Alma Joe “Jody” Essert, 81, of Phoenix died Monday, August 14, 2023 to rejoin the love of her life for over 60 years Herman, who preceded her in death by one month.
She was born May 11, 1942 in Ogden Utah to Evelyn Mergen and Vernon “Jiggs” Johnston; both preceded her in death. Also preceded in death by her son Herman J. Essert III, Father and Mother-in-law Herman Sr. and Marcella Essert.
She is survived by her children James (Erin) Essert of Phoenix, Cindy (Steve) O’Connor of Gilbert, and Julie (Edgar) Montiel of Phoenix. 7 grandchildren Toril Essert, Shane (Morganne) Essert, Ryan O’Connor, Kyra O’Connor, Rebecca Montiel, Kyle Montiel, and Jake Montiel. 2 great grandchildren Leidan Essert and Otto Essert.
Jody was born in Utah while her dad was on a work assignment, and her mother was there visiting. She lived in Rawlins, Wyoming until moving to AZ as a child with her
mother for better weather. As a child Jody was very involved in Phoenix theatre, winning several awards at The Phoenix Little Theatre. She was in local commercials and a couple of movies, including The Outsider with Tony Curtis. Jody attended Saint Mary’s Catholic High School in Phoenix, AZ. There she met her future groom and graduated in 1961. She married Herman Essert on July 20, 1963 at St. Mary’s Basilica. Jody was a stay at home mom taking care of her three children, involved in PTA, volunteered in her parish office, and volunteered for the AZ Bank demonstrating how to use “Simon”, the new ATM. She moved with Herman to Dahlonega, GA in 1998 and they split their time between GA and AZ for 23 years, moving permanently back to AZ in 2021.
Jody loved helping others and spent a great deal of time volunteering in Dahlonega for numerous organizations: Ecumenical Council; Food Pantry; Rape Response; Women’s
Club; she was a Eucharistic Minister; and many more. She was awarded the ”Magnificent Seven Award” by the Dahlonega Nugget and awarded Lumpkin County’s Outstanding Citizen of the year by the Rotary Club in honor of her charitable acts.
She cherished her husband, Herman.
Jody did not wish for a funeral however, a Mass will be offered for her Intentions at Saint Mary’s Basilica at 11:30AM, on Sunday, September 10, 2023.
In lieu of flowers, memorials/donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association