"She filled our lives with love, joy and laughter."
Jodie was laid to rest on September 21st in Anderson Memorial Park in Indiana. A celebration of her life was held with her family in Tennessee.
When we hear the words of Jesus' sermon on the mount in Matthew 5, we are reminded of Josie: gentle in spirit, a peacemaker, one who comforted those who weep, kind hearted and compassionate. "Jodie" was born Mary Jo Donahue in Mishawaka, Indiana to her parents George and Mary. At the age of 4 she was taken to Anderson, IN to live and was raised by a loving aunt and uncle. She graduated from Anderson High School in 1955 and later that year married Jim England. Jodie raised her family Edwin and Vicky there and worked varied jobs: as a phone operator, a clothing store manager, and later, an antiques mall owner. She volunteered as a suicide prevention worker for Contact Help and was a devoted Christian. Besides Anderson, she also lived for long periods in Evansville, IN; Cookeville, TN; and Westerville, OH before moving with her cat to Phoenix in 2015.
All who knew Jodie remember her sweet and caring nature, her calm and competent handling of emergencies great and small, and her steadfast love of life, no matter what challenges were encountered. We remember her quick wit and one-liners, and the way she diffused conflict with humor and lightheartedness. Even as she faced a narrowing world with limited vision and mobility, her spirit carried her forward to whatever was next. She loved a blue sky dotted with big, fluffy clouds, a competitive card game with her family, and TV game shows. To say she was filled with optimism, hints at her attitude, but imprecisely. She knew all too well the struggles of a long life and the neglect or unkindness that others can inflict - or the pain of a body injured by a car accident or chronic disease - but she accepted these disappointments with grace and met each day with renewed curiosity and expectation.
She was, in a word, indomitable.
Jodie is deeply missed by her family and all who knew her.