Throughout the course of our lives there are individuals whose love and influence have such profound effects as to change who we are and what we become. Jodi Mae VanDenakker Wilding, 61, of Brigham City, Utah was one such person. After a courageous and hard-fought battle with breast cancer she passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family, on November 17, 2022.
Jodi was born August 2, 1961 in Ogden, Utah to Charles Dean VanDenakker and Suzanne Poppleton VanDenakker. Dance, piano, and baton were talents she practiced from an early age. She graduated from Bonneville High School in 1979 and received her Bachelor’s Degree from Weber State College in 1984. She was the majorette at both institutions and was invited to tour Europe with the Weber State Marching Band in 1981, performing at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
It was at the LDS Institute at Weber State where Jodi met her husband, David G. Wilding, and they were married in the Logan Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on September 17, 1982. She started her own dance studio where she taught baton, clogging, and ballet. Four years later she and Dave packed up all their belongings, their young son, Skyler, and headed to medical school in St. Louis.
Throughout her life Jodi was a champion to the less fortunate and was loved by all who knew her. In 1994 she was selected Young Mother of the Year and went on to serve as the American Mothers Chapter President for the State of Utah. At the time of her passing she was the President of the Brigham City Chapter of Utah Homemakers. Her many church callings reflected a lifetime of dedicated service. Her volunteer work in the temple was a sacred trust.
Spending time with family and friends was her highest priority and she loved going to lunch with the “Sista’s” from high school. She was an avid writer, blogger, and contributor on social media. Her gratitude journals leave a legacy of faith. To add to that legacy “It’s Abundt Time” and “Hopeful Hats” were her latest endeavors. Purple was her passion, as were cats, going shopping, taking pictures, Christmas newsletters, wedding cakes, playing the harp, and family traditions. She loved to travel and see new places. She loved chocolate, the sound of the ocean, lighthouses, flowers, Sunday dinners, and old movies.
Her determination to do hard things and overcome whatever obstacle stood in her way was exemplified in the medals that she won. She ran her first marathon in 2010 after which she told Dave, “Never let me do this again!” Yet, that was only the beginning. Her marathons took her to Ogden, Logan, Big Cottonwood, St. George, and ultimately Massachusetts where she ran Boston in 2017 and again in 2018.
Jodi was an amazing wife, supporting her husband in all his responsibilities, and an exemplary mother to her five boys. She was always there for them. Her longing to be a Grandma was fulfilled when her precious Carson joined the family. They were inseparable. Brinlee and Liam also shared a special place in her heart. Her greatest heartache came on December 2, 2005 when her son, Tyson, was called to the other side of the veil at the tender age of 17. One can only imagine the joyous reunion that accompanied her return. She was also preceded in death by her brother, Jerry, who passed away just three weeks ago. She is survived by her parents, Dean and Suzie VanDenakker, her husband Dr. David G. Wilding, sons Skyler D. (Sarah) Wilding, Bryce D. Wilding, Taylor D. (Kendra) Wilding, and McKay D. Wilding.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. at the Brigham City LDS Stake Center, 650 Anderson Drive. Viewings will be held Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Myers Mortuary, 205 South 100 East, Brigham City, and on Wednesday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the church prior to the service. Interment will be in the Brigham City Cemetery.
A virtual link to the services: