Mother to hundreds, friend of thousands, loved by all who knew her, Judith E. (Cook) Loebel died on December 11, 2019 as she lived, surrounded by those she loved and who loved her.
Judy was the heart of her large family. She was married for 54 years to Tod Loebel, with whom she built a family via blood, adoption, and determination. She leaves behind her children: Darlene, Stephen, Gretchen, Wendy, TR, Jennifer, Andrew, Zoe, Andi, and Noah, 27 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren, as well as dozens of children she nurtured over more than 49 years as a foster parent. Judy was a fierce advocate for these children and was always quick to shelter those (of any age) in need.
Judy was a Hadley farmer's daughter who applied the work ethic she learned as a child to all she did. She was born on August 5, 1943 at Cooley Dickenson Hospital to Gordon and Marjorie Cook. She grew up on Cook Farm with her three brothers: Gordon Jr, Richard, and Peter Cook. As an elementary school student, Judy joined the high school band as a clarinet player, later taking up saxophone and drums as well. She was a member of the local 4-H. At sixteen, she was crowned the Hadley Tercentenary Queen. She graduated from Hopkins Academy in 1961 as her class valedictorian. She went on to complete degrees in biochemistry and physiology at Mount Holyoke College, as well as a later degree in computer information systems from Rollins College.
For 45 years Judy worked as a clinical chemist, advancing from a research assistant at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, to laboratory supervisor at Holmes Regional Medical Center, to field representative at Instrumentation Laboratories, to the Director of Regulatory Affairs at Tosoh and DOCRO. Her expertise led her to consulting on clinical oncology trials and work with the FDA. She loved her work and continued it to within days of her passing.
Later in life, Judy volunteered at Lathrop Home and Harvest Club. She and Tod travelled the world, often sharing these experiences a with her children. In 2000, Judy and Tod opened the elegant Ivory Creek Bed and Breakfast on Chmura Road in Hadley. She loved meeting and hearing the stories of those who stayed at the B&B.
Judy was full of life, intelligent, strong, sensitive and wise. She was beautiful, although she didn't know it. She lived an exemplary life that inspires all who cherish her memory. Her words continue to guide her family as they try to live by her example.
The family plans to host a celebration of life at a future date.
Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Jan. 3, 2020.