Tributes paint bright picture of Coutts Crossing mum
WOOLWORTHS colleagues were among the hundreds of community members who lined the path outside Grafton's Christ Church Cathedral and released bright coloured balloons in an emotional farewell to Jodie Spears.
The 32-year-old mother-of-three died on Thursday, October 13 after her scooter and a 4WD towing a trailer collided on Armidale Rd.
The sense of love and loss for a woman who brought joy to others expressed by Woolworths staff, including Gay Ebeling who spoke on behalf of Woolworths Grafton at the funeral, typified the sentiment felt widely in the community towards Mrs Spears.
Ms Ebeling said Mrs Spears would be remembered most for her big smile and friendly nature. "In the workplace we have our second family," Ms Ebeling said.
"We spend a lot of time together and share snippets of each others' lives, and Jodie was loved... in our little family.
"She was always friendly, upbeat... if others turned up in a bad mood, she would say so and they in turn would go out to the locker rooms and reassess their demeanour."
Mrs Spears started working for Woolworths in 2002.
"You are loved, you are missed," Ms Ebeling concluded.
With people coming from far and wide, guests were lined up against walls and spilling out into the the church gardens, ready to hear the memories shared from the life of a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter and a friend.
Life-long family friend Jim Swan spoke about the life of Mrs Spears and the light she brought to everyone's life.
"Thank you all for being here today, we are totally overwhelmed by all the love and support you have all shown at this incredibly sad time," Mr Swan said.
"Jodie's story began on December 27, 1984 at Bathurst Base Hospital. Jodie started primary school at Westlawn Public School, where she stayed until her family moved to Coutts Crossing in 1995 to the home they still occupy today.
"She went to Coutts Crossing Primary School and then attended South Grafton High School where she completed Year 12, then she went to Grafton TAFE where she studied child care.
"During this time, she got a job at Woolworths supermarkets. She loved her work mates and the customers.
"I've heard so many stories this last week from people who will go through her checkout and only her checkout. "She had a very bright and bubbly personality."
Mr Swan spoke of Mrs Spears' love for her family and how she would do anything for them.
"You will always be remembered in the hearts of everyone and I will end my speech with this: I love you girl," Mr Swan said.