Catherine Hodges Fulford, lovingly known as Cathy, Cat, or Mrs. Fulford, was born May 29, 1938 to Preston Jefferson Hodges and P. Elvira (Jenkins) Hodges in Brooklyn, NY. She departed this earth on March 19, 2020 at her home in Portsmouth, Virginia, surrounded by loved ones.
Cathy graduated from Trenton Central High School in the class of 1956. She worked at Skillman as an aide until she was able to declare her independence and move to Washington, D.C. to attend to Howard University on a full academic scholarship. Cathy was a lifelong learner and advocate for education. She continued to take classes at a number of places, accumulating credits toward her bachelor’s degree at Thomas Edison State College. She graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Computer Programming from Mercer County Community College.
Although, she retired from the New Jersey Department of Treasury as an OIT Computer Programmer, she was also employed by the state of New Jersey as a Defensive Driving Instructors and in the Department of Taxation for many years. She held numerous jobs over the years, most of them in education. For instance, although she worked for the United States Postal Service in Washington, D.C. in the 1960s, she also was a preschool teacher with the N.A.M. program, a substitute teacher with Trenton Board of Education, and a tutor with the YWCA afterschool and summer program at Clay Street Park, now known as the Ike Williams Memorial Park summer recreation program.
Cathy loved people in general, but would do anything she could for her children and her grandchildren. She even loved her children’s and grandchildren’s friends and spouses, as if they were her own. She was a vigorous and steadfast advocate of education, political and racial justice, and community development. She consistently chose work and volunteer experiences reflecting that love. One of the fondest memories of Cathy is her planning various trips for the neighborhood children. These often included skating trips, college tours, museum outings, theme park visits, Broadway shows, and beach days in Ocean City, New Jersey. Some of her favorite things to do included: collecting coins, going to the farm to pick fresh fruits and vegetables, attending yard and estate sales to find antiques, and shopping. Mom could find a good deal anywhere. She loved playing competitive intellectual games, especially Words with Friends (Scrabble), Boggle, Othello, and Backgammon with family, friends, her aides and strangers alike. Cathy had a wealth of information and could hold a discussion with anyone on almost any topic, but one of her favorite things to talk about was herbal remedies, and she had an herbal remedy for everything.
She was active in politics, serving as a West Ward Committeewoman. Cathy also held active membership in the CWA Union (secretary), Eastern Stars, the Urban League, and the Democratic Committee, helping many of her peers win political seats. Cathy was also part of the community neighborhood team that worked to bring safety to West Ward/Stuyvesant Avenue, specifically, by assisting to establish a mini-police station to reduce crime in the neighborhood.
Cathy attended church at Holy Trinity Church of God in Christ on Clinton Avenue and was a lifelong member of Asbury United Methodist Church (later Cadwalder Asbury). In later years, she started attending services at Galilee Baptist Church, where she was a member of the Senior Ministry.
Cathy was an avid genealogist, tracing her father’s side back five generations and her mother’s side back six generations. She made many trips from New York to South Carolina, to meet with senior members of the family to learn her family history. She was instrumental in establishing the annually celebrated Harrison-Jenkins Family Reunion, even serving for almost two decades
as the inaugural president.
Preceding her in death were her parents, her sister Helen M. Hodges, her niece Jacqueline E. H. Johnson, and her ex-husband, Thomas Sterling Fulford, Jr. She leaves to cherish her transition from this life: 5 children Adrenna E. Alvin (Jerry) of Portsmouth, VA, Juanita M. Favor (Willie) of Ewing, NJ, Thomas Sterling Fulford, III (Evelyn) of Moyock, NC, Dr. Cynthia N. Fulford of Ewing, NJ and Preston I. H. Fulford, Esq.of Newark, NJ; 3 sisters, Georgia M. Johnson and Annie M. Hodges-Robinson of St. Petersburg, Florida, Ella M. Banks (Richard) of Tampa, Florida; 11 grandchildren: Vinson Fulford, and Jerry Alvin (Silvia) of Virginia Beach, VA, Vandre Fulford (Aiko) of Newark, NJ, D’Mitrice Ministre, Da’Juan Fulford and her nephew Keondre Ward of Ewing, NJ, Sterling Fulford, Joshua Fulford, Jeremiah (Selena), and Gabrielle Fulford of Moyok, NC, Kristen Fulford, Justin Fulford of Phillipsburg, NJ; 3 foster grandchildren: Joberte Pierre and Mercita Pierre, and Wykia Young; 8 great grandchildren; Nahsohn Fulford, Elijah Fulford, Nasiyiah Alvin, Amani Mote Alvin, Vandre Fulford, Jr, Brooklyn Fulford, Jerry Alvin, Jr., Nyla Rivera, and a host of nieces, nephews and cousins. Special Cousins: Minnie Saunders and Barbara Inman of Burlington, NJ and Eric “EJ” Hodges of Capital Heights, Maryland.
Date: Saturday, March 28, 2020
Time: 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Date: Saturday, March 28, 2020
Time: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
78 Scotch Road
Ewing, New Jersey, 08628
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