“The best sister and aunt ever,” Jodi Palmblade died unexpectedly November 23, 2013 after falling while preparing to attend a community volunteer event.
Jodi was born April 29, 1956 and moved to Costa Mesa in 1959. She was valedictorian of her 1974 CMHS class, and graduated from UCI with both a B.A. (1978) and M.B.A. (1979). While at UCI she joined Delta Gamma Fraternity where she served as president, and was a founding member of the Newport-South Coast alumnae group where she especially enjoyed working with the collegians at UCI.
Jodi began volunteering as a teenager, organizing “Teenagers Against Dystrophy” in support of the Muscular Dystrophy telethon, a cause close to her heart as her brother suffered from the disease. She was a 32-year member of the Junior League of Orange County and could always be counted on to take on any task and see it through to successful completion.
Life isn’t fair, but Jodi never noticed. She embraced whatever came her way, smiled, made the best of it, and tried to help others. She never complained and never gave up. That can-do spirit served her well when in 1982 a serious car accident put her into a coma for over 6 weeks and through years of rehabilitation. Her life was spared but her injuries convinced her doctors she would never talk or walk again. But her doctors didn’t understand that when Jodi committed herself to something it got done. With grit and determination, she relearned to speak, read, write and walk, and with sheer willpower even regained her driver’s license, giving her the freedom to continue her role as a community volunteer.
Despite the challenges from her disabilities, Jodi’s commitment to family and friends was legendary; there wasn’t a birthday of a friend or of their children she didn’t commemorate. For Jodi, holidays were an excuse to have a party and to indulge those she loved. Loyalty was her trademark just as much as her anchor outfits and accessories. She was meticulous in her appearance and dress, as well as everything she did. Jodi will be remembered for her passion to her community, to her friends and most importantly to her family.
Jodi is survived by her father, Bill, brother, David, sister-in-law, Judy, and nephews Jacob and Joseph. She was pre-deceased by her mother, Eleanor (2006) and her brother, Jeff (2004). Services will be held Sunday, December 1st at 2:00 pm at Harbor Lawn-Mt. Olive Memorial Park and Mortuary, 1625 Gisler Ave., Costa Mesa.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Orange County or the Blind Children’s Learning Center in Santa Ana.