It is with deep sorrow that we share the passing of Jodie Gavel, who died on March 18, 2022 after a long illness, surrounded by family at the Eagle Valley Manor in Sicamous, BC, at the age of 82 years.
Jodie was born Josephine Lynn Freeman on January 23, 1940, in Wetaskiwin, AB, to Bernadine and Charlie Freeman of Battle Lake, AB. She attended Lakedell Elementary School, Wetaskiwin Composite High School, and studied Royal Conservatory of Toronto Piano. As a youngster, she played music with her friends in a band called the Western Swing Kids and won the Northern Alberta Search for Talent contest at the age of 11.
Jodie had three children from her first marriage with Mike Skotnitsky (Lynn, Rick and Jeff) and three stepchildren (Everett, Dennis and Sam), from her second marriage with Lloyd Gavel. Jodie and Lloyd moved to Sicamous BC in 1970 and were vibrant members of the community for more than 50 years. All were welcome at their house and they volunteered for many causes and community events over the years.
Jodie and Lloyd travelled widely in motorhomes they had renovated and fell in love with the small village of Sayulita on Mexico’s Pacific coast, where they build their winter house. In addition to great memories, they brought to Canada an ‘adopted’ son from Sayulita, Margarito (Nervios) Castillon. In 1981, Nervios married Lloyd and Jodie’s niece Tammy and established in Alberta.
Jodie and Lloyd enjoyed a rich and active social life, in Sicamous, in Sayulita, and in later years, in Mesa, Arizona. In 1991, they built their third Sicamous house overlooking the Eagle River on Silver Sands Rd., the site of many gatherings of family and friends, and many visits from wildlife – all kinds of birds, squirrels and chipmunks, deer, raccoons, bears, and more.
Jodie played the piano, the organ, and the accordion at gatherings in Sayulita and in Sicamous over the decades. She also played piano for the Catholic Church, and occasionally at the Legion for community events. When Jodie and Lloyd moved to the Eagle Valley Manor in 2016, she played the piano for the residents and accompanied the Ukelele Club.
Jodie had many other talents. She was an avid gardener growing flower and vegetables, and preserved the food they grew. She made the best pickled carrots and dill pickles ON THE PLANET, according to her kids. She also enjoyed crocheting, knitting and sewing. She sewed hundreds of outfits for her grandchildren.
Jodie was pre-deceased by her parents, Charlie and Bernadine Freeman, brothers Jack and William, and her sons Jeff and Dennis. She is survived by her husband Lloyd, children Everett (Dagi), Sam (Diane), and Lynn (Jaime), grandchildren Eric, Sabrina, Doug, Vanessa, Carey, Dustin, Michael and Stephen, and eight great-grandchildren.