Jody passed peacefully in her home in Des Moines, Iowa, on December 17, 2019 following a prolonged illness.
She is survived by her husband, Matthew Murch, her sisters Sandy DeVinney (of Grand Junction, Colorado) and Donna (Gary) Ward (of Fruita, Colorado), her brother Randy (Twila) DeVinney (of Arenas, New Mexico), and her many other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents Donald and Caroline DeVinney, her nephew Eric Ward, and her father-in-law Marcus McGhee.
A Memorial Service at Fellowship Baptist Church will celebrate Jody’s life and graduation into eternity at 11:00 AM on Saturday, January, 11, 2020, followed by a potluck luncheon in the fellowship hall and a brief graveside service at Avon Cemetery. Flowers may be directed to Fellowship Baptist Church, 1503 SE 6th Street, Des Moines, IA 50315. Sympathy cards may be mailed to Matthew Murch, 1537 Arlington Ave., Des Moines IA 50314. Memorial gifts may be sent to The Gideons, International, P.O. Box 35, Boone, IA 50036 or NIMA (the New Iberian Mission Association, PO Box 15133, Las Cruces, NM, 88004-5133 with the words “For Morning Glory” on the memo line.
Jody was born in Omaha, Nebraska on December 9, 1947. She graduated from Globe High School in 1965. She graduated from Intermountain Bible College in Grand Junction, Colorado, in 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Languages. She married Matthew in 1984 in Grand Junction, and they moved first to Los Angeles, then Western Pennsylvania, then Skull Valley, Arizona, and finally Central Iowa in 2000. She served with the Gideon Auxiliary for several years in Boone and Des Moines, is a member of Connections Christian Church in Clive, and the Des Moines Area Spinners and Weavers guild.
Jody had a life-long interest in useful crafts such as spinning, weaving, jewelry-making, pottery, carpentry, and growing and preparing healthy natural vegetarian foods. Jody also had a life-long practice of what she called “taking in strays”, both people and other living things. This led, in part, to her many years working in the human services sector as counselor parent, homecare aid, vocational support, kitchen supervisor, and housekeeping supervisor for various private non-profit agencies in Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Iowa.
Jody took her faith in Christ very seriously. She spent some part of nearly every day reading and meditating on God’s Written Word, was faithful in church, often working in various capacities with children and new believers, and made an effort to find ways to reach out to those around her who were lost and dying. She also contributed financially, as much as she was able, to many outreach groups including an orphanage in Haiti, Jews for Jesus, the Gideons, and most recently, The New Inland Iberian Missions Group’s Morning Glory Ministries which provides food, housing, and/or education for hundreds of orphans and disadvantaged children.
Jody always was generous with her time and attention. She loved to hear and tell long personal histories. She made and gave away many hats, sweaters, scarves, mittens, gloves, and saddle blankets to friends, family, and charitable groups. She also gave away many hand-made pieces of jewelry of her own design, and often repaired jewelry made by others for her friends and family.
Jody loved to forage. She enjoyed finding edible nuts, fruits, and wildflowers, and researching which were edible and what nutritional or medicinal value they provided. She enjoyed hunting down bargains in local papers, thrift shops, yard sales, and auctions. She particularly liked to salvage others’ castaways found in dumps, dumpsters, and along the curb. She would reuse an old cribside as a rack for hanging clothes to dry or to support a dish drainer. She once built a greenhouse using old windows she found. She used many fallen branches for everything from bird perches to walking sticks. Our loss, however, is her gain. She now has experienced the ultimate recycling, living in a new body eternally in God’s presence. We grieve her absence, but rejoice in her presence in God’s home.
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