Judy Marie Wilson, 73
October 13, 2021
Our loving and devoted wife, mother, and grandmother, Judy Marie Wilson, passed away at the age of 73 at her daughter's home in Bozeman on October 2nd after an extended illness.
Judy was born in Butte on March 9th, 1948 to Gordon and Marie Huffer. She attended Whittier Elementary in Butte before moving to Great Falls, Pocatello, and finally Spokane where she graduated in 1966 from Shadle Park High School. Growing up, her fondest memories were riding in the saddle with her beloved father, spending summers at her Grandma Durkee's ranch in Avon, and camping, fishing and swimming at Elkhorn Hot Springs.
After high school, she attended Eastern Washington University in Cheney before moving to California for a time. In 1972, she returned to Butte and met the love of her life on the ski hill at Z-T. Don and Judy were married on August 26th, 1973, moved into a little A-frame house on Toll Mountain, and remained devoted to each other for 48 years.
Following the birth of their two daughters, Don and Judy moved to Tucson, Arizona in 1978, then to Frisco, Colorado in 1980. In Frisco, Judy became a paramedic and worked on the local ambulance as well as Life Flight from St. Anthony's Hospital in Denver. In 1981, Don was hired to work at Golden Sunlight Mine in Whitehall; the entire family was thrilled to be able to come home to Butte. Judy went back to school and, after two years of commuting to Montana State University, graduated with highest honors with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1984.
While raising her family, Judy worked at the hospitals in Butte and Dillon, in addition to teaching paramedic and childbirth classes. She was an exceptional nurse and was never afraid to break the rules or challenge authority to do what was in the best interests of her patients. She loved the excitement of working on the ambulance and in the ER, but her passion was labor and delivery. Babies were her thing. Throughout her life, she was an ardent advocate for the importance of breastfeeding and did online lactation support for La Leche League up until her death.
Judy was a fantastic nurse and a wonderful mom, but she was an even better grandmother. With the arrival of her grandchildren, her life was complete. Before the birth of her first grandchild, she went back to work for a time in labor and delivery in Sonora, California, where she and Don were living, just to make sure she would be up-to-speed on everything. Nana dedicated her life to her grandbabies, drove all over the country to see them, showered them with attention and love, and was thrilled when they all moved back to Montana. Never has a Nana so loved her grandchildren.
Spending time with her family was of utmost importance to Judy. Holidays and family dinners at Z-T were always big events that got bigger with each grandchild. Her spiritual gift was most definitely hospitality. She was a true hostess and made everyone feel welcome and comfortable. She loved to plan parties and often had friends and relatives over for dinners, picnics, or campfires. She taught her family the importance of tradition and that Butte, Montana was the best place in the world, and you better never say otherwise.
Judy was the type of mother, friend, and wife who told you what you needed to hear, not what you wanted to hear. She was outspoken, not afraid of confrontation, and tremendously intelligent. She always told her grandchildren, "If you haven't gotten what you want, then you just haven't asked the right person."
If she wasn't traveling the world, you would find her fishing in a nearby creek for brookies, driving her Corvette, or enjoying a day on the lake with family. She will be greatly missed by her entire family; her passing leaves an unfillable void.
Judy is survived by her husband, Don; her daughters Dawn (Adam) Gollofon and Kristine (Erik) Garberg; her grandchildren Lauren, Jenna, Daly, and Katy Gollofon and Wyatt and Elise Garberg all of Bozeman; her brother Gordon (Shirley) Huffer of Mesa, Arizona; in-laws Ken Wilson and Sandy Schonsberg, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Judy is preceded in death by her parents, Gordon and Marie Huffer; in-laws Jim and Anita Wilson; and brother-in-law Bob Schonsberg.
A memorial service was held at 11 a.m., Saturday, October 9th at First Presbyterian Church, 901 W. Platinum, Butte. Memorials can be made in her memory to the New Hope Clinic, 320 S. Idaho, Butte, MT or to Wounded Warriors, PO Box 758516 Topeka, KS 66675.
Please visit http://www.buttefuneralhome.com to offer the family a condolence or share a memory of Judy.
Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Judy and her family.