Mr. Hodari A. Pinkney

  • Born: September 18, 1973
  • Died: March 24, 2015
  • Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

Flanner Buchanan - Washington Park North Cemetery & Funeral Center

2706 Kessler Blvd. West
Indianapolis, IN 46228
Tel. (317) 251-5959

Tribute & Message From The Family

Message From The Family

The family of Hodari Pinkney wishes to acknowledge and thank everyone for the many prayers, condolences, messages, cards, flowers.

The Man, Life and Legacy
The name "Hodari" means "STRONG" in the Swahili language of Africa. However, this name is more than just a translation or collection of sounds. "Hodari" is the personification of an unconventional man that we have all had the great honor and privilege to have shared in our lives. Hodari Amefika Pinkney was born in Lafayette Indiana on September 18, 1973 to Willie Eugene and Gloria Pinkney and later through marriage and love, to Larry and Gloria Kelley. He was the oldest of his two loving siblings, Onaje and Kianga, who grew up only knowing unconditional and inclusive love for each one another. After graduating from Pike High school in Indianapolis Indiana, Hodari attended Grambling State University in Grambling Louisiana.
From an early age, Hodari exhibited a high aptitude and proficiency for relationship building and social interaction through communication. He was known to enjoy holding conversation with people of all walks of life on multiple topics, from history, spirituality and religion, to business, finance and politics. Hodari especially enjoyed cars, which sparked his interest into the automobile industry where he sold new and used vehicles to the public for 16 years. He had a passion for music for which he listened to nearly every genre.
Hodari traveled the United States living in many states including Florida, Michigan, Indiana, Louisiana, North Carolina, Virginia, and Washington D.C., and visiting many more. His experiences and the many lives he touched along the way are evident in the love and outpouring of emotion mourning his loss. Everyone has a "Hodari" story to remember. We have experienced his intellect, empathy, love, forgiveness, protection and wonderful sense of humor.
Hodari would be the first to tell you of his flaws or perceived faults, but was always able to offer the rational argument for his thoughts and ways. He was a man who spoke his mind unapologetically and we love him for it. Many knew Hodari as a coworker, protector, friend, mentor, teacher and or counselor and we love him for it. Those closest, may know him as a son, brother, uncle, or cousin, but we will all remember and love him as family.
Hodari will be greatly missed by all especially his parents, Larry and Gloria Kelley, and Willie Eugene Pinkney, Brother Onajé Pinkney, Sister Kianga Kelley and Niece Jahzara Pinkney, as well as a multitude of family members
In the Swahili language, Hodari's middle name, "Amefika" means "He who was hoped for has arrived"! …and now, he has gone.


Condolence & Memory Journal


It's been 3 years since he transitioned and he is missed just as much as if it were last week. I can hear his laugh and see that dimple that use to get him so much favor! Family, let's love on each other as often as God allows. We have to make time for family.

Posted by Michelle Holloman - Daytona Beach, FL - Family   March 24, 2018


Hodari has always been like a brother to me too. In my opinion, being a "big brother" was his best title in which he carried out not only for his siblings, but for friends as well. Every 4-6 months we would reconnect to catch up and act like children that couldn't wait to relentlessly tease each other. We would be refreshingly excited and talk over each other anxious to have the best story to tell. Our friendship spanned over 20 years and it was filled with unbelieveable laughter that left us breathless, confessions, brutal truths, encouragement, our hopes & dreams, God, expressions of anger, being vulnerable without judgement, and share the juiciest secrets two people could share in the midnight hours. One of his kindest qualities amongst people was never making anyone feel less than. Hodari's charismatic personality & versatility of subjects preceded himself (too grand even for the most educated). Always a gentleman, always a confidante, always a protector ... Hodari. Throughout it all he was the same and never changed. I miss you, Ho. My sincere heart felt prayers to Mr. & Mrs. Kelley, Onaje, Kianga, and family.

Posted by DC - Atlanta, GA - Friend   May 06, 2015

Onaje I am truly sorry for your loss. Hodari an I kept in contact but we didn't speak as often as I would have liked. People often say that they wish they had the chance to tell someone I love you before they go and we did. Our last conversation was about me telling him how I feel that he was like a brother. He said I made him cry due to the love I sent him. Im happy that he left knowing how much I cared. I will miss him. Love Rita

Posted by Rita Mack - Durham, NC - friend   March 31, 2015


"In the Buddhist view, the bonds that link people are not a matter of this lifetime alone. And because those who have died in a sense live on within us, our happiness is naturally shared with those who have passed away. So, the most important thing is for those of us who are alive at this moment to live with hope and strive to become happy.

By becoming happy ourselves, we can send invisible waves of happiness to those who have passed away. But if we allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by sorrow, the deceased will feel this sorrow too, as we are always together, inseparable.Those who can overcome grief and continue to live with strength and courage deserve respect."- Daisaku Ikeda

I greatly admire someone who can overcome their personal suffering and go on to leave behind something of value for future generations. Mr. Kelley, I am deeply sorry for your lost of your son. May God and your family be with you through this life's transition. You are in my prayers. - Amber Daniel, ACT

Posted by Amber Daniel - Indianapolis, IN - Asante Children's Theatre   March 31, 2015


I am so sorry for your loss, prayers to the family for your strength during this time, and to Hodari on his journey. He was a special young man, and he will truly be missed.

Posted by Bridgette - Killeen, TX - Friend   March 30, 2015

My prayers are with the Pinkney family through this time of grief. Hodari exhibited a personality that will always be remembered. His spirit lives within each of us everyday when we think about how he would listen and encourage us. He will forever be in my heart. Rest on my friend!Our GSU days and beyond will be precious memories for me. Gone but not forgotten!! -Tranell E. Barton

Posted by Tranell E. Barton - New Orleans, LA - Friend   March 30, 2015


The world and my life will never the same without this very special unique man. He was a blessing to the many lives he touched. Gloria, I hope you know that you were the one person in his life he loved and respected more than life itself. He often told me every day you awaken is a blessing you might not have tomorrow. Family came first and friends were cherished. He lived life to the fullest with these philosophies. He is in God's arms and at peace. My prayers will be for his family and many friends.

Posted by Chris - Clermont, IN - Close friend   March 30, 2015

Onaje, I am really sorry to hear your sad news. I didnt' know your brother so well, but you were a good friend during the Explorer years, I'm sad for you.
Missy Alvernaz (Daniels)

Posted by Missy Alvernaz - Lizton, IN - Friend   March 30, 2015

You were one of the good ones my friend,you are missed..
-Ryan Figueroa PHS '91

Posted by Ryan Figueroa - Pensacola, FL - Friend   March 29, 2015

Prayers go out to your family Hodari. ....we will truly miss u.

Posted by NiEma Scott - Atlanta, GA - Pike High School Classmate   March 28, 2015

I have fond memories of Hodari as a student in my science class at Pike High School. It was my pleasure to know him; my best wishes for his family and friends at this difficult time. Deb Teuscher, Science Teacher and Planetarium Director (retired), Pike High School.

Posted by Deb Teuscher - Carmel, IN   March 28, 2015

Hodari you be missed buddy . Ramon Jones class of 91 pike red devil for life

Posted by Ramon Jones - Indianapolis, IN - friend   March 28, 2015

I'm so sorry for your loss,I'm going to keep your family in my prayers.we love you Mr Kelly love shayri Tori and family

Posted by Sherry McNary - Indianapolis, IN - Assnte Children's Theatre   March 27, 2015

My heart breaks for you and your family during this difficult time. I am praying that the love of Christ will hold you, sustain you and fill you with His perfect peace. Lynn Dickey

Posted by Lynn Dickey - Birmingham, AL - Friend   March 27, 2015

My prayers are with the family. I'm sorry for your loss. May you find strength in your memories.

Posted by Deborah Asante - Friend of Mr Kelly   March 27, 2015

The Asante Children's Theatre is deeply sadden by this loss. Parents should never have to bury their children. To: Mr. Kelley and Ms. Gloria, may you find peace in knowing that Hodari is now with our ancestors leaping and jumping for joy because his days of physical pain are now over. We love you and remember we are just a phone call away at anytime. Peace & Blessings your way....

Posted by Keesha Dixon - Indianapolis, IN - Friend   March 27, 2015

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The three musketeers!
Unconditional and inclusive love!

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