Judy Smith, an amazing wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, passed away on May 2, 2023, at the age of 74.
Judy was born in Long Beach, CA on November 10, 1948, to Robert and Claire Smith. Judy met the love of her life, a young Marine by the name of Ken Smith on her 21st birthday. They quickly knew they were made for each other. Judy and Ken were married on August 15, 1970 in Long Beach, California.
Judy and Ken were not afraid to take chances in order to help their young family. Looking for a better life, they packed up their young boys (Ken and Kasey) and headed north, eventually settling in Snoqualmie, Washington. Judy and Ken raised their sons, and created many lifelong friends and memories during their time in Snoqualmie. Judy never missed her boys soccer, baseball, or basketball games, and enjoyed her bowling leagues and Bunco games with her friends.
In 1991, Judy and Ken took another chance and decided to return to Ken's home state of Wisconsin to be closer to his family. They settled in Wausau, and Judy continued to support her boys as they transitioned from playing sports to coaching them. The teams they coached became her family as well, as Judy and Ken attended many sporting events at DC Everest, Xavier, Wausau East, and Wausau West High Schools. When Judy wasn't at an event for her sons or grandchildren, she could be found on the golf course with Ken or more likely, on the water fishing. Judy loved to fish and never turned down an opportunity to get in the boat with her beloved Ken. Judy also worked in the food services department at Wausau West High School. She was a beloved member of the West family and loved working with her friends and co-workers. But she especially enjoyed working with the wonderful students at West. She had a special connection to the Wausau West wrestling team that her family will always be thankful for.
In 2007, Judy found out that she had stage 4 throat cancer. Instead of being upset or feeling sorry for herself, she started a 16 year fight with this horrible disease. She became her best advocate, learning everything she could to help herself and share her knowledge with others. While it was often a bumpy ride, she never complained about her situation, instead she focused even more of her energy on her family. There was not a holiday or family celebration that Judy didn't have a hand in planning. Anyone who knows her battle cannot deny that she is an inspiration and one of the toughest people they've ever met. Judy's strength through her battles allowed her to be a part of so many amazing memories. From birthdays and anniversaries, to vacations up north to Angler's Haven Resort, her physical presence will be missed, but we know she will always be there in spirit.
She is survived by her beloved husband, Ken; her sons Ken (Chris Missett) of Wausau and Kasey (Tracy Righi) of Kimberly; grandsons Kenny, Connor, Riley and Pete; her niece Linda Robinson, with whom she had a special bond; and her loving dog, Tex.
She was preceded in death by her parents Robert Smith and Claire Smith; and brothers Al and Ralph Seaberry
Special thanks goes out to all the doctors, nurses, CNAs and everyone at UW Health Hospital and Aspirus Hospital of Wausau for helping Judy through her many battles. And an extra special thanks to the Palliative Care Unit at Aspirus Hospital for the amazing care given to Judy and her friends and family in her final days.
A Celebration of Judy's life will take place later in July for family and friends. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Wausau West High School Wrestling program. Checks can be made out to Wausau West Wrestling, and can be sent to Wausau West High School, ℅ Coach Troy Fabry, 1200 West Wausau Ave., Wausau, WI, 54401.