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Saturday, December 16, 2023
4:00 - 5:00 pm (Mountain (no DST) time)
Jody Lynne (Powell) Bertsche, 76, of Aurora, Colorado passed away on December 7, 2023. A memorial service will be held in Glennon Heights Mennonite Church in Lakewood Colorado on December 16th. A graveside service will be conducted at Chenoa Township Cemetery, Chenoa, Illinois on a date yet to be determined.
Jody was born on January 14th, 1947. She was the daughter of Claude and Vivian (May) Powell of Chenoa, Illinois. She married Robert Bertsche on December 23, 1967 at the Chenoa Baptist Church in Chenoa, Illinois. Surviving her are her husband Robert, her son RJ (Jen) Bertsche of Mountain View, California, her daughter Susan Elizabeth (Matt) Bolen of Aurora, Colorado, brother TJ (Nancy) Powell of Lexington, IL, sister Claudia (Tom) Hirt of Washington, IL, sister-in-law Vickie Powell of Chenoa, IL. Two brothers Claude Richard Powell and John Powell of Chenoa, IL and her mother and father preceded her in death.
Jody graduated from Chenoa High School in 1965. She attended Illinois State University on an academic scholarship and earned a degree in Elementary Education in 1972. Her lifelong interest in American history led her to return to ISU graduating with a Masters degree in HIstory in 2006. Jody served as a 6th grade teacher in Bluffton, Ohio for two years, an Outdoor Education Director in Washington, IL and as a substitute teacher in Chenoa, IL when her children were school age. Jody also volunteered at Camp Friedenswald in Cassopolis Michigan from 1980-1984.
In 1984 the family returned to Chenoa, IL to serve at Meadows Mennonite Retirement Community. While her children were small, Jody was a homemaker and spent most of her time taking them to their large variety of school activities. She was passionate about libraries and was elected to serve on the board of the Chenoa Public Library and eventually served as president of that board. She was also a member of the multi-county regional Alliance library board and served one term as President. Starting in 1990 Jody served as an Independent Living Director of Meadows Mennonite Retirement Community. During her time in this role she planted over 40 varieties of her favorite Lilacs in Meadows. You can still see them and their beauty today.
Jody was a loving wife and mother. She delighted in following her children's school activities and went to every sporting event, concert, scholastic bowl meet and performance they had. You could always find her in the top of the gymnasium in the middle of the bleachers cheering them on. She continued to support them in their careers and passions for the rest of her life. Jody was a voracious reader of Historical fiction and non-fiction. She especially enjoyed researching the Civil war period and Abraham Lincoln. Many vacations were spent touring civil war battle grounds, cemeteries and museums.
Jody loved the Lord and was an active member of Glennon Heights Mennonite Church in Lakewood, Colorado. She attended church and was involved in the College Scholarship committee, and numerous other activities including her church book club and small group.