Sunday, September 28, 2008

Jeff's Obituary

For those of you who do not have access to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, I thought you might like to read Jeff's obituary as it ran in today's Sunday edition:

DODD, JEFFREY NEAL

Jeff Dodd, age 36, died on Thursday, September 25th 2008 from metastatic melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. He has promised to always be with his wife, Kelly, his daughters, Aubrey (age 13), and Regan (age 9), and his sons, Jack (age 7) and Finn (age 16 months).

Jeff was grateful for the life he lived. In time, he lived in Lincoln, Nebraska, Maynooth, Ireland, and South Bend, Indiana before settling in Wauwatosa. For eleven years he was a work-at-home Dad and freelance writer. His passion was creative writing and he completed many poems and a screenplay with hope of one day being a published novelist. His other passion was home maintenance and remodeling which extended even to his own home—parts of which he designed, built, and maintained with his own hands.

When he found out that he had an inoperable and incurable form of cancer, he felt no regret nor did he feel a need to make drastic changes in his life. He was grateful for the opportunity to take his children to school, eat lunch with them, and play with them everyday. He instilled them with values and morals and influenced their personalities.

Jeff is survived by his parents, Mary and Gary Dodd, and four siblings, Patrick Dodd, Mary Margaret Clay, Michael Dodd, and Michelle Wait, and a large extended family consisting of far too many relatives and friends to possibly mention within the limitations of this small column. Most importantly, Jeff is survived by his best friend and wife, Kelly, who will love him and honor him all the days of her life. His personal strength, obedience, and trustworthiness lives in his daughter, Aubrey. His persistence, commitment to his convictions, and directness continues through his daughter, Regan. His beautiful face, inherent goodness, and love of God lives on in his son, Jack. And his lovely sparkle, playfulness and sense of humor shine in abundance in his son, Finn.

Visitation on Monday, September, 29, 2008, at the Funeral Home from 4 p.m. until the time of Rosary Service at 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, September 30 at St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church, 800 Glenview Drive, Wauwatosa at 10 a.m. Burial to follow at Wauwatosa Cemetery.

Many people and causes were important to Jeff. Among them are the communities at Perry Court, Wilson Elementary School, St. Jude the Apostle Parish, and the Notre Dame Alumni Association of Milwaukee. Jeff gave selflessly to each of these organizations, serving in leadership roles and collecting friends who would generously comfort and support him throughout his last illness. He wishes to continue to support them through his death and asks that if you wish to make a memorial, you make it to either St. Jude the Apostle Parish, the Wilson Elementary School PTSA, or the LaTour/Dodd Scholarship of the Notre Dame Alumni Club of Milwaukee.

7 comments:

PJ said...

Beautiful and well said.

Anonymous said...

It's extremely moving . . . thank you, Kelly.

Erin, Kaitlyn and Henry said...

I am so sorry to hear about Jeff. I have been praying for Jeff and your family all the way from Lincoln NE. I will continue to pray for you and the kids and for Jeff as he enters into heaven.

Kaitlyn Bright

Johnny said...

Kelley, I want you to know that I have been with you both for over a year...And my family and I are here for you still...I am so sorry, the world has lost a bright and shining star...
I wish i had words to equal the task at hand....

Sheila said...

What a beautiful tribute. Kelly, Jeff and your intimate sharing of life's joys and struggles these past 21 months will stay with me to the end of my life. It's a true spiritual journey. Thank you.

Know I'm with you in thoughts and prayers today. John and I both send our love to you and your children. God Bless. The Kuchtas

Tim said...

Kelly, over the past week I have been contemplating what to write to you. First, I want to say thank you for posting Jeff’s last blog and the obituary. Secondly, and I know you have heard it so much, but I am truly sorry you and your children have to go through this. I have been and will continue to pray for you all and the entire Dodd family as I always prayed for Jeff. I am glad, as I am sure you are too that Jeff is not in pain any more. My heart and prayers are with you all.

Fr. Gary Coulter said...

Kelly,
You may recall, I was the priest you met at the Smart Marriages Conference in Atlanta a few years ago. I was in the Pius class of '92 just a year behind Jeff.

Word has been spread among the Pius community and we are keeping you and your family in our prayers.

I offered my Mass this evening for Jeff. God bless, Fr. Gary Coulter
www.frcoulter.com