Judith Gail Anderson of Woodridge, Illinois passed away on December 8, 2023 after a series of strokes. Judy was 84 when she died, but you wouldn’t have guessed it! Prior to her first stroke in July, Judy was mowing her own lawn, wrangling her spirited Airedale, Abigail, and preparing the tax returns for several friends and family members.
Judy was born on May 30, 1939, the first child of Les and Ruth Anderson, née Johnson. She grew up in LaGrange, Illinois, graduated from Lyons Township High School in 1957, and earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Illinois State University in 1961. She was a talented musician and played the piano, organ, flute, and performed the piccolo in the marching band throughout high school and college. She earned a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Rosary College in 1980.
Judy taught mathematics at Gurrie Junior High school (now Gurrie Middle School) for more than 30 years. She was regarded as an incredibly caring educator with unwavering standards. In addition to teaching, she also accompanied soloists for musical performances and tryouts and served as acting Principal of Gurrie for a period. After she retired in 1994, she served for many years as the director of a Saturday school program that provided enrichment for youth from several districts.
Judy never lived outside of Illinois, but she enjoyed traveling. In fact, she visited every state and explored much of Western Europe and Scandinavia. Over the course of two visits to Sweden, she reconnected with Swedish relatives and traced her ancestors back to the 1400s.
Judy loved gardening, working jigsaw puzzles, baking chocolate chip cookies (with the same number of chips in every cookie!), and preparing lamb roasts to share with her second cousin, Jim Palansky, who frequently helped Judy with house and yard projects. She was known for her epic phone calls and her genuine interest in the lives of her dear family and friends.
She is predeceased by her parents and her sister Vicky Andrews, as well as her cousins Virginia Palansky, Ruth Barbara Houdek, and her ‘double cousin’ Ron Anderson. She is survived by her nephew, Eric Andrews (married to Annika), their children, Elsa, Axel, and Lars; her niece, Lisa Andrews Hobart (married to Jeffrey Ulmer) and Lisa’s sons, Anderson, Elon, and Everett; her ‘second family,’ the Caylors; as well as extended family and many cherished friends.
At Judy’s request, no services will be held. Anyone wishing to commemorate Judy’s life is invited to make a donation in her memory to the Brookfield Zoo.
Arrangements entrusted to Cappetta’s West Suburban Funeral Home & Cremation Services. Info 630-852-8000 or westsuburbanfh.com