Jodi Ann Friesen, age 74 of Lake Oswego, OR went to her new forever home on Monday, December 11th after a lengthy hospitalization. Jodi leaves behind her daughter Stephanie Saklofsky (Brian), granddaughter Olivia Saklofsky and sister, Edith Wuerch.
Jodi was born on October 14, 1943 in Dallas, Oregon to Henry and Mary Wuerch. She grew up on their dairy farm and attended schools in Dallas before graduating from Salem Academy in 1961. Following high school, Jodi attended colleges in Seattle, WA and Coeur d’Alene, ID. She soon married Jan Hamer and they welcomed their daughter into the world on Christmas Day. She always said her doctor had teased her about having the baby early and messing with his Christmas dinner and she had assured him that wouldn’t happen. Needless to say, Stephanie had a different plan.
Motherhood and working in various retail establishments kept Jodi busy during her working years. When she had time, she enjoyed painting pictures, volunteering for the Portland Opera, gardening, cooking, and was especially known for being an excellent pie maker. She also remodeled every place she ever lived, doing much of the work herself. She put in tile countertops, brickwork flooring for a wood stove, cabinets and completed countless painting projects. In her later years, when her ability to walk was taken away from her, friends often helped her with tasks around the house or yard. When they wouldn’t let her pay them, she would bake them pies as a thank you. Jodi also was a voracious reader. In the winters, when she couldn’t garden, her Kindle became her best friend. She often read a book a day during that season. After she exhausted all the e-books in her county library, she relied on her granddaughter’s library for more.
Jodi never complained about her physical limitations, but came up with “a million strategies” to still do the things she loved, including gardening even when she could no longer walk. With her scooter, she would motor around the house, yard and stores when someone took her shopping. Her special companion in her last years was an orange cat named BK, that she affectionately called “the marmalade monster”. His antics and company brought her joy as he followed her around the house and yard.
Jodi had a big heart and always wanted to help others, even when her income and resources were limited. When she no longer needed clothes or other household goods, she would donate them to the Veterans rather than sell them to have a little more money for herself. She also consistently sent $5-10 to the local food bank every month.
Jodi loved everyone, but no one more than her granddaughter, Olivia. They would have long talks on the phone regularly and Jodi would learn about her friends, school, vacations and extracurricular activities. When Olivia was involved with the Children’s Theater, Jodi was “over the moon” when she got to attend one of her plays.
A celebration of life will be held sometime next year.
The family would like to thank all the staff at Vibra Specialty Hospital, from housekeeping to doctors, for the excellent care that they provided.
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