May 2nd 1941 - Aug 15th 2012
Always well-dressed and usually smiling, Judy Bierstetel was one of those rare people who put others before themselves. Judy always kept an eye on the people around her, and she typically helped others well before she was even asked. She was a great listener, who never judged other people, no matter what. Judy made life easier and kinder for her family and friends; her kind heart and generosity of spirit will be deeply missed by everyone who had the privilege of knowing her.
Judy was born on May 2, 1941, to proud parents Arnold and Casilda (Arens) Ruhl. Judy was the second oldest in a family of five, with two brothers and two sisters: Alan, James, Nancy, and Elaine. Although Judy was born in St. Johns, the family lived in Fowler, Michigan. Arnold worked at Fisher Body and farmed, while Casilda catered for weddings and funerals. The Ruhl family belonged to Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church, and Judy attended the MHT schools. Judy was an excellent student, enthusiastic and quick to learn.
After graduating from Fowler High School, Judy went on to cosmetology school. One evening after classes, Judy decided to go to a local dance at Fowler. While she was there, she met a young man named David Bierstetel, who was visiting from Pewamo. Dave worked at Oldsmobile in Lansing, Michigan. Judy and Dave hit it off right away, and it wasn’t long before Dave asked Judy for a date. They dated for around three years, until one Thanksgiving Day, when Dave proposed. Judy accepted, and the happy couple was married on July 27, 1963.
In the years to come, Judy and Dave were blessed with two children, Jill and Jeff. Judy was a wonderful mother, who always supported her children. Family came first for Judy, and she would drop everything to help her husband or her kids. Of all the lessons she passed on to her children, the one that came through the most clearly was the importance of family. In addition to her job as a hairdresser, Judy also was a meticulous housekeeper and an amazing cook. The Bierstetel house was always immaculate, and the whole family looked forward to her delicious meals. She was also a talented quilter, who created many beautiful pieces for family and friends.
Judy and her family belonged to St. Joseph Catholic Church in Pewamo, where Judy sang in the choir. Judy was interested in history, and became the local historian for their area. She also volunteered as a 4H leader for over ten years, sharing the skills she was so good at herself with the next generation. In her free time, Judy enjoyed fishing and family camping trips at Port Crescent State Park.
Judy loved children, and after her own kids had grown up and left the house she started working as the librarian for Pewamo Elementary School. Kind and light-hearted, Judy made the library a warm and welcoming place. At home, Judy had a green thumb, and maintained a beautiful garden. A huge MSU basketball booster and she and Dave had season tickets for years. She was also a passionate Lions fan, and enjoyed cheering for her teams.
After retirement, Judy and Dave took the opportunity to travel more, and farther afield. Some of their favorite destinations over the years included Alaska, the Grand Canyon, and Florida. One of Judy’s greatest joys in her golden years was being a grandma. Judy adored her grandchildren, and loved cheering for them on the sidelines.
Cheerful, kind-hearted, and thoughtful, Judy was a devoted wife, a loving mother and grandmother, and a loyal friend. She will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by her many friends and family members.
Judy M. Bierstetel passed away on August 15, 2012, at the age of 71. Her family includes her husband, David Bierstetel; her daughter, Jill (John) Peterson of St. Johns; her son, Jeff (Jill) Bierstetel of Fowler; her sisters, Nancy (John Whitekus) Ruhl and Elaine Miller; her brother, Alan (Jan) Ruhl; her grandchildren, Drew Bierstetel, Holly Bierstetel, Taylor Bierstetel, Trey Bierstetel, Britney Peterson, Emily Peterson, and on Peterson; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Arnold and Casilda (Arens) Ruhl; and her brother, James Ruhl.
A Funeral Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 18, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Pewamo, with Fr. Charlon Mason presiding. Burial will follow at St. Joseph Cemetery. The family will receive friends on Thursday, from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m., and Friday, from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m., at the George Chapel of the Osgood Funeral Homes in Fowler. Rosaries will be prayed at 3 and 8 p.m. on Thursday and 3 p.m. on Friday, and a scripture service will be held at 8 p.m. on Friday. Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society or the Autism Society of Michigan, 2178 Commons Pkwy, Okemos, MI 48864. Please visit Judy’s personal memory page at www.lifestorynet.com, where you can learn more about her life, share a favorite memory or photo, and sign the online guestbook.