WAEGELL, Judith Merrie
Born February 9, 1938 Died December 7, 2012
Judy Waegell lived her life with heart. She was so many things; a cellist, a gardener, a business woman, a host, and a world traveler. For her family she was a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a sister, an aunt and a matriarch for an amazingly diverse family. To friends she was gracious and tireless, always friendly, forthright, and reliable. Relationships were important to Judy. She opened her heart and home to so many, from high school exchange students to Friendship Force visitors and to various musicians who needed a place to stay in Sacramento. She was motivational to family and friends, taking a deep interest in other people's lives and struggles. She believed in empowering others to succeed in life. Judy was always ready with help and encouragement.
Judy was born on February 9, 1938 in Sacramento to Bessie and LaVerne Rowland. She graduated from McClatchy High School in 1956. After studying at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York she earned her BA in music at Sacramento State College while the single parent of two small children. In 1964, Judy married George Waegell and they began their life together on the Waegell family ranch near Sloughhouse where Judy contributed substantially to the family business. A professional cellist, Judy was a valued member of the Sacramento musical community. Judy joined the Sacramento Symphony in 1965. She remained an active member, performing under three music directors and serving as union steward. She continued performing with the Sacramento Philharmonic and Sacramento Opera Orchestra until this year, as well as with the Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra.
When diagnosed with colon cancer she, bravely engaged in her cancer treatment and did everything she could to fight the disease. When the treatments failed she chose to enter hospice care spend her time at home with those she loved. From her bed, she could look out over her beautiful perennial garden, entertain many visitors and enjoy music performed by family and friends. Lucid and alive to the end, she continued to love and advise those close to her.
Judy is survived by her husband of 48 years, George Waegell, her sister Dawn King (Dave), her children David Lawson (Sandy), Dawn Lawson, and Becky Waegell (Mona Robison), her granddaughters Jennifer, Danielle, and Rachel, her extended family (including Jon, Tom and Sam) and absolutely everyone she touched in her rich and full life.
Judy will be greatly missed, but her impact will live forever. In lieu of flowers please donate in her name to local arts and conservation organizations. A memorial will be held from 3pm to 6pm (formal program beginning at 4pm) on January 12, 2012 at the Unitarian Church on 2425 Sierra Blvd, Sacramento 95825.
Published in The Sacramento Bee on Jan. 6, 2013