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Jody Rud

Messages of Remembrance

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Shared at Jody's memorial service in June of 2011 Jody and I met in the Social Work Program at University 4 years ago, where I had the honor and privilege to really witness what a beautiful and intelligent person he was. Jody challenged all of his classmates to push themselves and think outside the box, and he was always willing to play the role of Devil’s Advocate along the way, at times even taking on an entire classroom full of feminists. His passion and dedication to helping others was apparent. He was a straight-A student, wrote a paper that was recommended for publishing, and was actively involved in volunteering his personal time to the less fortunate and the community. He was an amazing social worker, and when I think of all he has accomplished, my heart soars with pride. After graduation, our friendship grew. Last year, Jody, Geoff, and Elliot moved in together into a house that affectionately became known as the “frat pad”. My best memory of Jody is from just a few weekends ago. We were all hanging out at the frat pad, when we somehow got the idea to all go into Geoff’s tiny bedroom and have a dance party, complete with loud music and a strobe light. I remember looking at Jody in the flashing light, with a P!NK song playing in the background, and he had an ear-to-ear smile on his face, and was dancing his heart out (which is something he loved to do). That image of Jody that I have in my head exactly captures the Jody I knew- a fun loving, carefree individual who wore a leopard print snuggie backwards and wanted everyone around him to loosen up and have a good time. I’m thankful that his last act of kindness to me was reminding me that we can all stand to dance every now and then. Jody loved his friends with the passion and devotion that encompassed his whole life. He taught us to believe in ourselves, to stand up for ourselves, to know ourselves, and to accept responsibility for ourselves. He encouraged us to push ourselves, to test limits, to challenge everyone and anything (and to do this with a smile on your face and a bag of Doritos in hand - original nacho flavor, not cool ranch). He shared with us his joyous smile and laugh, his zest for life, and the passion for all things that were important to him (including, but limited to, Starcraft 3, Caribou beer, Family Guy, dancing, and his baby brother, Devan). I feel blessed to have had the tremendous honor and privilege of knowing Jody, and being able to share the past 4 years of my life with him. He will continue to live on in my heart and spirit, for he has taught me the kindness and love of a classmate, mentor, and dear friend, and has forever touched my life.

Courtney O’Hara, -
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Shared at Jody's memorial service in June of 2011 Even though I have known Jody for a few years, it hasn’t been up until 4 months ago that we became close and might I say we had ALOT of fun. When I started hanging out with the group I started to hear all the nicknames he had: Chody, Night Hawk, even Wizard. I never really understood any of them but we are an odd bunch. When Jody and I did hang out, we were usually having a late night BBQ at the guy’s house or getting ready, or as the boys like to say: suiting up, for a night on the town. I figured he acquired his name as the Wizard for his love of constructing Wizard Staffs out of beer cans, his magical ability to bust out intense dance moves over a glass without spilling a drop or simply due to the fact that he was always able to ensure everyone was having a good time, even if it was just by flashing his quirky smile. However, as we grew closer, I knew that he was a Wizard for something much more. The other day, in thinking about Jody, I thought I would look up the definition of a Wizard. A wizard is defined as having powers arise from their study, possibly based on innate talent. Wizards are depicted as having a special gift which sets them apart from the vast majority. I have to say, this describes Jody to the tee as he was truly magical. Jody’s study was Social Work, the study of people; and I can say without a doubt that Jody was a master at listening and understanding people. And as my friends up here can agree, he thrived at any opportunity to analyze a situation. Guaranteed he is making an analysis right now. For some reason Jody and I trusted each other and knew that no matter what we shared it would remain between us and no judgements would be made. I learn now that this bond between us was special. In the short amount of time that we began talking, Jody taught me so much. Jody was able to make me realize that I deserve the best in life and more importantly he had this ability to make me feel good and love myself. Never once did I feel judged by Jody and he made sure that on a regular basis that I knew how “cool” and funny I was and even more importantly loved and I know that he made all of us feel the same way. It saddens me that I never got the opportunity to tell Jody how much of an impact our conversations had on me but I am sure, with his special gift that he had already known. I miss my friend dearly but I know that he lives on in all of us through his magical wizard skills of loving and accepting all people who cross our paths on our journey of life. I love you Jody with all my heart. Thank you for being an amazing friend. God Bless. Love,

Chelsea Butchart, -
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Jody boarded at my house his first year of college. We spent many hours talking about anything and everything. He was smart, warm and full of life. He became part of our family, joining us on camping trips and visits to other family member through out B.C. He is part of the reason I went back to school. He never got to know that. I wish he was here so I could tell him. I miss him just about every day.

Karyn Walker, Jody boarded at my house his first year of college
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Jody is the reason i joined Social Work. We had a few mutual friends, and in my second year of doing arts at UBCO i was lost, confused, and ready to give up. He listened to what i wanted to do, and essentially realized that my goal was just to help people. He prompted me to take the Socialwork intro classes, and promised that i wouldnt be dissapointed, and "besides they are still elective credits right". He leant me books when i couldnt afford them, spent alot of time helping me understand the literature, and completely changed the couse of my life. My favorite memory of him was halloween a few years ago. He was a gorilla, or monkey of sorts. And just had an amazing time, dancing, singing, joking, and being the all around happy go lucky guy that he was. Not only was Jody an amazing friend personally, he was a great friend to people of the community. Miss you buddy.

Tanisha Bors, friend
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I met Jody when he came for his 3rd year social work practicum interview at the Kelowna Women's Shelter. I remember that he was wearing a very nice dress shirt with very toned down hair and only a few piercings, and he was very concerned about the dress code. Once he relaxed, the real Jody came out full force and for a long time he was known as "the one with the Mohawk haircut"! Jody was never afraid to say what he thought, or challenge people, or stick up for the kids in our program when he thought we could do better for them. He really was a community leader and a person who was willing to go out on the edge for what he believed in, and what he loved. He wasn't afraid that others would disagree with him, because he truly enjoyed debate and differing opinions. I feel very lucky to have known Jody in his time with us.

Avril Paice, Practicum Supervisor

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