Remembering Jodi 1969-2019

“It just seems so unnatural.”

Judy Anderson reflected on back-to-college shopping with her granddaughters. Annelisa will be a senior majoring in meteorology at St. Cloud State and Kylie a sophomore in elementary education at the Minnesota State University, Mankato. The girls lost their mom Jodi (Judy’s only daughter) on May 30 after a three year battle with breast cancer.

Of course, Judy’s statement is something any mom in her situation might say. We’re not supposed to lose our children. It’s not the natural order of things. But real life doesn’t always go according to plan.

Jodi was diagnosed with breast cancer in the summer of 2016 after a routine mammogram. After three years that included a bilateral mastectomy, radiation and three separate courses of chemotherapy, her body decided to be done.

At age nine, Jodi’s family moved to an acreage outside of Britt, Iowa where her parents still live. Her last visit back home was in March. . “She told me, ‘Mom, I want to come down on a day that works for you some weekend.’ I look back and you know, even then I think she knew it would be her last time,” said Judy.

Mastectomy Pillows
Judy delivering mastectomy pillows to the Austin Cancer Center

Jodi spent her last day in her childhood home working on mastectomy pillows with her mom. Pillows that some people reading this have probably been blessed to receive. The Bosom Buddies ship mastectomy pillows through Life Reconstructed to women and cancer centers all over the United States.

Rarely do those pillows get hand-delivered, but Judy had the opportunity to do just that not long before Jodi passed away. Don (Jodi’s dad) and Judy took a trip to Texas and were able to add a stop to the Austin Cancer Center to their itinerary. There Judy presented Cancer Patient Advocate Olivia Taylor with a bag of mastectomy pillows to give to breast cancer patients. It made Jodi’s day when she found that the pillows her mom delivered were ones she had made. Even walking the painful road of the final stages of breast cancer, Jodi still found joy in bringing comfort to others.

She also found joy in reading and memorizing scripture. Jodi was a quiet and reserved person, but her faith was strong. Her favorite Bible verse, Isaiah 40:31 became a lifeline during cancer treatment.

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

That verse was one of hundreds Jodi wrote by hand in a college-ruled notebook.

Jodi also loved worship music, and her favorite band was Casting Crowns. When she learned last fall that they would be playing at the Freeborn County Fair this summer, she wanted her whole family to go together. Jodi and her husband Jeff and their girls, along with her mom and Dad and her brother Brian and his family all made plans to attend the concert. But it was not to be for Jodi. It was a bittersweet time for the whole family as they worshiped without Jodi. Judy said, “I just kept thinking, ‘Jodi, can you hear them?’ I just wanted her to be there.”

The Mercy Me song, I Can Only Imagine, was played at Jodi’s funeral, and Judy holds tightly to the lyrics of that song. “I can only imagine what she is seeing right now. I know God had a plan, and I know He is working,” said Judy. “Jodi felt that too. She once said that if what she was going through could help someone else, it was worth it.”

She may be gone now, but the impact Jodi left by giving and loving others will remain.

Jodi and her husband Jeff, an engineer and production manager at Panels Plus, met through one of Jodi’s co-workers at Opportunity Village in Clear Lake, Iowa. They were wed in 1994 and made their home in Albert Lea, Minnesota for most of their married life.

Relay for Life
Jodi participated in Relay for Life in both 2017 and 2018.

A little more about Jodi – Jodi was an avid Denver Broncos fan, so much so that through a connection with an aunt and uncle who live in Colorado, the Broncos team sent her a letter along with a Broncos scarf.  She also enjoyed watching Nascar racing and other sporting events. She loved to read, and enjoyed making quilts and doing embroidery work. She had a Business Marketing degree from Mankato State University.  She loved the mountains and eagles, so it is fitting that her favorite Bible verse was Isaiah 40:31.

By KimHarms

Kim Harms is an author, speaker, and part-time library assistant with two decades of freelance writing experience. She has a degree in English from Iowa State University. She and her husband Corey have three super-awesome sons and one crazy dog. A two-time breast cancer survivor, her first book, Life Reconstructed: Navigating the World of Mastectomies and Breast Reconstruction (Familius), is a guide for women walking the breast cancer road. She is currently working on her second book, a devotional for women going through breast cancer.


  1. Jodi was my cousin and my friend. I loved her dearly and miss her very much. I think of her on my drive to work when I see the Eagle sitting high in its tree that I pass each day. I think of her on my drive home, when I’m driving west, and I see the beauty of the front range mountains here in Colorado. This was a lovely article to read and you captured her spirit well. Thank you.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing, Tara. I apologize for my late response as a few comments got caught in my spam filter. I didn’t know Jodi well, but it was an honor to write about her.

  2. Jodi, my niece, was a strong woman who fought the fight with the help of a strong faith. She was a sweet little girl, happy teenager, a wonderful wife and Mother. I love and miss her but know she is now at peace – singing with the Angels!!

  3. I’m thankful I had the opportunity to write about her even though I didn’t know her well. Her mom and my mom are close friends. (So for the late response. Your comment got stuck in with my spam.)

  4. What’s up?

    I found this article very interesting…please read!

    Do you remember the blockbuster hit film The Matrix that was released in 1999? You may not know this, but it has deep spiritual implications concerning the times we are living in and Bible prophecy.

    It tells a story of how these “agents” are trying to turn us into machines. We are closer then ever before for this to become a reality when they cause us to receive an implantable microchip in our body during a time when physical money will be no more.

    You may have seen on NBC news concerning the implantable RFID microchip that some people are getting put in their hand to make purchases, but did you know this microchip matches perfectly with prophecy in the Bible?

    “He (the false prophet who deceives many by his miracles) causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name…

    You also may have heard of the legendary number “666” that people have been speculating for possibly thousands of years on what it actually means. This article shares something I haven’t seen before, and I don’t think there could be any better explanation for what it means to calculate 666. This is no hoax. Very fascinating stuff!

    …Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666″ (Revelation 13:16-18 NKJV).

    To see all the details showing why the Bible foretold of all these things, check out this article!


    GOD is sending out His end time warning:

    “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name” (Revelation 14:9-11).

    In the Islamic religion they have man called the Mahdi who is known as their messiah of whom they are waiting to take the stage. There are many testimonies from people online who believe this man will be Barack Obama who is to be the biblical Antichrist based off dreams they have received. I myself have had strange dreams about him like no other person. So much so that I decided to share this information.

    He came on stage claiming to be a Christian with no affiliation to the Muslim faith…

    “In our lives, Michelle and I have been strengthened by our Christian faith. But there have been times where my faith has been questioned — by people who don’t know me — or they’ve said that I adhere to a different religion, as if that were somehow a bad thing,” – Barack Obama

    …but was later revealed by his own family members that he indeed is a devout Muslim.

    So what’s in the name? The meaning of someones name can say a lot about a person. God throughout history has given names to people that have a specific meaning tied to their lives. How about the name Barack Obama? Let us take a look at what may be hiding beneath the surface…

    “And He (Jesus) said to them (His disciples), ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven'” (Luke 10:18).

    In the Hebrew language we can uncover the meaning behind the name Barack Obama.

    Barack, also transliterated as Baraq, in Hebrew is: lightning

    baraq – Biblical definition:

    From Strongs H1299; lightning; by analogy a gleam; concretely a flashing sword: – bright, glitter (-ing, sword), lightning. (Strongs Hebrew word H1300 baraq baw-rawk’)

    Barak ‘O’bamah, The use of bamah is used to refer to the “heights” of Heaven.

    bamah – Biblical definition:

    From an unused root (meaning to be high); an elevation: – height, high place, wave. (Strongs Hebrew word H1116 bamah baw-maw’)

    The day following the election of Barack Obama (11/04/08), the winning pick 3 lotto numbers in Illinois (Obama’s home state) for 11/5/08 were 666.

    Obama was a U.S. senator for Illinois, and his zip code was 60606.

    Seek Jesus while He may be found…repent, confess and forsake your sins and trust in the savior! Jesus says we must be born again by His Holy Spirit to enter the kingdom of God…God bless!

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