Newspaper Article of Death of Jody Stewart (Cerro Gordo)
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Posted by David A. Wright on January 01, 2002 at 21:05:08:
I recieved a clipping from a friend taken from the Inyo Register (Bishop, CA) on the death of Jody Stewart. I have no date for the paper the clipping was taken from, however I believe it was the 3rd or 4th week of December, 2001. I will post it in another entry below this, this board will not let me paste it all in and submit.
"MEMORIES - JODY STEWART"
"FORMER ACTRESS FOUND HOME AT CERRO GORDO: A FATEFUL TALK WITH A RELATIVE LED TO A LIFE-LONG EFFORT TO RESTORE GHOST TOWN"
By Liz Babcock
Special to the Inyo Register
Jody Stewart-Patterson, 57, beloved owner of historic Cerro Gordo, died Friday, Dec. 7, at home in Swansea.
She spent her last days just down the famed Yellow Grade Road from Cerro Gordo, the former mining village she had transformed into what the international press labeled the only ghost town bed and breakfast in the world.
Born Oct. 10, 1944, in Palmdale, Jody was a graduate of Big Pine High School, where she was labeled "most likely to succeed."
True to that label, she had an accomplishment-filled career. "jody had a great deal of drive," said her husband, Mike Patterson. "She was open to business, adventure, all-around remarkable girl."
Early in her career, Jody worked in Los Angeles as a TV actress and game-show hostess for Goodson-Todman Productions of New York. Later, she learned how to fly and became an instructor at ground school in Rosamond, where through the Cyclops Program she helped one-eyed pilots earn their flight certifications.
Her involvement in politics included work for the Kern County Board of Trade and on several political campaigns.
She was a highly successful realtor when she made a fateful visit to Cerro Gordo, the celebrated mining town that had turned out $2 million worth of lead-silver bullion in 1874 alone.
"Iíve come to believe very strongly in destiny," she said later. "In 1973 my uncle, who owned Cerro Gordo then, asked me to help him out in a financial bind. I became a silent partner until 1984, when I bought the rest of the property."
Although Jodyís association with Cerro Gordo had begun as a good deed, she rapidly grew to love the idea of owning a piece of history. She abandoned her glamorous business attire for jeans and a big smile restoration project.
"She was one of those rare people who made you feel you were the most important person in her life," said Dr. Jean Bennett, a close friend of Jodyís. "She was wonderful at making people feel welcome."
Over the years Jody and Mike spent many hours planning the future of Cerro Gordo. After she became ill, the future of the project was a prime concern.
"We agreed that her friends and I would carry on the restoration and the educational activities at Cerro Gordo," Mike said. "The youth camps, photo workshops, and mineral symposiums that go on there were always very important to her."
To keep the memory of Jody alive at Cerro Gordo, her friends have set up a memorial fund for contributions in lieu of flowers. Checks may be made out to the Jody Stewart-Patterson Memorial Fund and sent to Jean Bennett, 1275 Sage Court, Ridgecrest, CA, 93555. For more information, call (760) 446-4339.
In addition to her husband, Jody is survived by her brother, Robert Hardin of Houston, Texas; her uncle, Cecil Smith, and his wife, Marge, of Lancaster; her aunt Marguerite Fourney in Bullhead City, Ariz.; her cousin Roger Sprague in Salt Lake City, Utah and numerous cousins."