Judith Coeen Gardner
June 20, 1937 - April 27, 2021
Lafayette, Oregon - Judith Coeen North Owen Rich Gardner was born June 20, 1937 to Cleora Estelle Evans North and Virgil Lewis North, in Blackfoot Idaho, the 3rd child, and oldest daughter of 6 children. She passed away in McMinnville, Oregon April 27, 2021. Judy grew up in Pocatello, spending half of her life there, going to Whittier Elementary, Franklin Jr. High, and Pocatello High School, where she graduated in 1955.
She married Raymond Owen Oct. 3, 1956 and together they had 5 daughters, RaeAnn (Annie), Vicky, Eileen, Sheila and Michelle. Her family and her children were her focus and her love for her entire life. When she became a grandmother, then a great grandmother, this focus on family grew even stronger. She was incredibly artistic and crafty with her many projects and she was also an amazing seamstress, who sewed matching dresses for all 5 girls, and all of their clothes and coats. Her baking skills were unmatched, and any who ate her homemade bread or cinnamon rolls had a memorable treat. When she and Ray bought their home on Ammon St. in Pocatello, she was the designer and architect for a major remodel project. Her creative skills were unrivaled.
Judy and Raymond built and owned a Kentucky Fried Chicken in Blackfoot, where she was an extremely hard worker, working shifts from early morning until 2 am at times, with her 5 girls in tow working alongside her, also instilling in them the value of hard work.
After Judy and Raymond divorced, she was a secretary for many years. Her short hand skills were amazing! She would use these short hand skills at home, so that her children could not decipher Christmas or birthday lists.
She also became a cosmetologist in Pocatello, where she was an extremely talented hairdresser, as well as sole barber/hairstylist for her family; she shared this talent with friends and strangers, as well as the dance teams of her daughters.
In 1971, she married Donald Rich, who introduced Judy and her girls to camping and other outdoor activities, where they experienced the joys of outdoor cooking, as well as other un-named uses for shortening cans. The girls and Judy loved Don very much, and he loved taking care of all of them. In 1976, Don passed away suddenly, leaving Judy alone again with her 5 girls.
In July 1978, Judy married Bill (William) Gardner and they lived in Pocatello until 1979, when they moved to Gresham, Oregon with her 2 youngest daughters. Judy and Bill were sealed in the Idaho Falls Temple in 1979. Bill died in an accident in Dec. 1981.
Judy remained in Gresham, as the sole support of her 2 youngest daughters, moving to Boise in 1988, where she operated a day care center for many years. The children in her care lovingly called her "Tender."
Judy was a devoted mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, who was always there to support family in any way possible. She was very generous, to a fault at times, never thinking of her own needs, if there was anyone who needed help. In every conversation she asked "Do you need any change?", which could mean anything from small change to thousands of dollars, if necessary. She became Grandma "I do" to her younger grandchildren/great-grandchildren as she would sing "I love you, I do I do!" to them on the phone, or in person.
Her grandchildren adored her, and she hand-crocheted hundreds, maybe thousands of scarves and hats for them, which were always a treasure, and are now ever more so.
In 2017, she moved to Lafayette, Ore., where she lived with her daughter, Sheila, until her passing. They were a blessing to each other.
Judy leaves behind her daughters, RaeAnn (Annie) Green (Grant), Vicky Owen-Coleman, Eileen Miller (Kim), Sheila Owen (Bob Comara), and Michelle Ricks (Martin Hudler), as well as 17 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandchild, and her sisters, Marie and Susan. She is joining in heaven her parents, 2 brothers (Lew and Dave) and a sister (Linda), as well as Don and Bill, and 2 great-grandchildren.
We are going to miss her tremendously, but we are grateful to have had the privilege to be her family. We are grateful to know she is happy and not suffering any earthly pains and she is waiting for all of us to join her.
There will be a viewing Sunday May 9, 2021 at Manning-Wheatley Funeral Home from 6-8pm. Funeral service will be at 9am Monday May 10, 2021 at Manning-Wheatley Funeral Home in Pocatello, Idaho. Interment will be in Restlawn Memorial Gardens. Due to restrictions and limited seating, the service will be live streamed through our facebook page under events.
Published in Idaho Statesman on May 9, 2021.