Saying Goodbye When You Haven’t Said Goodbye

Our radio family is devastated. We have lost a colleague and friend, and the London broadcasting community is in mourning.  Jodi Taylor was the best hugger any of us knew, a warm, empathetic, tiny dynamo. Jodi died on Saturday. Mercifully for her, it appears to have been quick. For those of us who knew and loved her, not so much.

Known as Taylor, Jodi hosted the midday show at Bob-FM for what seemed like forever.  She was the first fellow broadcaster to welcome me back to London a decade ago. More recently, she did news on our morning show for vacation fill-in while also hosting shows and doing remotes for BX-93.

Our mainly social-media friendship morphed into real life when she started working at CJBK. New to news, she absorbed every bit of info that she could, determined to be an excellent newscaster. It’s no wonder she was the must-listen-to midday voice in this market for so long. Jodi’s voice was smooth as glass and had a friendliness with a hint of natural rasp that told you there was more to her than met the ear. She was self-deprecating and funny. Her big heart came wrapped in a powerful little package that championed the Women in Communications group in London and was involved with several charities, mainly supporting women and families.

It’s your birthday? Jodi would surprise you with a card and a little gift. But she tried to keep her own birth date secret. “I don’t want people making a fuss.” Our last Facebook conversation was on her day off, as she reminded us about a coworker’s birthday. That was pure Jodi. When my father died, she gave me a gift card for a pizza. “Food seems right for any occasion.” She was correct.

After the 6 am newscast she’d push open our studio door, shake her fists in the air in triumph and yell “GO TEAM”.

She was sensitive. In radio we all have to correct each other at some time or another. We have all made mistakes with a name or another detail. It would be awful if one of us let the other make that error a second time. No matter how gently anyone approached the subject, Jodi would tear up. On the verge of crying she’d wave her hands in front of her eyes and say, “Keep going, it’s okay, I need to know”! She couldn’t help her emotional reaction.

Jodi had the best story about how arbitrary and unpredictable the voice-over business can be. Sometimes clients supply links to YouTube videos or MP3s so that when you audition, you have a good example of what they like.  Jodi once auditioned when the sample link went to some of her own previous work reading a commercial. Despite auditioning for a job where the ideal voice was her own, she didn’t get the gig. She loved to tell the story of the time that she didn’t sound enough like herself to get work.

She loved and lived for her family; her husband Andy, their grown children and her grandchildren.  Her lads towered over their wee mother. The last time I saw her, a couple of weeks ago, she was literally skipping through the halls of the radio station. She’d been having a problem with her foot and it was feeling much better. She was happy, giddy, funny.  Some time ago, I’d told her about The Ultimate Garage Sale and she said she’d become addicted to re-purposing furniture from that store. We loved to discuss our latest finds and redos.

Jodi hated having her picture taken. But on Halloween, she’d apply green make-up and a false nose and chin to become the most incredible-looking witch. When she “witched it up” was the only time she’d happily pose for the camera. 

Closeup of a witch - long frizzy black hair, giant chin, green skin and a huge wart on her nose

 

We’re going to miss her – that laugh, that spirit, all wrapped up in a powerful, generous and kind person.

15 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye When You Haven’t Said Goodbye”

  1. So sorry for your loss. She appears to have been an incredibly, beautiful, amazing and generous woman. You are blessed to have her as a friend and colleaguue.

  2. What a wonderful tribute Lisa. Jodi would give you a huge hug and whisper a thank you in your ear, that’s how I remember Jodi dealing with compliments. She will always be remembered fondly by so many. This is a tough one.

  3. Jody was a kindred spirit. Always kind always ready for a good laugh. Lisa you really captured the essence of her great spirit.

  4. Oh Lisa—I am so sorry! This is brutal. Jodi had a lovely voice and I always perked up and listened when she read the news. This is a loss for us all. Hang in there dear Lisa.

  5. Karen Schulman Dupuis

    I had the honour of working with Jodi for years at WCT and I loved her so. Her energy, her bias for action, her heart…I am so sad at this news. Thank you for capturing such a great picture of her.

  6. Mary Spence

    Taylor was the BEST radio announcer!!!! Back when I was off with my twin girls I used to call her daily just to speak to an adult and she was the best person to talk to. One day Bob FM was giving away lunch for 4 at the Mandarin so I called in. As I was talking to Taylor one of my 2 year old twins ran towards me and asked if we could win a puppy from Bob. Taylor laughed so hard and when she went to give away the Mandarin Lunch she announced “sorry Amanda Bob can’t give you a dog but we will give you the lunch for 4”. I have seen and spoken to Taylor many times after this incident and we still laughed at my daughter and how she wanted a puppy from Bob FM. Taylor you are truly missed!!!!

  7. My heart breaks for you, your radio family and for Jodi’s family, too. You’ve captured the immensity of everyone’s loss and just what a special person Jodi Taylor was, and will be remembered as being. May her memory and her spirit guide everyone who loved and will miss her terribly through these awful days with strength, humour and resilience. Our hearts are with yours.

  8. Hi Lisa—can I ask what happened to Jodi? This is just so awful and nothing has been said. I’m thinking a great many of us are wondering.

    1. Hi Angie, No one knows yet. An autopsy is being done. It will be up to the family whether to tell us what they found out.

  9. Thank you for writing this piece. She was an incredibly special person and it warms my heart to see that so many people feel the same way.

  10. What a wonderful, heartfelt, and (obviously) sincere tribute, Lisa, to a dear colleague, friend, and clearly a gifted angel of a person. From the minute that you and Ken began your show and my week yesterday morning, I could tell that you were numb with sadness and shock having learned of Jodi’s passing. I join you in the sadness, but only because you are sharing with us the inside story of who Jodi has been to all of you. In any working environment, professional or otherwise, we can be blessed to have our worlds warmed and enriched by a special soul like hers. It grounds us, subtly and humbly reminding us of the community that we can build and be to one another as we strive to be our best at whatever we are privileged to be doing. And it’s always a privilege, and seemingly, Jodi understood this. Your team is hurting over there on Wellington Road. But you are no less than who you were last week. Jodi wouldn’t stand for that. She is your inspiration to carry on, and to do so with the spirit and energy that she brought into your lives. Sharing that with us, your listeners, is the wise thing to do, thank you. But I do extend my sympathies to all of you, and to her family, at this very sad time. Your tribute moved me, for reasons not important for me to expand upon. Thanks again.

  11. Thanks Lisa. Please keep us posted on what you are told—I can well understand the family’s need for privacy, though. Take care.

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