April 11, 2021

Gregory Jodzio, 73, of Hutchinson, passed away peacefully Sunday, April 11. Celebration of life will take place later.

Greg was born Oct. 8, 1947, in Detroit, Michigan, to Ted and Helen Jodzio and was the youngest brother of Ted Jodzio, Frank Jodzio and Juni Jodzio. He graduated from St. Ignatius High School and John Carroll University, both in Cleveland, finally getting his MBA at St. Thomas University in St. Paul. Greg was the original inventor of corny dad jokes and was a lover of golf, Vienna beef hot dogs, Kurt Vonnegut and the movie "Airplane," and he was the winner of the Star Tribune state motto contest in 1982 ("Minnesota — Land of many cultures, mostly throat").

His career spanned 50 years, between Advance Machine Company and the Southwest Initiative Foundation, and he was also famous for running Red's Hot, his roadside hot dog stand in Hutchinson, which probably would have garnered him both a James Beard Award and a five-star Zagat rating if either place would have driven out to Central Minnesota to taste his food. Greg was a voracious volunteer, giving his time and creativity to the Watertown Jaycees, Meals on Wheels, the Hutchinson Rotary Club, Habitat for Humanity, the Hutchinson Arts Board, and the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council.

Greg was a devoted husband to Betty Jodzio (Olmstead); wonderful father to John Jodzio and Clare Jodzio McDermott; doting "Dziadek" to Garrett McDermott, Calla McDermott and Theo Jodzio; and hilarious uncle and erstwhile friend to many, many others.

The world feels way less alive without his quick wit and his kindness and he will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him.

A memorial service is being planned in Hutchinson to take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Southwest Initiative Foundation General Endowment or Hutchinson Center for the Arts.