Amanda Kay Hodgson, 35, of Chetek, Wisconsin passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, August 15, 2020.
Amanda was born May 5th, 1985 in Rice Lake, Wisconsin the daughter of Thomas and Karen (Gehl) Kodesh, and lived across from the Dovre Lutheran Church for the first few years of her life on a dairy farm. That's where her love of family and animals all began. She grew up the youngest of 5, her sister, Tammy, had passed away months after being born. The family then moved to her mom’s family farm where her love of family and animals only grew more. She was raised spending her time outdoors and would eventually raise her own kids to share in that same passion. The years growing up were spent doing what siblings do, play, argue, and work. There was always plenty to do. There was lots of time spent helping on the farm, raising animals, and playing sports. Amanda’s love for animals was abundant. She formed a never ending bond with her siblings, especially with her sister Missy. They were inseparable from the beginning and thankfully that relationship only grew stronger throughout their lives together. She loved volleyball and softball and would also pass that love for sports onto her children, nieces and nephews. She made many friends growing up throughout her years of school. Many meaningful friendships were made, but none stronger than the relationship between her best friend, Denise Kellen and her high school sweetheart, Britt Hodgson. Those friendships grew into so much more, Amanda and Denise loved spending time together and unfortunately Amanda had to lose her best friend to cancer at the young age of 21. She was by her side through it all.
Britt and Amanda’s first date was November 9th, 2002. It was the beginning of their love story. Britt spent much of their first year hanging out together at Amanda’s house. Amanda decided to move out of her parent’s home after her junior year, June 20, 2003 and her and Britt went to Tomah for the weekend to attend the Tomah National Truck & Tractor Pole. That was the first of so many adventures to come. They eloped to Jamaica in May of 2006 and rode horses in the ocean, pet dolphins, went to Dunn’s River Falls and spent all 8 days enjoying each other, their new beginning and the local atmosphere. They started their marriage together working and Amanda was a CNA while starting nursing school at WITC in Rice Lake. Her passion of helping and taking care of others led her to her graduating and becoming a Registered Nurse. Being a nurse, she worked at Oak Leaf, changing the lives of many while giving so much of herself. Many close friendships came from there.
She was an Aunt from the very early years of her relationship and became Aunt Amanda to 9 nieces and nephews. The relationship she had with her nieces and nephews was the greatest gift she could have given them, she loved them all so much and wanted to be present in all of their lives. Aunt Amanda was the best and most thoughtful gift giver ever to them and all she knew and touched.
With any marriage comes challenges and Amanda and Britt found themselves still growing up while being married at a young age and separated thinking that was what was best for them both at that time. They drifted apart for a short time, to only bring them back together soon after, knowing they couldn’t live without each other. Their love was too strong to keep them apart. Their love story continued and grew. Britt is known for telling people he loves her so much he married her twice. The second marriage was in Las Vegas, December 1st, 2012. Britt loved her so much that everything he did was for her. From dating in the early years and wanting to give her everything, to designing and building their dream home. The dream home that he built, mostly himself, mostly by hand. They moved into their dream home in December of 2019, right before Christmas. Britt and Amanda designed and planned their home for many years. It was their masterpiece.
Her love for fitness and being active has always been something Amanda loved, from walks with her mom and siblings at a young age, to biking, swimming, roller blading and so much more to come throughout the years. Amanda started running and signed up for her first 5k, the Chilly Chippewa 5k, March 3, 2012. After that 5k she said she’d never do that again…..and signed up for another 5k later that same day, the Shamrock Shuffle. She had no idea how many miles she would continue to run. So many 5ks, 10ks, Half Marathons and all distances in between. She became an avid runner, even after having her two children. She found that running was therapeutic and a healthy outlet for herself and for her family. She strived to be the best at everything, including running. She was such a fast runner and a natural at it, but always wanted to be better. That meant putting in a lot of hard work, which never ended. She was so competitive and strived for perfection. She ran the Rock & Roll Half Marathon the day after her marriage in Las Vegas, part of her ongoing balance of her love for family and being active.
The decision to have children was never a question for her and Britt, it was just a decision of when and being ready. Amanda and Britt knew that there is never a perfect time or right time, but they felt it was their time. Every moment of soon-to-be parenthood is documented in albums she made. She found out they were expecting their first child on September 1st, 2013. That same day they adopted a puppy. They were expecting at the same time many of their friends were as well. Ellie Mae Marie Hodgson came into this world on May 2nd, 2014. The best role she would ever have in her life was just beginning, being a MOM. The most fulfilling and precious gift ever. The bond between the three of them was special to say the least. The best gift in life is family and their family was growing. They found out they were expecting in January of 2015. Jerry Lee Hodgson III, was born September 24, 2015, their family was complete, including their pets, with more to come. The memories and love grew rapidly. They did everything together as a family. While Britt was taking on the family business, Jerry’s Tree Service, he made sure that family came first, always. They provided everything and more for their two children. Ellie Mae and Jerry Lee formed an inseparable relationship being so close in age.
She instilled many traits in her children, like being strong, not settling, never giving up, working hard, being kind and loving each other and others. She also taught them about life and faith as well as the importance of family.
Amanda and Britt’s time together was nothing short of an adventure. A lifelong adventure that was much too short. Amanda’s love for the North Shore began when Britt took her on a trip while first dating. That was the first of so many more to come. One of their favorite places to visit is Duluth, MN. They have instilled that love into their children, who love it just as much. The beauty and peace that the North Shore provides gave them serenity. The adventures included so many trips, near and far. They found beauty and adventure in their backyard just as much as they did traveling to find it. As much as they wanted to go places and do things, they wanted to be home and knew that is where they belonged. Amanda made sure to instill being active in her children from the moment they started walking. They spent so much time walking the ATV trails near their home and before you know it learning to ride a bike and soon after biking for miles and miles. Just this summer, the family biked close to 20 miles together through Eau Claire. The kids were so full of energy. Amanda lived for every adventure and seeked out all opportunities to make memories. Her love for running has been shared with many and will be passed on to many.
Aunt Amanda and her family were constants at sporting events for her nieces and nephews. She loved sports and loved having her kids share in that joy. She was known for making sure her kids cheered loudly and supported their cousins. She spent all her summers swimming at Mary’s pool with her children, siblings and nieces and nephews. The kids both learned to swim during their time there. Amanda also loved to shop for her family and nieces and nephews, she was the best gift giver. She loved to give. She loved monarch butterflies and the stages of the life cycle. She shared that love with her children who have released many butterflies after closely watching the metamorphosis stages.
The recent pandemic provided more family time than ever before. It taught all of us to slow down and appreciate what is right in front of us and live life to the fullest. Amanda lived her life to the fullest every day. A life that was ended way too soon. Amanda taught her kids the following poem they still recite every night at bedtime:
“As tall as the trees, As high as the sky, As deep as the ocean, As big as the world,
I like you for always, I love you forever, As long as I’m living, my mommy you’ll be.”
“Runners never die, they just cross the finish line.”
Amanda leaves to celebrate her memory: her husband, Britt Hodgson, Chetek, her children, Ellie Mae Marie Hodgson and Jerry Lee “Buddy” Hodgson, Chetek, her parents, Tom and Karen Kodesh, Chetek, brother, Scott (Heidi) Kodesh, Chetek, sisters, Tracy (Kjell) Jorstad, Chetek and Melissa (Aaron) Robert, Chetek, mother-in-law and father-in-law, Candi and Jerry Hodgson, Chetek, brothers and sisters in law, Jason and Sherry Hodgson, Wheaton, WI, Jerry and Ruth Hodgson, Chetek and Jessica and Joe Clark, Chetek, nieces and nephews, Greta and Christian Jorstad, Chetek, Ashley and Bradley Robert, Chetek, Jayden and Luke Hodgson, Wheaton, WI, Alexis, Charlie and Jameson Clark, Chetek and numerous other family and friends. Amanda was preceded in death by her sister, Tammy Kodesh and her special friend, Denise Kellen.
The Funeral Service for Amanda will be held on Friday, August 21, 2020 at Chetek Lutheran Church at 11:00 A.M. Visitation will be held on Thursday, August 20, 2020 from 4:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. at Chetek Lutheran Church and again on Friday from 10:00 A.M. until the service at 11:00 A.M. Proper Social Distancing and Facial Coverings are Requested.
The Burnham-Ours-Kolstad Family Funeral Home of Chetek has been entrusted with arrangements.
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