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James  B. "Jimmy" Chodzinski

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Memories & Candles

“I want Jimmy to be in our hearts and minds forever. I have requested that this guest book remain online permanently in a reflection of how he will...Read More »
1 of 34 | Posted by: Cherie Leatherwood-Smith - IN

“May u R.I.H. ”
2 of 34 | Posted by: Christina Doroteo - South bend, IN

“Although we met only over the phone, I feel like I knew Jimmy like a long-time friend. I liked him right from the start, from his sense of humor to...Read More »
3 of 34 | Posted by: Karen Ullery - South Bend, IN

“I just learned of Jimmy's passing and I am sad, as so many are, because he was so special and unique. I only really spent a short time with Jimmy,...Read More »
4 of 34 | Posted by: Patrick Crocetta - Chicago, IL

“Dave, Pat and all the Chod family - So sorry to hear about Jimmy's passing. My memories of Jimmy are you guys, my brother and I picking on him many...Read More »
5 of 34 | Posted by: Mark Niezgodski - Beavercreek, OH

“Dave ,Pat and the whole Chodzinski family,I am sorry for your loss. I will miss my random out of the blue phone call from Jim just to yuk it up and...Read More »
6 of 34 | Posted by: Vicky Mlynarczyk (Grembowicz) - IN

“Pat, We are so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in our thoughts & prayers.Karl & Cathy Suher ”
7 of 34 | Posted by: A friend

“I will always miss you Jim ”
8 of 34 | Posted by: Pamela Duncan - South Bend, IN

“I was reading the paper and saw the article about Jimmy's passing. And although I only knew him only him in passing for he was younger it brought...Read More »
9 of 34 | Posted by: Tony Curtis - Sturgis, MI

“So sad to hear of Jimmy's passing. He was a very special guy who knew how to make you laugh and smile when you didn't feel like it. I will always...Read More »
10 of 34 | Posted by: Shelley (Branchick ) Frank - MI

“I remember your big smile and voice and also that one time we ran into each other on a Transpo bus in South Bend after high school! You had a way of...Read More »
11 of 34 | Posted by: Jody Donnelly Walter - Morgan, MN

“Sorry hear the news of Jimmy. I am a neighbor from Cleveland St. Prayers to you all. ”
12 of 34 | Posted by: Peaches Casey - South Bend, IN

“I'm so sad to here of Jimmys passing, I was his first "girlfriend" and we remained friends threwout our lives. I'm truly sorry ”
13 of 34 | Posted by: Christine Crail - South bend, IN

“My heart is broken because my friend is gone. We sang together,performed together,cried together,but most importantly we laughed. You fought so hard...Read More »
14 of 34 | Posted by: Cherie Leatherwood-Smith - IN

“What a wonderful obituary. Jimmy was a talented and remarkable young man. Families drift so far apart these days - so sad for that. Heaven has...Read More »
15 of 34 | Posted by: Sharon Gravett - Venice, FL

“Here's to all The Smiles ...Thank You Lord for Giving Us James as a Friend ...for if James never came into a lot of our lives ...I don't think to...Read More »
16 of 34 | Posted by: Pj Linner - Friend

“So sorry to see such a gifted mans life cut short... my condolences ”
17 of 34 | Posted by: Mary Keck kabacinski - IN

“To the Chodzinski family - you have my deepest sympathy on the loss of Jimmy. For we served together planning several LaSalle High School class...Read More »
18 of 34 | Posted by: Eileen Miller - South Bend, IN

“Pat,So sorry to learn of the passing of your younger brother. May he be resting happy in heaven now.Kim Kaniewski ”
19 of 34 | Posted by: Kim D'Ambrosio (Kaniewski) - NY

“Much sadness with this news, much relief knowing there's no pain or worries. Be in peace my friend your work is done here. I will file all our...Read More »
20 of 34 | Posted by: Anne Chrobot-simon - South Bend, IN

“I went to High School with Jimmy but didn't really get to know him until I started doing the class reunions.and he lived for those and was excited to...Read More »
21 of 34 | Posted by: Melanie Brennan - Mishawaka, IN

“Jimmy and I were best buds in elementary school until my family moved away. We reconnected a few years ago. Jimmy was the same funny, caring,...Read More »
22 of 34 | Posted by: Lori Lang - Niles, MI - Friend

“Jim, my goodness, what can I possibly say? You changed my life. I will always remember the good times we shared, your talent, your humor, your...Read More »
23 of 34 | Posted by: Michelle Jewell - NIles, MI

“We love you, Jimmie. Somewhere in heaven the Angels are learning to tap dance for your next big show. Thank you for bringing some light to this world. ”
24 of 34 | Posted by: Juliet Davis - Saint Petersburg, FL

“I met Jimmy when he, Cheryl Szucsits did a show together. We did other shows and he always made me laugh. We had fun performing together. We lost...Read More »
25 of 34 | Posted by: Lenette Votava - South Bend, IN

“Great voice .Have known since we were little kids. Communion and our Confirmations together school and graduation together RIP. ”
26 of 34 | Posted by: Brian Rozniarek - South Bend, IN

“Rest peacefully kind Prince. May your creativity and compassion live forever in your spirit. ”
27 of 34 | Posted by: Chris - IN - friend

“R.I.H. You were my brother from another mother and a life long friend of 50years I will miss all of your phone calls and my kids taking you holiday...Read More »
28 of 34 | Posted by: Toni Default - Mishawaka, IN

“Jimmie was in my homeroom in high school at LaSalle. He was always an upbeat, positive person & a good friend to everyone. He loved seeing everyone...Read More »
29 of 34 | Posted by: Michele Klota - South Bend, IN

“Jimmy, from the time you were the little kid, standing with the big kids in the back of St. Stan's., I knew you were special. I'm going to miss...Read More »
30 of 34 | Posted by: Nancy Bakos - South Bend, IN

“Jimmy was such an amazing soul! You will be missed greatly. ”
31 of 34 | Posted by: Amy Thomas - South Bend, IN

“Thinking of you Jimmy. Prayers for the Chodzinski family ”
32 of 34 | Posted by: Sandy Dominiak - South Bend, IN

“My high school sweetheart...You fought the good fight and have suffered long enough. Be at peace. Much love to the Chodzinski family. ”
33 of 34 | Posted by: Cheryl Szucsits - Chicago, IL

“Take comfort in knowing that now you have another Special Guardian Angel to watch over you. ”
34 of 34 | Posted by: Tommy Leszcz - South Bend, IN


A voice was quieted today as God called James B. Chodzinski (better known as Jimmy) in preparation for his "Homecoming." He passed away of congestive heart failure and many other complications (cancer, HIV, and neuropathy from head to toe). In the last years of his life, his doctors wanted to give him a double hip replacement and possible knee surgeries. He decided not to have drastic surgeries, he just wanted his last days to be of quality of life (instead of quantity of life) - and just be made comfortable. Jimmy was born July 18, 1961, to Chester and Dolores Chodzinski, both whom preceded him in death. He was also preceded in death by a brother, Stephen; and two nieces, Amy and Melissa Chodzinski, who died in car accidents three years, five days apart. He is survived by four older brothers, Thomas (Vicki), Timothy, Patrick and David (Alice); six nephews, Andrew (Amy), Adam, Jacob (Britney), Ronnie, Robert, and Jarred Mihaila; two nieces, Jenny Roth and Sarah Mercado; four great-nephews, Logan and Wyatt Chodzinski, Alex and Jacob Roth; and two great-nieces, Cora and Olivia.

Personal things were added to make my "Homecoming" special. Such as friends and family may say reflections or expressions (those people who chose to do this, I thank wholeheartedly). A very personal poem, "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost will be read by a very special someone in my life (thank you Michelle Jewell). My published and copywritten works will be added to my tombstone. All of this will make my homecoming special. A special thank you to Barbra Streisand whose music and four songs were "my choice." I just want my family and friends to stop, sit, and listen to the most beautiful words and mostly the meaning accompanied with the most perfect melodic music.

Jimmy's homecoming will be celebrated with a visitation from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, November 8, 2016 at Kaniewski Funeral Home, 3545 N. Bendix Drive, where a rosary will be prayed at 5:00 p.m. A private Catholic Funeral Service will take place with burial in St. Joseph Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be directed to the Humane Society of St. Joseph County or the Northern Indiana Food Bank.

Jimmy moved back from Chicago and on August 6,1996, he moved home to help his father. In a short time he toured around with musicals. Loving musical theatre, he kept a home base in Chicago/Michigan City, Canada and New York. He worked as a cake decorator, baker, window set designer for shows and for Bergdorf-Goodman of New York. He was a writer, having four books of poems published from 1999-present and a book about AIDS and other short stories. Though he didn't sing much lately, he missed it, but he had done a lot in his life and was proud of his accomplishments. Jimmy would like to give thanks to My B.B. Charone, Logan, John Shockey, Rob Schultz, Loretta Gnievicki, Eddy Magdalinski, and Mary (Jody) Brunner. To all of The Kaniewski Family, Leeah Hopper, Catina Groves, Dr. Klaus (cancer doctor), Dr. Ron Nelson & Wonderful Staff (cardiologist), Dr. Meredith Wierman, Dr. Robert Clausen, Gladys Johnson, Mike Lysik & The Whole Lysik Family, Melonie Haugel, Dan Martin, Toni De Fault, Jr. Perez, Class of 1980 - I love you all. Thank you for caring and sharing your time and abilities with me. Thank you to Tom for helping me with a plaque I sold to a major catalog. Thank you Sherry Kent of Kaniewski's for helping me nip and tweak. (I think I'm done now.) But also an Extra Special Thank You to my brother Tim for his Saturday stopovers with my groceries. I was blessed having you or I would have starved. The Saturday grocery stop was the highlight of my weekend. You have Blessed me immensely with your love and understanding. Expressing this and that I have nothing to give you but worldly possessions, "love to you, my brother" and..."Tomorrow!"

"Christmas Yesterday"

Drifting like a melody
Each snowflake to behold
Sometimes I wonder
Who created such a perfect mold?
Ev'ry snowflake is a masterpiece
As they fall in the cold…

And yes, for we all can remember
Though some are gone,
And some are miles away,
Just journey back to a past December
To find the joy of Christmas Yesterday.

Though this road is everwinding
I never left my heart behind
And I see you within the glow
Of each new star that I am finding...
It leads me to where you are…

It's so hard to touch what is out of my hands
And to know and to trust what my heart understands
Though I know this one thing for which I pray,
To find the joy of Christmas Yesterday…

By Jimmy Chodzinski, Copyrighted
December 2001
Published 2002