Judy Marleen Huffman was born May 11, 1944, in Sac City, Iowa, to C.L. and Evelyn Huffman. She grew up on their family farm, graduating from Sac Community High School in 1962. That same year she became a student at Iowa Methodist School of Nursing in Des Moines, Iowa, receiving her Registered Nurse Diploma in 1965. Thus, Judy embarked on her life-long journey as a nurse and care-giver, serving many persons as life took her to different destinations.
Judy's nursing career spanned nearly 50 years, 3 states - Iowa, Ohio, and Arizona; and a dozen different facilities. Judy served patients of all ages from "coupling" newborns and mothers to owning and managing a boarding home for the elderly. Her nursing experiences included medical-surgical teams, pediatrics, quality control, and home health care. She went from being a part of the general hospital staff to coordinating, supervising and evaluating other nurses and staff members. Judy advanced her training to earning a Bachelor of Nursing degree, graduating Magna Cum Laude, and became an instructor for licensed practical nursing students. Judy was also a master of managing office practices. Her contributions to her patients, to medical teams, and to the field of medicine were substantial and inspirational.
June 1, 1997, Judy married Joe Smith. Though Judy would always talk about her Iowa roots, when she and Joe moved to Tucson, Arizona, her daily life took on special meaning. She was once again close to her immediate family and just a flight away from her son's family. Judy's greatest love and joy was family. Daughter Nicole said it well, "You could not find a grandma that was more proud of her grandkids. She had the biggest heart and was always the life of the party." Judy would light up and smile at the mere mention of the name of one of her children, grandchildren, husband, or brother. Her love of family extended to two generations of nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, and in-laws. This huge group loved her too.
Social, fun, kind, loving are words friends use to describe Judy. Friends were many – classmates, co-workers, neighbors, and extended family. She was always ready to join in, dance to the music, laugh at the jokes, and share a glass of Chardonnay.
February 7, 2019, Judy passed over peacefully in her sleep at home following an extended illness. Preceding Judy in death were her parents, Evelyn and C.L. Huffman, and her sister Gloria Paterni.
Family members surviving are her brother Maurice Huffman (Cynde) of Davenport, Iowa; children Shea Simpson (Tara) and Nicole Harrigan (Tim); stepchildren Joe Smith, Jr. and Charlotte Chavez (Coley); and grandchildren: Cassandra Trapani, Cortez Chavez, Caden Simpson, Paige Harrigan, Riley Harrigan, Cash Chavez, Quinn Harrigan, and Mark Harrigan.
Judy's family and her many friends were graced with the great love and joy she brought to their lives. Her glowing smile and tender touch will be missed by all of us.