Death, be not proud, though some have called thee mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so.  

With characteristic grace, courage and faith, Judith (Judy) Hunter Miller passed away at the age of 74 on August 20, 2019, surrounded by loving family at her home in White Rock, New Mexico.  She is survived by her father Robert Hunter, sister Linda Ellingson, sons David and Jonathan, three grandchildren and her devoted canine companion Addie.

In addition to her long nursing career at Los Alamos Medical Center and Los Alamos National Laboratory, Judy will be remembered for her many volunteer roles over her forty-five years in Los Alamos: from soccer coach, den mother and Chamisa volunteer coordinator, to mainstay of the Los Alamos Council on Cancer and the Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church.  To these and many other endeavors she brought a diligence and organizational efficiency that did justice to her rural North Dakota roots, and her presence will be greatly missed.

But she will be most missed by her many friends.  Whether it be through morning gatherings at the dog park or intimate home-cooked meals shared at her table, Judy nurtured many lifelong friendships forged through her loyalty, understanding and generosity.  To those privileged to know her, Judy was a hidden treasure, a wellspring of kindness, comfort and sound advice.  She gave of herself, always quietly and unobtrusively, without thought of recognition or reciprocation.  That she was taken from us too soon is a grief lessened only by its being shared by so many who loved her.

Despite the shock and sadness of her cancer diagnosis, Judy's faith in God only grew stronger in her final weeks.  She hoped that the following passage of scripture, a source of comfort to her, might bring comfort to others as well.  "As for me, the time for my departure is near.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day: and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing."

In lieu of a service or other remembrance, Judy has requested that each of us reach out to someone in need with assistance, prayer or simple act of kindness.

Posted by Carolyn Macdonell on April 29, 2020
Still missing you, my friend.... it's not right that you aren't here..  thanks for the fun memories together!
Posted by Ruth Williamson on February 9, 2020
Dear Jon, David, and all of Judy's family,
You have made it through a difficult Christmas, and it is my sincere hope and prayer that the grief and sadness of your Mom's death will soften in this new year. Please know that, although the last message above was posted in August, Judy's many friends continue to miss her, fondly remember the wonderful times we shared, and are forever grateful for her unique and very treasured friendship. Judy's special brand of sunshine, which she so generously showered upon us, left permanent marks on each of our hearts. Her Black Mesa photograph, flying pig, and wild blue patio lizard that you so generously shared with me bring smiles and dear memories every day. I think of you more often than you can know and send my most heartfelt wishes for health, happiness, and success in all areas of your lives. Thank you for being a blessing in my life as well!
Much love and warm hugs,
Ruth (aka Mrs. Williamson)
Posted by Sharon Chowdhuri on November 14, 2019
Another example of Judy's graciousness is the Easter meal at Bandelier she organized for some families. Our children hunted for eggs, with big smiles on their faces, and then we all shared in an outdoor Easter feast. Then there were the Ist day back in school brunches on her back patio...first time I'd ever had a mimosa.

I do also remember basking in the glow of her smile.

Jon, David....bask in her continued love as she looks down on you.
Posted by Julie Collins on September 21, 2019
To Judy's family: She was a nurse at LAMC many years ago when I had life-threatening complications following childbirth. I was so incredibly touched when I was told the following day that Judy and another nurse had gone to the chapel to pray for me following their shift. We need more of her kindness in the world today. My sincere condolences.
Posted by Kimberly Chapman on September 15, 2019
Jonathan, David, and families,

This website is a such a beautiful tribute to your Mom! Her personality and energy really shine through in all the pictures you, and others, have shared; what a wonderful celebration of her life.

For those who don't know me - I'm Tracy's sister. I must have first met Judy when Jonathan and Tracy had their wedding celebration a few years ago (what on earth was the year?) - the event at my Mom's apartment clubhouse, and then the celebration in Los Gatos. After that, I can't recall if our visits to San Jose intersected at all, although I remember my Mom (Ardie) and your Mom, first as mothers-in-law, then as grandmothers, developing a friendship and hearing about Judy and the dogs, New Mexico, and adventures in being Grandmothers!

I think my strongest impression of your Mom is really in how I experienced her presence at family gatherings; for example, when I was able to visit for Christmas-times or random birthdays (whether those were Tracy's birthdays, or Naomi's - honestly, Jonathan, I'm not sure I was ever in San Jose during your birthday!)

Judy was such a fantastic and spot-on gift-giver, her gifts were so creative and in tune with the individual receiving them; she really had such thoughtful touches, and it was always exciting to see what Gramma Judy thought Naomi would enjoy (and she was always on target!) I so appreciated Judy's thoughtfulness and creativity, and was in awe of her gift-giving insightfulness. She truly cared so much about her family and friends!

I'm thinking of you, as you celebrate your Mom's life, well-lived, and well-loved.

Hugs and love,

Posted by John Viechec on September 15, 2019
I could say that Judy was an exceptionally great friend, that she put the needs of others above herself, that she was always there for my family and I in times of need, that she took the lead to bring Chamisa School back to normal and beyond after the devastating fire in 1983, that she was a great, loving, caring, and attentive mom, that she had great love for animals, her pets, and many dogs who became family, that she had a great faith and deep involvement in her church and community, while putting her love and devotion to her family above all else.

I could say that, and so much more about my dear friend Judy. Yes, she was special, and I don’t need to say so, because all who knew her already know that. Her life left an indelible imprint on all who knew her. Our world is better because of Judy. May she rest in peace.
Posted by David Miller on September 13, 2019
[From friends Milton and Hazel Slaughter]

What I remember most about your mom is the sheer kindness exuding from her eyes when one conversed with her. I'm 75 and not once in my life have I met someone as kind and straightforward as Judy.
Posted by Lynn Thullen on September 8, 2019
Judy was one of the first people we met when we moved to Los Alamos in 1976. She was always the first one to help if problems arose, provide support and make things right if it were at all possible. I worked with her at both LAMC and LANL.  Judy was a wonderful nurse, always professional, current and knowledgable, and with the most gentle and genuine bedside manner to make the most anxious patient comfortable and confident in the care provided.
We send our sympathies to David, Jonathan, and all of Judy's family. Judy will always be remembered as that very special person who enriched the lives of everyone she touched. We are honored and blessed to have been a part of her life.
Marilynn & Phil Thullen
Posted by A F Smitth on September 1, 2019
David and Jonathan, my mom and I were so very sorry to hear of your loss. She was a wonderful person. Our prayers are with you and your families.
Posted by David Miller on August 30, 2019
[From a letter from dear friend Ruth Williamson]

I can't stop thinking about Judy - and I don't plan to do so! She was a treasured friend for decades - a blessing for which I will always be grateful. Thank you for that beautiful obituary. I keep reading it over and over. It described her selfless, giving and caring spirit so perfectly. It is one of the most touching obituaries I have ever read.

I have always felt a close connection to your family through the years, going way back to Jon's piano lessons and the fun (for the audience at least!) family piano recital pieces. David, Jon and Judy were all accomplished pianists, and your Dad was so proud of himself for playing his five-finger pattern - all with one finger.

For decades your Mom and I shared dog walks, meals, hopes and dreams, and the latest family happenings. Glowing reports always followed her trips to visit you.

Judy's deep faith gave her assurance of an even better world beyond her amazing earthly journey. That same faith says that separation from our loved ones is only temporary. But during that difficult "temporary," may your own precious memories start to heal the pain of loss in the months ahead. My heart is with you!

With love and caring friendship,
Posted by Sue And Rudy Henninger on August 29, 2019
Dear Family of Judy,

   It is with an aching heart that Rudy and I offer our condolences on the death of Judy. Your beautiful tribute characterized her perfectly. She was the epitome of servanthood. I (Sue) worked with Judy on the Fellowship Committee at church. Judy was always so neat and organized, and one always knew when Judy had been in the kitchen pantry, because everything was always in perfect order afterwards. Whenever we had a funeral or reception, Judy would show up the day before and gather all the supplies onto a cart so that all we had to do to prepare was to wheel the cart upstairs. She also arranged flowers into beautiful bouquets. Everyone liked to come to receptions at Bethlehem because they were always so elegant - thanks to Judy. We’re trying to recruit several people to take her place, because one person can’t possibly do her job.
   Judy was always so classy. She knew how to pull together an outfit so that it made the rest of us women envious. We didn’t get enough time with her to learn from her.
   Though we know that in typical Judy fashion she didn’t want a service. We will probably have to gather in some way to share our sadness of her passing, and perhaps pledge how we can honor her with the kindnesses she requested.
  May the hole in your hearts and ours be comforted by all the memories of her selflessness and kindness.
Rudy and Sue Henninger
Posted by Don Hofstrand on August 27, 2019
I sat next to Judy for four years in High School in Maddock, North Dakota. I always felt she was a special person. My wife and I would periodically stop and meet Judy in Santa Fe on our trips between Iowa and Arizona. 
My condolences to her family, especially her father Bob Hunter.
Posted by Elaine Watson on August 27, 2019
I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Judy. She was a very good teacher as she exemplified when she oriented me to office nursing. I knew her in different aspects of our careers in the medical field. A very caring, strong lady with countless talents who will always be missed by this community. She touched many people's lives during her lifetime. A loving person who will always be remembered and missed.
With Sincere condolences to her sons and all of her family.
Posted by Sandra Johnson on August 26, 2019
Our hearts go out to your children, father Bob (my Uncle and Godfather) and all those who have been honored to live close to you and share in your life. I have just the good ole days of visiting in Maddock, ND and some great Christmas letters. Fly high, my cousin.

Sandy Johnson
Posted by Gene Bosler on August 26, 2019
I am very saddened to learn of Judy’s passing. She was a neat lady and a joy to be around. I know she will be greatly missed by her family and many, many friends. My family sends our condolences to Judy’s family.
Posted by Lindy Chavez-Sandoval on August 26, 2019
I am so sad that the world can’t meet Judy anymore! She was a blessing in my life and I Love her very much! I told her once she was the perfect Christmas present because her birthday was 12/24! She was so calming and she exemplified sincere LOVE! I worked with her at Women’s Health and she made my days go faster and fun. Heaven has a BEAUTIFUL ANGEL! Love you Judy!!!
Posted by Robert Clark on August 26, 2019
Our condolences to the Miller Family and especially David and Jon.

Bob and Kathy Clark, Tina and Jeannie
Posted by Kathryn Willcutt on August 25, 2019
This tribute/thank you to Judy was given to her during her very last days.

Dear Cuz, or Hey, Jude!

You are such a remarkable woman, and have been such a wonderful and interesting friend. Your wonderful qualities are beautifully meshed in you. 

You are kind. I have never seen or heard you be unkind to anyone, ever. You are welcoming to all, friendly to new people and old friends. You often see what is needed, sometimes before the person sees it themselves. And in helping this need, you are quiet and unobtrusive, never seeking attention for yourself.

You are organized. And you know how to organize whole things (like the church kitchen and the funny closet that has all the supplies for making centerpieces, candles, etc.!) and events (Senior Luncheons come to mind.) The Chamisa Volunteer program, for example. That was huge. You and Amy worked terrifically as a team, and you included so many people. You helped so much with the cleanup after Chamisa's Famous Fire.
I'll bet you helped with the annual Halloween Haunted House, too. If not in the building of it, I can picture you standing just outside the "exit", reassuring the terrified kids who came out, and laughing with the ones who loved it.

You are patient. You have a deep sensitivity for the very elderly, and you can listen with patience, walk with them with patience, and your compassion is so deeply felt by them.
And you are a superb Nursery helper! Holding those babies, playing with the toddlers, joyfully attending to all the big and little needs. Patiently helping little ones to settle, and patiently listening to parents whose kids may have been difficult.
And speaking of patience, how many dogs have you adopted and trained? You have a few stories to tell, but all of them show how loving and patient you are with them. (emphasis on LOVING.)
And while patience is the topic, what about the endless hours you spent on the side of the soccer field, watching, encouraging, patiently waiting for the game to unfold. And of course, you were there in an instant if there was an injury. We all trusted your judgment if ours was the kid who had been hurt.

You are an amazing nurse. One of my most vivid – and grateful – memories of you involves a person we both know, the Hospital OR, and the OR nurse (you) who was thankfully someone who our friend knew. Our friend had had his gall bladder out, and in the recovery room became pretty restless and pretty unreasonable. Combative even. In your beautiful calm and clear way, you reassured our friend, explained the purpose of the TENS unit, and slowly and gracefully turned things around. I knew our friend was in masterful hands! But it was your heart in it that I remember best.

One day, you showed up at Bethlehem.. I was so happy to see you! You wanted to just slip in without any fanfare, and that has pretty much been how you have been all these years: totally present, and totally a helper and server! Your gift of organization, coupled with your eye for beauty, and your graciousness as a hostess has made a difference in so many receptions, so many times when food was served for any reason, so many times when people needed a bit of direction, greeting, listening, or comfort. You were the hands behind the setup, the serving, and the cleanup. Your places seemed reserved for you behind the coffee bar, in the kitchen, in the nursery, in the offering counting room, in the ushers place in the back. You did not want to be noticed or acknowledged. You were ever-ready for whatever the day presented! 

So, for all those times and all those years, Judy, Thank you. You are and have always been, Blessed to be a Blessing. You have touched so many lives with your loving presence.

And then there is the family connection. I loved the way you paid attention to your Dad, being sure to drive to North Dakota on a regular basis, and happy when he came down to visit here. I don’t think I knew your Mom, or any other extended family members until very recently, when I met your brother David and your sister, Linda, but you were so loving to all of your family, keeping in touch and paying attention. When your sons David and Jonathan married, you were so happy for them. And when you became a grandmother, WOW!, THAT was when you were willing to carry photos to share. Your joy in your family is a treasure and a visible joy for you! How wonderful that your grandchildren know you and you them.

I am going to miss you, Judy, but I know that someday there will be a great Family Reunion in the sky and we will see all of this with a knowledge that passes all understanding.

Go in Peace, dear friend, knowing that you leave having beautifully touched so many lives, and that you made a permanent, wonderful difference by the way you loved the people you shared this world with.
Posted by Beverly Faulkner on August 25, 2019
Thanks for being a sweet, caring neighbor. George and I will miss Judy so much.
Posted by Art And Deanna Forster on August 25, 2019
We are so deeply saddened to hear of Judy's passing. She was truly a lovely,
lovely lady who did so many wonderful things in her life. We express our
sincerest condolences to her beautiful family.
Posted by Linda Daly on August 25, 2019
Paul and I are deeply saddened to learn of Judy's passing. I will miss seeing Judy and Addie on my morning walks. She was a great pal to our furry kids, winning them over with dog treats she carried. And so very kind to me when we lost them over the years. Our heartfelt condolences to her family...
Posted by Mary Haynes on August 25, 2019
To Judy's family
Judy was one of my first friends when I moved here thirteen years ago. Zoe and my dog ,Butler, became fast friends. Judy and I shared many walks, lunches, plants, and confidences. She is greatly missed, but I am blessed with knowing her.
Posted by John Browne on August 25, 2019
Our condolences to Judy’s family.
John & Marti Browne
Posted by TomHill Hill on August 25, 2019
My sympathies to David & Jonathan and to Judy's entire LosAlamos family in the bigger sense. I was shocked to hear of her death ystrday. I'd not seen her in over a year. At Smith's , as usual. She showed her usual vitality & energy and warmth when she greeted me with a big hug. So hard to believe this bundle of energy is gone from us.
  When I first met her when she came to LosAlamos back in the late '70's (I believe), I was mightly impressed with her warmth/grace/charm and her ability to make you feel welcome and valued. That's a rare quality that few people have. The same quality that I recall in one other lady: Julia Carlson. Judy was from that exact same mold.
Posted by Diane Hammon on August 24, 2019
As a longtime member of the Los Alamos Council on Cancer, I worked with Judy on many events. I will miss her smile, her compassion when working with Cancer Patients, her wisdom and talks at her home about her love for her sons and their families. One of her most comforting joys was the love for her rescue dog Addie. I will truly miss Judy and I feel honored to have known her. She has left a mark on my life. My condolences to her family.
Posted by Deana Miller Dyson on August 24, 2019
Psalm 27:4-5 (NIV)

4 One thing I ask from the Lord,
  this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
  all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
  and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble
  he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
  and set me high upon a rock.

My Dearest Cousins...We are so very sorry for your deep loss. All of your cousins stand with you today, and every day, in mourning as you say goodbye to your mother...our beloved Aunt Judy. Thank you for sharing her with us...for allowing us to love her and for her to love us. We are grateful for her life, her service and her gifts that she chose to share while here. We pray comfort and peace as you continue through these challenging days. Please know that we stand with you and love you. We are a phone call or text away. We will do anything you need and will help in any way we can. We loved Aunt Judy and we love you both deeply.

Your cousin...Deana (Eric and Moriah too)
Posted by John Chapman on August 23, 2019
Jonathan, Tracy, and family,

Chigusa and I extend our love; and honor Judy's wonderful life serving others. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the entire family at this difficult time.
Posted by Pat Sheldon on August 22, 2019
David, Jonathan & family,
My heartfelt sympathy goes out to you at the loss of your Mom.
I had the honor of knowing and working with Judy since 1986 both in the OR and Womens Health office and considered her a very dear friend.
We shared so many good times, and after we left Los Alamos, phone conversations.
As many, I was devastated to learn of her diagnosis in December.
She truly was a remarkable woman and will never be forgotten by all who's lives she touched.
May she now rest in peace.

Leave a Tribute

Recent Tributes
Posted by Carolyn Macdonell on April 29, 2020
Still missing you, my friend.... it's not right that you aren't here..  thanks for the fun memories together!
Posted by Ruth Williamson on February 9, 2020
Dear Jon, David, and all of Judy's family,
You have made it through a difficult Christmas, and it is my sincere hope and prayer that the grief and sadness of your Mom's death will soften in this new year. Please know that, although the last message above was posted in August, Judy's many friends continue to miss her, fondly remember the wonderful times we shared, and are forever grateful for her unique and very treasured friendship. Judy's special brand of sunshine, which she so generously showered upon us, left permanent marks on each of our hearts. Her Black Mesa photograph, flying pig, and wild blue patio lizard that you so generously shared with me bring smiles and dear memories every day. I think of you more often than you can know and send my most heartfelt wishes for health, happiness, and success in all areas of your lives. Thank you for being a blessing in my life as well!
Much love and warm hugs,
Ruth (aka Mrs. Williamson)
Posted by Sharon Chowdhuri on November 14, 2019
Another example of Judy's graciousness is the Easter meal at Bandelier she organized for some families. Our children hunted for eggs, with big smiles on their faces, and then we all shared in an outdoor Easter feast. Then there were the Ist day back in school brunches on her back patio...first time I'd ever had a mimosa.

I do also remember basking in the glow of her smile.

Jon, David....bask in her continued love as she looks down on you.
her Life

Judith (Judy) Hunter Miller

Judy Miller was born Judith Hunter on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1944 in Rugby, North Dakota, and was raised in nearby Maddock by her father Robert, a World War II veteran and barber, and her mother Marie, a schoolteacher.  It was through simple life in this small rural town that she learned the importance of thrift, humility, service and hard work.

In 1965 Judy earned her nursing degree from St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing in Fargo, and shortly thereafter moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where she worked in the operating room at Peninsula Hospital and Medical Center in Burlingame.  Joining her in the move west was her lifelong friend and nursing school classmate Judy Ipswitch (née Gilbert).  The two of them shared many memorable adventures that would nurture and solidify the more carefree and passionate side of Judy’s character.

In 1969 Judy married Warren (Pete) Miller, and in 1974 they and their two sons David and Jonathan moved to Los Alamos, New Mexico.  For many years thereafter Judy focused on supporting and educating her children.  Among her proud moments were coaching a championship-winning pee-wee soccer team and leading a pushcart-derby-winning Cub Scout den.  At Chamisa Elementary School, where both boys attended, she held several important volunteer roles, including tutor and nurse assistant, and was instrumental in coordinating restoration efforts after the devastating fire of 1983, even scrubbing floors on hands and knees the day before reopening.

During this period Judy also became an active contributor to a variety of philanthropic and charitable causes. Whether making visits to elderly community members, cooking meals for those in need, hand-sewing blankets for dogs at the animal shelter, or playing piano at church services, Judy brought a generous and devoted spirit to all her endeavors, giving as much as possible of herself and expecting little in return.

Judy returned to nursing in 1985, working in the operating room at Los Alamos Medical Center, Northern New Mexico Surgical Services and Northern New Mexico Orthopedic Services.  In 1991 she obtained her B.S. in Nursing from the University of New Mexico, deftly juggling classes in Albuquerque with household and parenting duties back at home.  In later years her focus shifted to family practice, women’s health, patient outreach and adult health education, as she continued her career at both Los Alamos Medical Center and the Occupational Medicine Outpatient Clinic of the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

After retirement from nursing, Judy remained active with a number of organizations in Los Alamos, emphasizing acts of service.  One of these was the Los Alamos Council on Cancer, where in addition to various administrative and outreach tasks she worked directly with patients undergoing chemotherapy to find wigs and other daily necessities.  Another was the Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church, where she devoted considerable time assisting with maintenance and financial matters, preparing meals for events and caring for the younger children during services.

Throughout all her adult life, Judy truly understood and respected the inherent value of people, places, animals, and possessions. She gave her undivided attention to those around her, used the minimum of resources in her daily life, treated with reverence the land on which she lived, and only bought what she absolutely needed—and only if it was on sale.  Her persistent bargain-shopping, devotion to gardening, expertise in the kitchen, and knack for repairing broken items (not to mention her ability to create new items from scratch), sufficiently bolstered the household finances to allow for many enriching family experiences in Los Alamos and beyond, not the least of which was a college education for her two children.

In the final chapters of her life, Judy could often be found on long walks in the canyon with one of her rescue dogs by her side. After her grandchildren were born, she spent much of her free time traveling between New Mexico and California for extended visits filled with games, arts and crafts, trips to the park and zoo, and story time on the couch. But as much as she enjoyed her travels, she always loved coming home.  Her heart belonged in Los Alamos, where she could stand in her kitchen and appreciate the flowers on her patio, the birds at her feeder and the sun rising over the beautiful Sangre de Christo mountains.  She had built a life here.  A meaningful life that touched so many people in so many ways.  It is left to us, those who knew and loved her, to honor that life by remembering it.

Recent stories

My dear friend Judy....

Shared by Carolyn Macdonell on October 4, 2019
I had always seen you playing the piano at church, in WR, and thought you looked like someone I would like to get to know!   Remember that I met you at Marian's?   within a week, the two of us biked over to your house to see her friend Judy.... it seemed like you lived MILES away!   But we talked dogs and made plans to get Zoe and Patch together and see how they did.    They became best buddies, and so did you and I!!!!  Our friendship was meant to be!  The timing was just right for our friendship to blossom.
We walked miles together, didn't we?  Not only the horse trails behind your house, but at Rover Park and the streets around there.   LOTS of eating(thank you very much!), talking, and enjoying our glasses of wine.The walking we did starting behind your house, on the horse trails , and through the canyon is most memorable.  You served the best meals, whether it was just me, or a crowd!!!   What fun it was picking raspberries with you!   I am sorry I never offered to drive part of the way to Mora or back...    movies and popcorn!!!  concerts uptown!!! What a team we have been over the years.   Having yard sales together!!   You turned me on to Pentatonix and Eva Cassidy!!!   You listened TO me, and HEARD me, cared about me and my family, my life, my experiences.   thank you!   Don't forget Circus Luminous and Irish music at the Lensic!   You gifted me with vegies from your garden for YEARS!   I always enjoyed your decorations for all the holidays, pretty napkins, and no one but you would ever celebrate my birthday with a casserole in the oven, a walk, and then a hat and a blowing whistle to make us laugh together.   We laughed A LOT together.   You were a daily text, or a walk, or a get together for SO long.   I am happy that you came and had a sleepover with me, while we both worked through your infusions for that length of time.....   watching the news together, Queer Eye, and having a small amount of sherbet for you to let melt down your throat.
I miss you so much and will never forget you.  I love our many memories made together.  I will think of you when I eventually visit the National Parks in Utah(a dream we had together).
Shared by David Tubbs on September 5, 2019
The friendship which Judy shared with me actually began several years before we met. My dog Rory had died suddenly and unexpectedly before I or Halle, his and my remaining dearest companion, could say goodbye. I published a tribute to Rory in the local newspaper, ending it with the thought, which Rory understood, that “… it’s not so important to say goodbye. What matters is all the joy that follows saying hello.” Judy always remembered Rory’s tribute, and quoted its closing thought to me when Halle, too, inevitably died.

Judy and I finally met on a grey February morning in 2013. She with Zoe and I with Halle were walking at Rover Park and converging on a straight line. Our dogs, with tails wagging, were drawing us together. When I spoke Halle’s name, Judy said hello, and asked if I was Rory’s David.

I want to celebrate here all the joy that followed this first hello with one recollection of special hours that Judy and I spent together. In the summer of 2013, parts of Judy’s multi-acre property were infected with dodder, which is a parasitic plant that could eventually have destroyed plants in her lawn and gardens. So, for days, as Zoe and Halle played, Judy and I worked to pull out and dispose of all the dodder. We sat in the dirt, crawled on hands and knees, and bled from being poked and scraped by dried twigs. We worked almost silently. Companionship was all that mattered.

Throughout our friendship, silence remained as rich and meaningful as the spontaneous thoughts and feelings that Judy and I shared in conversations. I have never experienced a human friendship that was so natural, effortless, open, and unconditional; it was for me a well of joy, solace, and peace. I believe Judy generously shared these same treasures of friendship with all whom she knew.

Shortly before her death, Judy invited me to visit with her at home. We shared silence, thanks for the first hello, recollections of joy, feelings of hope, and an affectionate hug. We did not speak of goodbye.

Shared by Charlotte Christian on August 31, 2019
I met Judy in 1974, just after we both moved to Los Alamos/White Rock. I was so fortunate to become her friend. Judy had a special heart that touched me immediately. She was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, friend, confidant, nurse, volunteer, dog lover,daughter, sister, faithful Christian and more. It sounds like she was perfect, to me she was. We spent time together as couples, parents, friends and worked together at LAMC and Los Alamos Women’s Health.
I know David, Jonathan and her grandchildren have memories that will serve them a lifetime.
In the words of Maya Angelou “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.