it but in another way, I would say that for me, Gene left the world he touched a changed and better place. I first met Gene whilst I was working at Airbus. Gene called me up one morning and asked why I did not choose McAfee AV software, following my 3 month anti malware group test for a global solution. After a long discussion and explaining why I chose Dr Solomons, I did not hear from Gene for a few months. When he next called me, he was delighted to inform me that I was now one of his new customers (McAfee had acquired Dr Sollys). So began the first of many get togethers with Gene, which had a positive influence on my life and career. For sure, the story behind that call is I use in after dinner speeches. Thinking of Gene and his family, I'll light a candle this evening for Gene in celebration of his life.
Posted by Myrna Soto on 29th December 2018
I had the pleasure of meeting Gene a number of years ago when he was leading Websence and I was in the middle of a turbulent implementation of the product. Turbulent not because of the functionality but because of the culture at the company who didn’t want an ounce of oversight. Gene assisted me in many ways and I was always very grateful. So sadden to hear about his passing and know we are missing an incredible soul as a result. Prayers to his family!
Posted by Sridhar Jayanthi on 28th December 2018
I first met Gene Hodges when he welcomed me to McAfee. He was the first visitor to the McAfee's India operation, a huge supporter of that site. He was a coach to me in the early days, helped me understand the impact of my role, and often gave me bolder ways to solving problems. I observed his decision-making that went into turning around McAfee. I valued his guidance and friendship and reached out to him often. He never got older in my mind. I am sad to know he is not around to talk. I hope he knew how much I appreciated the time with him. I will miss him.
Posted by David Hatchell on 28th December 2018
I worked with Gene at McAfee many years ago as we were gradually establishing our vision as a security company well before it became the industry it has blossomed into today. At the time i enjoyed some incredible success because of his visor and leadership as well as many of the other people on this thread. Later he became a mentor to me as he challenged me to be more than I was as I was trying to evolve outside my current path His passion , uncanny instinct to understand what motivated you and his incredible intellect in many different disciplines besides just work ( I ll never forget a long discussion on Russian existentialism!) will stick with me forever. Farewell Gene
Posted by Stuart McClure on 28th December 2018
I met Gene when he was at Network Asssociates (before they changed their name to McAfee) and acquired my company, Foundstone. He was a truly good soul. He was always supportive and helpful to me in the transition and long after at McAfee. I was going through my own personal challenges as well and he helped me through them. I am truly saddened by this news. He was taken way too soon. My heart goes out to Gene's family but just know that he made an immeasurably positive impression on the world, not the least of which was me and my family. Thank you Gene! You will be missed.
Posted by Tracy Ryan on 28th December 2018
So sad to hear this news today. I have wonderful memories of Gene and have thought of him often since his retirement from Websense. Especially a particular night with tequila in Munich and how he gifted me my first iPad. Amazing man, great energy and so personable. I haven’t met many CEOs with such charisma. My thoughts are with his family at this sad time. Rest in peace Gene x
Posted by Angela Ellis on 28th December 2018
I was shocked and so very upset when I learnt of Gene’s passing. He gave me two beautiful grandchildren for which I will always be grateful.
Posted by Mark Small on 28th December 2018
Very sad news. I worked for/with Gene at both Network Associates/McAfee and later Websense and knew Amanda when she was at McAfee too. When I joined Websense, Amanda and I became good friends and lunch buddies while she and Gene lived in LaJolla. While my relationship with Gene was first and foremost professional and being friends with your CEO isn’t necessarily a good idea, I’ll always remember the times Gene and Amanda invited me over to their home for dinner, or met me for Sunday brunch at George’s when I was “stuck" in San Diego over the weekend. As a professional, Gene was brilliant, passionate, opinionated and prescient. He was a rocket scientist to be sure. As man, he put on his pants one leg at a time, just like we all do, deeply loved his wife and children, and deserved all the time in the world to step away from the spotlight to be with his kids and family. My sincerest condolences. Gene, you will be missed but always remembered.
Posted by Christopher Bolin on 28th December 2018
Gene was one of my mentors. We were close at McAfee. We traveled the world together several times. I will never forget our nights out in Tokyo and the UK. I will always remember when we sat in Aylesbury in "The Charter" and designed the future of the security business we were building - literally on a napkin. I don't think many people realize that Gene had a very large part in designing many of the foundations of modern security management. He had that rare mind that could navigate the dilemma of building a business and advancing the state of the art. He helped me during a particularly tough time, and I believe I did the same for him. I find this news devastating. We had drifted apart over the past few years. I always wanted to reconnect. I wanted him to know how much he meant to me. He was remarkable.
Posted by Diana Buitrago on 27th December 2018
Gene, you will be so missed. Working for you as your housekeeper during the past two years has been a joy. You were definitely one of the most organized & cleanest men I've ever met. You usually had a smile and were always so upbeat. Always busy, travelling with his kids, running a tight ship at home and being a Great Dad who loved spending quality time with his family. I admired the way Gene was supportive & would encourage his kids' creativity, individuality & being independent. He was proud of all four of his children and the love between all of them as a family was and is very apparent. Gene took the time to listen & encourage me when I would be worried about my aging parents & missing my family who all live far away. I agree with everyone on here; he was kind, funny and supportive. The last conversation we had before I left for Christmas vacation, Gene said to me "Go have a nice visit with your Dad, he won't always be around". See you soon Gene, on the other side! Much Love to Lisa, Annie, Sam & Ellie. ~ Diana
Posted by Mark Bautz on 26th December 2018
Gene was among the most extraordinary people Melinda and I have had the privilege to know. We cherish memories of him with Dorothy, Lisa and Annie in and around Boston long ago, and we’re grateful to George for opportunities over the years to check in with Gene and to spend time with Amanda, Sam and Ellie. In personality and intellect Gene was to us not merely brilliant, he was super-luminous, and our time spent with him was invariably stimulating, entertaining, and memorable. So, although did not see him often, Gene was very much a part of our lives. We will miss him terribly. All of you who loved him are in our thoughts.
Posted by Louise Walsh on 25th December 2018
Gene was an amazingly intelligent man who generally left me bemused most of the time. He had the incredible talent of making perfect sense whilst also confusing the hell out of me. Gene was a great father and friend and will be missed. Gone too young. Big love Gene. I hope you are with Amanda now xxx
Posted by John Thorstensen on 25th December 2018
Oh, what a terrible loss. Gene was one year ahead of me at Haverford, and was always a kind, generous, and supportive presence. He was enormously gifted, but wore his gifts lightly. The last time I saw him was at the eclipse in August of 2017, where we were both part of George Lake's entourage; at least two of his daughters came along, as well, and I could tell that they were great kids -- and a living testament to his parenting. What a terrible loss.
Posted by CM Lilly on 25th December 2018
I did not know Gene very well, but I know of Gene very well, through George and for the wonderful things of Gene and the great stories about Gene that George told us at many happy times over the years. Gene had a space in our minds and hearts, and suddenly we are struggling to deal with the hole, to calm the anger and to soothe the pain. To Gene’s children, family and close friends, to George and Jola, go all my thoughts of friendship and love. For Gene I lit a candle tonight.
Posted by Matthew Tedder on 25th December 2018
It certainly seems he lived a life worth living and it seems he knew it. The sliver of time each of gets in the 13.8 billion years of the universe is precious. His was lined with gold

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