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Judith's Story

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On June 17, 2017, Heaven gained another angel when Judy Stewart, 74, of Burlington, Iowa, passed away at her home surrounded by her loving family and listening to Gospel music. She is now singing in the angels' choir and dancing in the sky. She will out-twist all the other angels.
Judy was born in Centerville, Iowa, on July 10, 1942 to Wayne Mynard and Kathleen (Kay) Ernestine Hargrave Johnson. Judy attended elementary and junior high school in Ottumwa and graduated from Valley High School in West Des Moines in 1960. She also attended Augustana College in Rock Island and the American Ophthalmic School in Chicago. Judy received her Certification from the American Board of Optometry and Contact Lens Association.
Judy's dream of becoming a Mom came true in 1963 when her beloved son, Scott, was born. She then welcomed her head-strong, stubborn daughter, Lori, in 1965 (wonder who is writing this). Judy was again blessed in 1977 when she became Mom to Brad and Aimee. Judy loved her family to the moon and back.
Judy worked as an ophthalmic technician for 45 years and loved working with people. Her job gave her the ideal justification for keeping her nails immaculate because everyone saw her hands (that was her story, and she stuck to it). In addition to being an ophthalmic technician, Judy also managed many optical stores. She was a member of the California Society of Dispensing Opticians and was on the Board of Directors. She retired from LensCrafters in 2005.
Judy was a child of God and her faith was unwavering, even during the many struggles that came her way. She was a member of Messiah Lutheran Church where she was a Council member and past president of the Council. She taught Sunday school many years ago and played the organ for many church services. Judy was a life member of PTA in both California and Kentucky. She was also a Girl Scout leader, a Boy Scout troop mother and a baseball team mother, where while working the snack booth, she became addicted to the long, flat taffy...the red one. She was her children's biggest cheerleader.
Judy's life revolved around her Church, family and friends. She always said her main hobby was people. She never met a stranger. If one ran into her out and about, just pull up a chair as she loved to chat. She also played the piano and organ whenever she could. She relaxed with her music. Judy volunteered at Great River Medical Center, following in her father's footsteps, and thoroughly enjoyed helping people and chatting. In her quiet time, Judy enjoyed reading, doing her crossword puzzles and, of course, watching Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. Don't even try to change the channel when her shows came on.
Judy walked the walk and talked the talk. She was a strong, Christian woman. Her paperwork in Heaven was filed in triplicate long before she arrived, which ensured her a fast pass through Heaven's gates. I am sure she was annoyed that even though her nails were done, we ran out of time to get her hair done. Sorry, Mom.
Judy was preceded in death by her parents, her son, Scott Stewart, and her precious Gigis and Junie.
Judy is survived by her husband, Don Shackleford; daughter, Lori (Adam) Bailey; grandchildren, Jessica and Joshua; grandcats, Rocky and AlphaGirl; step-children, Brad Shackleford and Aimee Shackleford; step-grandchildren, Devin, Alia, Anija, Michael and Malik; daughter-in-law, Jennifer (Jerry) Jackson and their children, Jacob and Jed; sisters, Terrie Johnson and Jane (Doug) Zatechka; brother, Larry (Pam) Johnson; nephews and several great-nieces and great-nephews.
The Celebration of Life for Judy will be held on Thursday, June 22, 2017, at 1:00 p.m. at Messiah Lutheran Church, located at 2411 West Avenue, Burlington, Iowa, with Pastor Susanne Smith officiating.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the memorial fund at Messiah Lutheran Church or to Great River Hospice.
Cremation has been entrusted to Lunning Chapel.
Judy's family would like to thank her friends for their unending support and Great River Hospice for helping Judy's family and Judy through her final journey. Nurse Mel and her team were absolutely amazing and we will be forever grateful to them.
P.S. Mom, we love you more.
Published on June 20, 2017
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