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Life Story / Obituary
Judith Ann Standish was an amazing woman, a loving wife, a protective mother and caring grandmother. She was strong, stubborn and sure of herself. Because she was secure in her family, she felt free to open her home to others. In truth, Judy was “everybody’s mom,” and she happily took on that role with good humor and great generosity.
Judith Ann was born September 26, 1942 in Kalamazoo, Michigan when World War II dominated American life. As men went off to war and women were drawn into the workplace, the nation pulled together to make life as good as possible for the next generation. Her dad and mom contributed to the war economy by working at Brown Paper Company and Sears and Roebuck, respectively.
Judith was the only child of Gordon and Rosemary (Marquis) Dean, but she would gain 16 brothers and sisters when her parents divorced, remarried and raised several more children. Judy was the oldest of 13 half-siblings, and she had three step-siblings with two of them being older than she was. At the time of the parent’s separation, Judy was a baby and lived with her mother in Missouri before moving back to Michigan where they eventually settled in the Climax-Scotts area. There she completed her education and met the man who would become her husband.
At the end of her 11th grade year 1959, Judy happened to be outside mowing the lawn when Lee Standish drove by on his motorcycle and waved. With the roar of the bike and the mower, Judy couldn’t hear him, but she noted that he stopped at his brother’s house just down the road. When she finished with the lawn, she walked over to find out what he had said. That was the beginning of a brief dating period but what would be a lifelong relationship. The couple married on August 7, 1959 at St. Mary’s Rectory in Kalamazoo.
Judy and Lee were blessed with five children—Lee, Shirley, Jamie, Tina, and Kyle—and a host of others who thought of Judy as Mom. Because she was a constant in the neighborhood while Lee was working at Comsumers Power Company, she was available to other families and, interestingly, to the Vicksburg police. From time to time, the officers brought troubled children to the Standish home for Judy and Lee to mind for a while. Judy was especially tough. Nobody messed with her family and no one in her family dared mess up.
When the children were young, the family often went camping to various places in Michigan’s Water Wonderland. After the kids were out of the house, Judy and Lee moved to Bay City with his work, but after nine years they returned to Vicksburg in 1991.
As her children began families of their own, Judy liked traveling to visit them, with Georgia being a destination that let her see two of her children and their kids. Staying young at heart, Judy and Lee rode motorcycles together, and at one time, she had a Honda Gold Wing and later a Honda 400A. She also bowled and golfed and was good at both. Her closest bowling score to a perfect 300 was 256. She and Lee were among the first members to join the States Golf Course Thursday night couples league in the late 1960s and were the only original couple still playing recently.
On the more sedate side, Judy knitted, crocheted, listened to old country music and tended to cats and dogs. She loved her life because of the people in it and the joy she shared with them.
Judith Ann Standish, of Vicksburg, Michigan, passed away on Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at the age of 72. Judy is survived by her husband of 55 years, Lee; five children: Lee (Katrina) Standish II, of Vicksburg; Shirley Yonker, of GA; Jamie Tritz, of Vicksburg; Tina (James) White, of GA; Kyle Standish, of Vicksburg; 13 grandchildren, 26 great grandchildren and one great great grandson.
The family will receive friends on Sunday from 2 to 4pm at the Life Story Funeral Home, 409 S. Main Vicksburg, (269-649-1697). There will be a time of sharing at 3:30pm on Sunday at the funeral home.
Please visit Judy’s webpage at www.lifestorynet.com where you can read her life story, sign the guestbook, share a memory and/or photo. Those who wish may make contributions to the Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan and/or West Michigan Cancer Center and/or American Heart Association.