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Absent Friends

Jody A. Gehrcke (Schnetzler)

Jody A. Gehrcke (Schnetzler)

Jody Ann (Gehrcke) Schnetzler

    After a long and hard battle, Jody passed away on June 3, 2019 at home surrounded by close family.  She was born on March 30, 1958 in Saginaw, Michigan to Charles (Bud) and Maxine (Rowdon) Gehrcke.  She graduated from Saginaw Arthur Hill High School in 1976.  Jody attended Ferris State College and Saginaw Valley University where she earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art Education in 1989. 

     Jody was blessed not only with the unique ability of an artist, but more importantly to her, an amazing skill to pass her passion toward art on to others.  She was beloved by a multitude of children and adults she taught over the years in evening classes, summer programs and student outreach programs. For 25 years, Jody taught art to students at all levels at Harbor Beach High School, Ogemaw Heights High School and Ithaca Public Schools.  She has students who are now professional artists and countless others who have an appreciation for the arts and their “masterpieces” thanks to Jody’s ability to teach and to make art interesting and fun to anyone.  The many hugs, messages, texts, cards and letters that she still receives today from students is amazing.

    Jody, with her smile, her beauty, and her uncanny ability to make people feel special will be missed by her many, many friends and family.  Jody spent many hours using her skills to help others, never turning down a request to paint a mural for a non-profit group, teach a class, or volunteer to raise money for a great cause.  She has been honored by community organizations, but more importantly to Jody, by numerous graduating classes of students who had her as a teacher.  She will be missed by so many.

     Art may have been a hobby but her true calling was family. Those who knew her understood the love she was able to share effortlessly. Jody never took a single day with family for granted and she made sure you knew how much she loved you every waking hour of the day. Her ability as a mother, wife, aunt, and friend was something very special, always looking out for others and expecting nothing in return.

    Surviving are her husband of 29 years, Charles and son Charles II, one brother David (Diane) Gehrcke of Saginaw, brother and sister-in-law Mark and Mary Beth Vanderlist of Big Rapids, Robert and Terri Schnetzler of Melita, Bryan Schnetzler of Harrisville, and many nieces and nephews.  Jody was preceded in death by her parents, one sister Linda Zientek and her husband Stanley, brothers Charles Gary Gehrcke, Jeffery Gehrcke, and sister-in-law Amy Schnetzler.

     Funeral Services will be held at Smith Family Funeral Homes Ithaca, MI, at 11:00 A.M. on Thursday, June 6, 2019, with Pastor John Davey officiating. Jody's friends and family are invited to a graveside service on Thursday at 3:00 P.M. at Resurrection of the Lord Cemetery, Standish, MI. A dinner will be held after the graveside service at the American Legion Hall, Standish, MI. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 from 1:00 P.M.-8:00 P.M. at Smith Family Funeral Homes, Ithaca.

     Memorials may be made to The Michigan Ovarian Cancer Alliance (www.mioca.org).  Online condolences can be sent to www.smithfamilyfuneralhomes.com.