BISD’s School Nutrition Services sew love into quilt created in honor of longtime employee | Education

When Jody Benedict left Bryan to go to Austin for a coronary heart transplant, her college diet household within the Bryan college district didn’t anticipate to be celebrating her life this month.

When the district’s School Nutrition Services division gathered for its end-of-the-year awards May 31, they deliberate to current Benedict with a T-shirt quilt to honor the 27 years she spent within the district. Now that quilt, which was publicly displayed for the primary time on the awards luncheon, shall be offered to her household at a memorial service at 3 p.m. Tuesday at A&M United Methodist Church in College Station.

The quilt consists of T-shirts from each campus within the Bryan college district, cloth that represented her position within the division and her love of baking, and a dedication sq. with the date and coronary heart sample stitching. Each of the T-shirts are signed by the folks she thought-about household.

“It’s kind of a present from our coronary heart for the love and all that she had shared with us,” Sandra Baxter, assistant director within the college diet division, stated.

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Benedict, who moved to Bryan from Illinois, served as an assistant director overseeing tools purchases — particularly small tools — wanted for the division.

“Her entire coronary heart was in her job,” Sundy Fryrear, director of the district’s college diet division, stated. “I imply, that’s what she lived for and seemed ahead to, and, you realize, that’s just about most likely what saved her preventing for therefore lengthy.”

Without youngsters or a partner and together with her fast household in Illinois, Fryrear stated, Benedict’s colleagues “robotically grew to become her household.”

Benedict was identified with cardiomyopathy 20 years in the past and defied her physician’s expectations for the way lengthy she would reside, Baxter stated.

She waited for a coronary heart transplant and acquired it on the finish of September. However, there was an issue with one of many valves of her new coronary heart, Baxter stated. She stated Benedict was again within the hospital for the subsequent six months earlier than she died May 12 on the age of 53.

Throughout her time within the hospital, Baxter stated folks would examine in on her and her household and share updates and prayer requests.

The concept to create a quilt for her got here in March after they realized Benedict wouldn’t return to the district after what they hoped can be her restoration.

“We felt like this fashion she can be wrapped within the love of everyone right here,” Baxter stated. “And that method, this could be one thing that she might take together with her if she moved again residence to Illinois. The hope was that she would recuperate and are available again right here.”

Lois Robinson, cafeteria supervisor for Rudder High School, is sorry Benedict couldn’t obtain the quilt herself, however stated the quilt means lots.

The division took a gaggle image across the quilt, some selecting to the touch it and pray over it.

“I’m going to overlook her,” Robinson stated.

Many of her colleagues remembered Benedict as a chilled presence and a sort particular person.

“She was an angel,” Robinson stated. “She was a superb instance. Just the way in which she carried herself. I by no means noticed her get mad. Of course she would get involved about stuff, however her demeanor was all the time the identical. … She all the time would say, ‘Hang in there.’ That was her favourite factor to say: ‘Hang in there.’ She all the time informed us that. You might go to her for something. She beloved the children. And she beloved us as cafeteria managers.”

Robinson stated Benedict all the time had a smile on her face and helped encourage others, calling her a “candy particular person, candy soul.” She described Benedict as a soldier, saying she was devoted and had sufficient love for everybody.

“She simply had a coronary heart of gold. If we had extra Jody’s on this planet, the world can be simply great,” Robinson stated.

Rebecca Smith, who labored within the college diet companies administration workplace with Benedict, stated she by no means met a “kinder, extra light” particular person.

“I don’t care how hectic every thing received, she all the time had time to say ‘Well, how’s it going?’ Or, ‘Is every thing OK?’” Smith recalled. “She simply introduced a ray of daylight into your day, no matter how darkish it is likely to be — and there have been some darkish ones. She’s actually going to be missed. I imply, she was part of the college district. Now, it’s like there’s a little bit piece lacking there.”

Baxter stated Benedict set a precedent of being variety, taking good care of others and making work her residence.

“Treat everyone like they reside in your house, like they’re a part of your own home, that they’re a part of your loved ones,” she stated, saying that included ensuring folks did their greatest not only for themselves however for others within the district additionally.

Debbie Olexey, cafeteria supervisor at Mary Branch Elementary who was educated underneath Benedict, stated past the adults within the district, her personal kids had been saddened to listen to the information as properly. Olexey stated Benedict would make outing of the day to eat lunch together with her son and different kids she got here to know by means of her college diet household.

“I believe all the children had been her youngsters,” Olexey stated. “She was only a constructive affect, simply so candy and pleasant. You couldn’t be round her with out feeling higher.”

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