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In Memory of Jodie Ann Rychwalski
October 17, 1955 to April 8, 2014
Jodie was born October 17, 1955, in Milwaukee Wisconsin. Daughter to Don and Jeanne Jankiewicz, and sister to brothers Jeff, Donald (Jay), and Jim Jankiewicz. She is survived by her husband of 37 years, Wayne Rychwalski and their children Wendy Rychwalski and David Mayer, Adam and Laurel Rychwalski, and granddaughters Lucille (Lucy) Mayer and Clara Jean Rychwalski. Jodie is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Jodie attended Alexander Hamilton High in Milwaukee and worked part time at Sears and Roebuck in Greendale, Wi. in the camera, office supplies, stationary department where she met her husband to be Wayne. Their first date was on December 1st, 1973 where they attended a Marquette Warriors basketball game followed by disco dancing at “He and She” nightclub. They were united in marriage on September 25, 1976. Jodie worked part time at Jewell foods and later at Sentry foods as a cashier and customer service clerk. In 1979, Jodie gave birth to daughter Wendy and in 1981 to son Adam. In September of 1985, Republic Airlines allowed the family to put down roots in Apple Valley, MN.
In 1986, Jodie embarked on a long and rewarding career with ISD 196. She worked as a library aid at Woodland Elementary helping children become excited with life through reading. After 12 years in the library, Jodie moved up to attendance secretary where she was the smiling face welcoming new families coming to the school. She loved to welcome everyone and guided tours in school to make families feel comfortable with entrusting their children to Woodland. In 2005 Jodie accepted a full time position in the HR department with IDS 196 where she worked until she retired in 2012. She also enjoyed a rewarding part-time job at the local Target Pharmacy where she served the local community. She was an active member at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. In recent years, Jodie was a member of the “Parish Life” commission, and organized the Shoe Drive for “Tots to Teens” for needy families in Paintsville KY.
Jodie was heavily involved in the MOCA organization and frequently attended support group meetings. Jodie particularly enjoyed the Camp Make a Dream retreat in Montana. There she bonded with and supported many women from all walks of life that had a shared the common thread of ovarian cancer. Jodie was a 2013 recipient of the MOCA Dream Award and was able to spend 2 weeks in Greece and Turkey this past September. She has asked that donations in her memory be directed toward research in identifying a screening test for early detection of ovarian cancer. She also asked that a Dream Award be established in her name to send one woman to Camp Make a Dream retreat each year in Montana..
Jodie’s true joy was family and in particular being a Mother and Grandmother. She was a living example of how to live for each moment and make each moment count. As Jodie enters eternal life, her spirit will forever be an inspiration to us all.
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