Kelly Hodges

I was born in St. Louis Missouri. Raised in Southern California. I met the love of my life at 19 while he was serving in the armed forces and stationed at Camp Pendleton. I was proposed to on the San Clemente Pier. My husband had a great proposal planned but was nervous about dropping the ring between the planks so he shoved the ring on my finger and simply asked “will you marry me?” When I was 21, we welcomed our first child and moved shortly after to my husband’s home state of Tennessee, where we continued to grow our family. I was homesick after moving from California but after being a part of this community for so many years, I can honestly say that there’s no place I’d rather be than Knoxville, TN.

Q: Please tell us a little bit about your family.
I’ve been married to my husband, Brian, for 31 amazing years. We have three wonderful children. My eldest son is studying to be a Veterinarian in England. My second son was recently promoted at his job and my youngest daughter is about to be engaged and purchase her first home.

Q: Please tell us about your current, past, or future career. What do you love most about what you do?
I have an established career as a previous restaurant owner and current manager at Petro’s Chili & Chips for the last 15 years. My job allows me to meet and experience new people everyday.

Q: What are a couple of your favorite restaurants in our community?
There’s nothing I love more than good Mexican food and for the past two decades, I’ve eaten at Pelanchos Mexican Grill essentially every Sunday! Besides good Mexican food, I love a good steak and my favorite restaurant to go to would have to be Outback!

Q: How long have you lived or worked in our community?
I have lived and worked in Knoxville since November 1991.

Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in our community?
My friend Amanda! She went from being a former professional wrestler to a part-time model and afterword became something as simple as a call center manager. She dyes hair, gives piercings and has given herself her own tattoos.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
My eldest son recently moved to London, England to study at the Royal Veterinary College so visiting London while he’s living there would be a treat!

Q: What is one of your favorite movies? TV shows?
My favorite holiday is Christmas so without a doubt, my favorite movie would have to be A Christmas Story! When it comes to TV shows, I love many but I would have to say the one that makes me laugh the most is the Big Bang Theory!

Q: What advice would you give to people?
Always help others but never forget to help yourself.

Q: What is something on your bucket list?
I’ve always wanted to go swimming with Dolphins.

Q: What is your go to band when you cant decide what to listen to?
Rascal Flatts is my ride-or-die band.

Q: What current or former local business makes you the most nostalgic about our community?
When I first moved to Knoxville, I loved the restaurant Garcia’s. I still wish I could eat there to this day.

Q: If you could choose anyone that is alive today and not a relative; with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? And where locally would y’all meet for this lunch?
I would love to have lunch with Matthew McConaughey simply because I admire him so much. We could eat on the patio at Lakeside Tavern.

Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about our community?
Knoxville has many interesting landmarks and natural wonders that I love to tour and explore.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?
Traveling the country with my husband.

Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
Since I lived in California for many years, most people assume that I was born there but I was actually born in St. Louis, Missouri.

Q: What is the most beautiful place you have ever been?
The only place that has truly taken my breath away is the Grand Canyon.

Q: Favorite month? favorite holiday? and best single day on the calendar?
My favorite month is December because Christmas is my favorite holiday.

Q: What would you rate a 10 out of 10?
My family had the greatest time together at Universal Studios in Orlando.

Q: Who inspires you to be better?
My husband, Brian!

Q: What is one or two of your favorite smells?
Freshly mowed grass and freshly baked cookies.

Q: Finally, what 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
Food. Warmth. Comfort.