Judie was an icon and constant in Sheep’s Clothing. She started working for Jimalee just after moving to Kennewick, when the store was across from Winco. She was encouraged to teach classes and did so 4 days a week for over 15 years. Judie learned to knit and crochet at age 3, from “Grandmom”, who raised her and her sister, we know as Fun-Donna. Surprisingly, Judie’s favorite color was Gray; she knit alot with it, but said it was because she didn’t have grey shirts, so she could always wear a grey scarf or shawl with anything in her closet.
The first time I’d met her, she told me I knitted “wrong” and I’d gone home and not knit for what seemed like a long time after that. But later, I’d learned to knit socks from Judie back when Liz was just a toddler. When I started working for the shop, we didn’t’ get along that well, I thought she was arrogant and full of herself, “holding court” like a queen in her classes. I don’t remember what she’d thought of me, but it seemed to change in a flash. After coming to realize that we’d had so much in common, from our grandparents raising us, to hard necessary divorces when we were both young, to a love of fiber and knitting, to the belief that God would see us through all our struggles. Judie started calling me “baby girl” and I started calling her mom. Then as my kids became a familiarity in the shop, she told them they could call her “Nanna”. She and Tom, just adopted us all in like we’d always been meant to be apart of each other’s lives.
Judie and husband Tom had a true love story. Tom often drove her to work, and stayed until class was over, sitting inconspicuously in the back of the store or in the comfy seating area, only to be noticed when he’d burst out laughing at something said at the table. It was kinda cute that Judie never had to pump her own gas, Tom always did even that for her.
For most of their son’s children’s lives, they’d lived with Judie & Tom. Then, they were kidnapped by their mother and taken to CA and it took years to get them back, it was a hard and devastating time for Judie. She’d had a knee replacement, then was diagnosed with May–Thurner syndrome, after back to back DVT clots in her leg. After that, emergency gall-bladder surgery. Then, the miracle they’d been praying for, the grandchildren were returned and life seemed to be back to blissful normality. Then, doctors found a tumor in her bile duct, cancer. After all they’d already been through in the last 2 years, this was the start of the end. Judie fought hard, been through chemo, had surgery to remove the lobe of the liver the tumor was on. She seemed to be recovering well, was certain of her imminent return to work. Unfortunately, her body just couldn’t and though she’d fought hard and prayed often, she left this world for one everlasting on Feb 5th, one month almost to the day from her 70th birthday.