Jodi Elizabeth (Martin) Farris, 54, Woodstock, died Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015, at her home in Woodstock, surrounded by her mother, husband, sisters, children and friends, peacefully escaping the disease that ravaged her body for so long.
She was a beautiful woman who was an inspiration and model of love and courage to all who knew her. Even after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 18 years ago, she never asked why but tried to continue with her work and maintain her home as her body slowly faded. She was concerned with the well-being of others who were sick and suffering, never showing any self-pity or anger over her own condition.
She was born April 13, 1960, to Leslie A. and Mary Jo (Kelley) Martin in Elgin.
She attended Gifford Grade School and Abbott Junior High where she was a cheerleader and played basketball. She was a class of 1978 graduate from Larkin High School. She graduated from Elgin School of Beauty Culture in 1980 and began her 20-year career as a hairdresser.
On New Year’s Eve in 1981, she shared a first kiss with the love of her life at the Old Courthouse Inn in Woodstock. On Dec. 23, 1983, she married Bruce Farris on the grand staircase of the Old Courthouse Building. They hosted dozens of the guests in their home on their wedding night as a minus-82-degree wind chill stranded them in Woodstock. They honeymooned the following summer, traveling the coast of California and enjoying all of the track and field events at the ‘84 Olympics.
In 1987 and ‘88 their son and a daughter were born.
In order to stay with the children and work, they remodeled their home to add a hairdressing salon. She also was the office manager and bookkeeper for her husband’s dental practice, assisting chairside as needed.
In 1996, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Upon receiving the diagnosis, she cried briefly and then asserted, “We’ll get through this.”
She had impeccable taste and an amazing propensity for decorating and gardening. Even as she lost her mobility and, eventually, her sight, she could be found tending her gardens, even if it meant falling off her scooter and crawling around the bed until she accomplished the task at hand.
She welcomed everyone into her home, excitedly accommodated dozens of friends and newcomers to the prediction runs she and Bruce hosted.
She had a special place in her heart for children stricken with serious illness, especially St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. She also supported her children’s extracurricular organizations, serving as a volunteer softball, baseball and soccer coach and donating uniforms and athletic supplies to local schools.
Though she became a prisoner of her own body, she maintained her warm demeanor and clever wit. Thanks to the friendship and constant care of Linda Lile, unyielding care and support from family and friends and the companionship of her dog, Sophie, the family was granted time to make more memories.
Survivors include her husband; a son, Walter (fiancée Megan Kosirog); a daughter, Abigail; her mother, Mary Jo Pint; two sisters, Jan (Michael) Schier and Jane (Tony) Ambroso; three stepsisters, Rene (Kevin) Gurley, Lisa Pint, Melissa (Jason) Reinwald; two sisters-in-law, Bonnie (Bob) Giles and Bridget Farris; eight nieces and nephews, Megan Schier, Scott (Patricia) Schier, Kyle (Emily) Ambroso, BeckyJo (Darrick) Bourgeois, Adrienne (Mitch) Gardner, Bob (Cindy) Giles, Kerrie (Cully) Butenschoen and Edward Farris; and nine great-nieces and -nephews, Claire and Vivian Schier, Arnold Ambroso, Olivia Bourgeois, Cassidy and Kennidy Giles and Gunnar, Gretchen and Gavin Butenschoen.
She was preceded in death by her father; her father-in-law and mother in-law, Walter and Kathryne Farris; two brothers-in-law, Ron and Bryce Farris; and a nephew, William Giles.
There will be a celebration of her life from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24, at Schneider-Leucht-Merwin and Cooney Funeral Home, 1211 Seminary Ave., Woodstock. Memorials can be made to St. Jude Research Hospital, P.O. Box 50, Memphis, TN 38101-9929 or the National MS Society, P.O. Box 4527, New York, NY 10163.