For a decade, Chef Paul Godidek was a fixture in our community. Paul was at LFA early and often stayed late. He always put in the extra effort to be part of the community, decorating the Dining Hall for various holidays, taking on roles in Student Council skits, catering special events, and knowing each and every student at the school by name (and café card number). Paul passed away this past weekend. We grieve his loss and keep his family in our prayers.
When LFA opened the new Dining Hall, as part of the new 2007 wing of the school, Chef Paul joined us through Dana Hospitality (who won the contract to deliver food services at the school). He was instantly a great fit for our community. Through his own desire to be a part of the community, his role quickly grew. The students--and Student Council--quickly saw his sense of humour and he found himself in countless skits, cast in many roles.
Realizing we'd been gifted with a culinary talent, Paul's catering was quickly elevated to more than just breakfasts and lunches--as good as they were. Paul was integral to the Alumnae Executive launching their premiere annual event, The Grape Escape. A huge endeavour for a single Chef and a group of untrained volunteers, the event sold out every year. Paul would be cooking for days in advance, in addition to the school's daily offerings. The day-of, volunteers would stream in and out all day, from the crack of dawn until the clean-up was done. Every year, the rave reviews of the food only heightened the anticipation for the next year. Our Christmas Home for the Holidays event was also an opportunity to serve something special, but we were always struck that recent alumnae were as pleased to say hi to Chef Paul as they were to connect with their old teachers.
Paul could be found regularly joining our Home Ec classes to present or lead a topic. The Parents' Auxiliary relied heavily on them for a number of events, including their Gala events and later versions of the International Dinner. Paul was also instrumental in catering our most important stewardship event of the year--our Founders' Circle Reception. He didn't even blink as we asked him to create hors d'oeuvre magic and then transport it offsite to the home of our reception host.
Paul retired at the end of the 2018 school year to Grand Forks with his lovely wife Kim. He battled cancer for much of his retirement, but always seemed to find the joy in any subsequent interaction with our LFA community.
For all the amazing work and the lovely food, Paul will be remembered among a generation of our students and parents for the relationships he formed. Kind and generous. Honest and caring. Integrity that shone through. Always smiling. He was a friend to so many of us. We will miss him.