In Honor of Sheryl and Mary Chodrick
For my Dad,
Although he rarely complained, Sheryl Fayne Chodrick undoubtedly felt a kinship with A Boy Named Sue. Surely he wondered why his twin brother was given the manly name, Jerryl Wayne. Consequently, years later when his friends nicknamed him Cody, he was only too happy to accept it.
Cody, or Sheryl, is Charles’ dad and the beloved patriarch of our family. For many years we offered Dad and Mom trips to Branson with us, but we were always turned down until 2006 after Mom had a long struggle with cancer. We offered her a trip, for her birthday, to see her heartthrob, Daniel O’Donnel, in Branson. Dad agreed to go along “for mom.” Imagine our thrill when not only did Mom have a great time but SO DID DAD!! He couldn’t say enough about the trip and couldn’t wait to go again! He fell in love with Branson! When we bought Wilderness Retreat in 2009, much work needed to be done on it and we all spent many happy hours working and playing there. For the man who for so many years “could not close the Barbershop,” he now kept a sign ready to hang on the door and be off to Branson!! Once after spending several days at the cabin, Mom and Dad labeled it “the best vacation they ever had.” In early March 2010, Dad suggested that we all get away to the cabin in April. The dates were set, plans were made, the barbershop sign was ready, and we were all looking forward to a great time—especially Dad. In late March, Dad became very ill with bronchitis and entered the hospital. We printed big pictures of happy times at the cabin and posted them in his hospital room. As he struggled for breath, he would point at them and say “we’re going there.” As the date came, we did not make the trip to the cabin, instead we spent it at his bedside. On April 24, 2010 six weeks after entering the hospital and struggling every day for breath, he peacefully took his last breath and fell into the arms of His Lord Jesus. Countless times we have all wished we could have had that one last trip together.
When we bought the Deer Run cabin in July 2010, we wanted to dedicate it to him. But then, as we searched for a name for our newly formed LLC, Cody’s Log Cabins seemed to be a fitting name. It is our prayer that families will love our cabins while enjoying precious time together, making great memories as we did.
The Bible does not tell us exactly how much a departed soul knows of the events on earth, but we like to imagine that Dad and Brenda’s parents are looking down on our cabins and what we try to offer to families and they are smiling at our efforts.
While Brenda’s parents are not mentioned in the cabin names, their memory is very much honored in our cabins. Without their lives of hard work, our cabin business would not have been possible. They both were gone long before we had any cabins but we did have many happy trips with them to Branson. They also loved the area and we so wish we would have had more time with them too. They would have loved the cabins!
It is our wish to honor our parents in this section, so continue on to read first about the life of a great man; then about an account of the unique and comforting message Brenda and her sister received after their mother’s death.
Sheryl (Cody) and his brother, Jerryl, were born in Enid OK on June 13, 1933. He grew up in Enid and age 15 he met and fell in love with the “ravishing” Mary Gates. They married Aug 1, 1950, and 60 years later he still thrilled at the sight of her and the touch of her hand.
At age 15, he and his brother also shared another important event when they lied about their ages and joined the Army. He served an impressive career both in the Army and the OK National Guard, retiring as a Master Sgt in 1994.
He owned and operated Chodrick’s Barbershop for over 50 years and was still working many long hours there until the day before he entered the hospital in March 2010.
His life exemplified true manhood in every way. He never thought of himself first, but always was loving and giving to others. He was a soldier, a patriot, a leader but above all he was a servant. A servant to the God he worshipped, the country he loved, and the family he adored. Family, to him, was not limited to bloodlines, it was about love and he gave his love abundantly to everyone.
He loved his Lord Jesus and walked with Him as friends. His worn Bible and hymnal testify of the many hours he spent reading, singing, and praying. Often, he was found on his knees at his bedside, peacefully asleep. He continually proclaimed what a blessed man he was, thanking God for his family and friends. His one burden and last wish was that everyone he loved would know and walk with Jesus as he had.
We miss him every day.