Judith “Judy” Ann (Heathman) Kennedy, age 80, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Tuesday, April 18, 2023, from her home at May Creek Memory Cottages in Walker, MN. She was born on February 11, 1943, in Walker, the daughter of Sophie (Javenacher) and Henry Heathman.
Judy grew up and attended Walker High School, graduating in 1961. During her time in school, Judy was active in choir and band, playing the clarinet. She worked at Heathman Garage as bookkeeper, cook, and short order grill. Judy and James “Jim” Kennedy were married on May 5th, 1962. She was active in an adult softball league and a bowling league. She stayed home raising her kids and providing in-home childcare for others until her kids were all in school. Judy then went to work at Walker School as an Elementary Teacher’s Aide for 24 years. Judy was a Girl Scout and Cub Scout leader. Judy proudly served 41 years in the American Legion Post #134 Ladies Auxiliary. She was a charter member of the Sassie Lassies Red Hatters group and was the very first Queen Mum. She was a member of Hope Lutheran Church in Walker and was one of the church ladies who brought goody bars.
Judy was a phenomenal grandmother. Every summer she took each of her grandchildren, individually, for two weeks and spent her time enjoying and teaching them. She held an annual Family Christmas Baking Day during deer season, where sprinkles and flour were found throughout the kitchen.
Judy truly was “The Keeper” of the family and the “Mother Hen” to all. Her nieces and nephews all gravitated towards her for her loving and caring nature. She was very family oriented and kept everyone together. Family was very important to her. Judy was a lot of fun. She had great one-line zingers, was known for her spirited banter, and if you got “the look” you knew you were in trouble. Judy will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.
Judy is preceded in death by her loving husband of 60 years, Jim; son, Jay Kennedy; mom, Sophie; dad, Henry; stepmom, Shirley; brother, Duane Heathman; sisters, Nancy Hagen and Carolyn Heathman; and grandson, Jace Kennedy.
Those left behind to cherish the loving memory of Judy are her daughters; Jammie (Greg) Hedlund and Jodie Dessellier; daughter-in-law, Barb Kennedy; sisters-in-law, Sharon Glawe, Inez Enblom, Norma Butzow, Patricia (John) Edwards, Laverne Kennedy; grandchildren, Megan (Adam) Desfosses, Kale Hedlund, Collin (Erica) Dessellier, Cody (Jodi) Dessellier, Brenna (Ryan) Peterson, Connor Kennedy and Alexa Kennedy; 9 great-grandchildren; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
Visitation for Judy will be held from 5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, May 4th, 2023, and one hour prior to her service, Friday, May 5th, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. all to be held at Hope Lutheran Church in Walker, MN. Pastor Dave Smith will officiate. Pallbearers helping lay Grandma Judy to rest will be her grandchildren, Megan Desfosses, Kale Hedlund, Collin Dessellier, Cody Dessellier, Brenna Peterson, Connor Kennedy, and Alexa Kennedy. Honorary pallbearers are Sassie Lassies Red Hatters group, and all those who called Judy friend and family. Interment will be at 2:00 p.m., Friday, May 5th, 2023, in Evergreen Cemetery in Walker, MN, reuniting Jim and Judy on their 61st wedding anniversary!
Judy’s family wishes to say a special thank you to the amazing May Creek Staff, for all the care, love, and support for the Kennedy family through the years! Thank you all. In lieu of flowers the family prefers donations be made to the American Legion Post #134 Ladies Auxiliary at P.O. Box 1114 Walker, MN, 56484 or to May Creek Memory Care Activities at P.O. Box 1299 Walker, MN, 56484.
Judy’s care has been entrusted to Northern Peace Funeral Home of Walker, MN. Online condolences for the family may be left at www.northernpeace.com
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