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Judith Kay Zachman

June 2, 1941 July 6, 2021
Judith Kay Zachman
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Obituary for Judith Kay Zachman

Judith Kay Zachman was born June 2, 1941, in Kansas City, Missouri, to Gerald and Pauline (Lyons) Butts. She grew up in the small city of Raytown, Missouri, where she attended school and graduated from Raytown High School. Judy attended college and pursued her education in graphic design and later in nursing. She held many jobs over the years using her artistic abilities and graphic design, but only one of them she truly loved, and that was creating artwork for Hallmark.

Judy was very creative and a talented artist, known mostly for her painting and photography. Her favorite medium was acrylic paint and she created many pieces for family and friends.  She often made her own greeting cards, Christmas cards, and note card sets as gifts for friends and family. Judy even had the honor of creating the birth announcement when her granddaughter Rebekah was born.  Although she loved being an artist and using her creative talents, Judy found her true calling in caregiving. Her nature was to help others, always reaching out to those in need, she found ways to serve and care for others in both her personal and work life. Judy was always looking out for the underdog, the less fortunate, and the lonely. Judy also loved the Lord and was active in the Steven Ministry at her church in Missouri. This ministry was all about equipping lay people to walk along side those in need and help them through trials they were facing.

Family was the most important thing to Judy, and she would do anything she could to help anyone in her family, like connecting with her niece when she ended up attending college nearby.   At one point, she moved from California and returned to Missouri.  Shortly after she moved, she spent many years helping care for her nephew’s daughter during a time of need. Judy then moved to Oregon so that she could be closer to her granddaughter and watch her grow but missed those she left behind in Missouri.  With the gift of gab and her wonderful sense of humor, Judy kept her family and friends laughing. One never quite knew what to expect from her, but she definitely kept them entertained. She was easy to be around and could make conversation with anyone. Judy was also very fond of dogs and had several over the years.

When Judy’s health began to fail, she moved into Brookdale Senior Living in Stayton, which later became Elmcroft of Stayton. Here she continued her care and concern for others, making sure new residents felt welcome and helping others out whenever she could. One Christmas there was a resident that had no family.  Judy was able to get gifts for the resident and had the caregivers sneak them into the other resident’s room on Christmas Eve so she would wake up to presents Christmas morning.  That was who Judy was. Judy was well liked by both residents and staff.  The pandemic was definitely hard on all of them. 

About 5 years ago, Judy met David Roads, who was also a resident of Elmcroft, and the two became very close. David treated Judy like a queen, and she said the time they spent together was the best five years of her life. Their life together was cut short when David was unexpectedly killed in a horrific accident last October, leaving Judy devastated at the loss.

A few weeks ago, Judy took a fall and injured herself, ending up in the hospital. She was transferred to Tierra Rose Care Center where she received wonderful care from the staff. After just a week at Tierra Rose, Judy passed away on July 6, 2021, at the age of 80 . Judy’s last evening was spent with Janet, Rebekah and Amy by her side.  Rebekah held the phone to her Grandma’s ear as Judy’s siblings, nieces, nephews, friends and loved ones took turns calling and expressing their love for her.  Shortly after Rebekah said her goodbyes and left, Judy slipped through the bonds of this life and went home to be with her Lord and loved ones who had gone on before.  Janet and Amy held her hand as she drew her last breath.  She was preceded in death by her mother Pauline; her father Gerald and stepmother Roberta “Bobbie”; and her brother Jerry Butts. Judy is survived by her daughters Susan Zachman, Ann (Michael) Voss, and Janet (Amy) Zachman; siblings Carolyn Laughlin, Kathy Johnson, and Jack Butts; her granddaughter Rebekah; her nephew’s daughter Olivia and many other nieces and nephews and extended family. At the request of Judy and David, family will scatter their ashes in the Redwoods in Northern California sometime this summer.  A memorial service will also be held for Judy on September 17 at Forest Hill Cemetery in Kansas City, Missouri.  In Lieu of flowers, please make a donation Willamette Humane Society.

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