July 10, 1937 - October 12, 2021
Judy Lee Owens, age 84, passed away October 12, 2021. She is survived by husband, Ronald Owens; son, Derek Owens; daughter-in-law, Teresa Hewitt; grandson, Ryan Owens; daughter, Renee Owens; son-in-law; Patrick Hord; and dog, Phoebe. Judy was born in Rochester, NY, to George Barrows and Margaret Larham, then moved to Penn Yan while an infant. To say she had a difficult childhood is an understatement. Beginning at a very young age she endured unimaginable cruelty and neglect for years. It is a testimony to her astounding strength and tenacity that she survived, yet her legacy goes far beyond survival. Judy miraculously transformed a multi-generational cycle of child abuse into its utter opposite by being a lifelong foundation of profound and unconditional love for her children. In her early twenties Judy met Ron, a dance instructor at Arthur Murray Dance Studio. Not allowed to date clients, Ron and Judy snuck off out of town to be together. Ron was eventually fired for this indiscretion, and the two were free to date in the open. After marrying in Penn Yan they settled down in Elmira. For her final years Judy lived at the Chemung County Nursing Facility. She died as a result of pneumonia brought on by Covid-19. Judy is remembered as a supremely selfless and unbelievably dedicated mother and wife. Whether the occasion was a wedding, birthday, church raffle, or wet winter afternoon, she was a gifted and perpetually creative spirit for her kids and her community. Wholly unimpressed by fame or fortune, Judy is described by friends as exuding an instant kindness and nurturing energy that made you feel welcome no matter who you were. Quiet and unassuming, Judy wore many hats. She was a professional baker of wedding cakes. A maker of intricately crafted holiday cookies. A reliable Hendy Avenue School class mom. A Sunday school teacher. A seamstress of elaborate Halloween costumes and matching mother-daughter Easter dresses. A New Paltz Medical Center lab technician. A Westside Methodist Church secretary. A Cub Scout den mother and Girl Scout leader, youth camp counselor, gardener extraordinaire. Above all she was a constant source of awe and inspiration for her children. Life was not easy for Judy; she maneuvered profound shyness in order to ensure that those who crossed her threshold were comfortable, nurtured, and chock-full of dessert. When her daughter went away to college Judy didn’t just send cookies, she sent boxes of homemade treats to the entire dormitory floor. Her love for animals went beyond family dogs, cats, birds, guinea pigs, and fish to include the local wildlife, invited or no. If you were a wayward pantry mouse whose tail got caught in the cupboard door, she was there with Neosporin. Winter yard birds confronted with a frozen bird bath in the morning knew Judy would be along soon, donning boots and a bathrobe, with warm water, fresh seed, and peanut butter cookies for the chipmunks. No one ever had a harsh word for Judy. No one. Everyone who met her was struck by her bright smile, her sincerity, her empathy. She wouldn't just give you the shirt off her back; she'd sew you a new one, right there on the spot. Her family is heartbroken that she is gone but comforted that that she is now reunited with her grandparents, and her many beloved non-human children throughout the years--Bernard, Polly, Pogo, Sophie, Molly, Feedo, Skeeter, Carly, Rosco, Smudgy, Chloe, and all others--now welcoming her with open paws. A memorial service for Judy will be held later in the year at First Presbyterian Church, Elmira, TBA. Her family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in her name to a local Humane Society or child abuse prevention charities. Online condolences may be made by visiting www.olthof.com.
Judy Lee Owens, age 84, passed away October 12, 2021. She is survived by husband, Ronald Owens; son, Derek Owens; daughter-in-law, Teresa Hewitt; grandson, Ryan Owens; daughter, Renee Owens; son-in-law; Patrick Hord; and dog, Phoebe. Judy... View Obituary & Service Information
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Judy Lee Owens, age 84, passed away October 12, 2021. She is...View More
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