She Will Forever Be Missed
This site was created in memory of our Judith Martin. A loving wife, mother and grandmother and amazing woman.
Born in Chicago, IL
March 20, 1935
This is not a conventional obituary because Judith Martin was never a conventional woman
On March 20, 1935, Judith was born to Gertrude and Elmer Moore. Judy always said her Dad was expecting a boy (Elmer's intuition was off by a few years - his baby boy, Gary, joined the family in 1943). She loved to tell the story of how her Dad would take her to an upscale men-only bar in downtown Chicago, treating her as one of the guys. She credits this experience to always believing she could do anything a man could do.
Judy's Mom, Gertrude, taught her how to swim and she became a little fish. Throughout her life, you could find Judy swimming and snorkeling and she was on the synchronized swim team in school. Her mother, a writer, and artist - also passed those traits on to Judy.
A blind date on April fools may not sound like the beginnings of a 70-year romance, but that is how it started for Judy and Fred. The date was at a square dance at the local Moose Lodge. Judy took Fred to meet her very imposing father and the other lodge members - talk about an intimidating first date! But family was so important to Judy. The right guy would have to pass the family test, which is why Fred was invited to a camping trip when he was dating Judy - even though he didn't know it at the time, it was a test to see if he would fit into the family - luckily he passed. Of course, always fashionable, Judy was a little concerned about Fred's wardrobe choices and the fact he only seemed to talk about cars, but luckily she saw past that to the man she would go on to marry. Fred was so smitten with Judy he would hitchhike from Norfolk, Virginia, to Chicago to see her on his leave from the Navy.
From this epic romance came a family - first David, then Jill, then Jane and Freddy. As kids, they knew Judy would support them in all they pursued. She was always cheering at their sporting events or indulging their interest in new hobbies. Judy wasn’t a pushover, though, she would push the kids to do their best and get out of their comfort zones to try new things. Her goal was to raise David, Jill, Jane, and Freddy as independent and unique humans.
Judy had an eye for real estate, and she was the driving force behind moving to the beach house in Cedar Grove. By design, she chose a place that was a little remote and surrounded by the beauty of nature, but the house was always filled with people. It was the kind of home that people felt at ease in - friends of David, Jill, Jane, and Freddy all have memories of time spent on the beach. In some cases, Judy became a quirky second Mom. The house was decorated in Judy’s one-of-a-kind style, from a hot tub in the living room, to a picnic table in the kitchen to custom furniture she and Fred made
themselves. To add to the bohemian vibe, Judy embellished it with artifacts from their travels and her original artwork.
Unusual and quirky would best describe Judy’s artwork - she worked mostly with paints and clay, although she would craft with sewing, macrame, beadwork, and found objects like wood and shells. Judy also kept extensive diaries with thoughts, sketches, and details of her life. Imagination was key to Judy - she encouraged her children to make-believe and indulge in creative activities.
Intuitively, Judy knew that the core of a strong family was creating traditions to help build a sense of belonging and meaning. Christmas trees with a ton of tinsel and homemade ornaments and beautiful lighted orbs; Christmas Eve making spritz cookies and going to church to perform the Christmas story and the ritual of lighting the advent wreath. For Easter, it was coloring the eggs, and, of course, at Thanksgiving, it was Judy saying grace.
Scouting was important to the family and Judy was both a Boy Scout Den Mother and a Girl Scout Troop Leader. Volunteering her time to empower girls and boys to reach their potential through building life and leadership skills. Judy oversaw countless sleepaway camping trips, entertaining the girls with stories around the campfire, crafts, and nature hikes. And then there was the time she had the girls put on a fashion show using flashlights as spotlights and having them twirl down the “runway” in their pajamas.
Judy was a great Mom, but she was also so much more. In 1974, she earned her college degree in education - graduating in 3 1/2 years while raising kids. During this time, Fred was on the road four days a week, and yet, she still managed to graduate on the Dean's List. At this point in life, Fred realized he really married up!
With her degree in hand, Judy could finally pursue a career of her own. She chose to become an Adult Education Counselor - helping adults change their lives by going back to school. Judy blossomed when she started working - she had found a purpose in life. She told Fred it was her perfect job because she could tell people what to do and get paid for it.
From a young age, Judy loved to travel, and her preferred method when young was camping. Judy instilled a love of nature and our national parks into all of her kids. It wasn’t all camping, though, trips to cities, museums, and other cultural events like the family trip to the 1967 World’s Fair with Fred, 10-year-old David, 6-year-old Jill, and 5-month-old Jane all in tow. Having a family never slowed down the adventure! Of course, not all the trips were 100% perfect - there were trips through deserts with no air conditioning and many the navigational hiccup (as this was all pre-GPS) and who can forget the time, with kids in tow, Judy drove the highest pass in the U.S.A which is, in truth, a donkey trail - which meant the aforementioned children ended up pushing the car to make it through.
Her sense of adventure continued throughout her life - she and Fred visited all 50 states as well as 5 continents and 63 countries including less traveled places like Greenland, Brunei, and The Gambia. For Judy, planning and documenting the journey was an art form. She would plan itineraries and make all the reservations - researching each location to hit all the best sights at all the best times. She loved getting all the details right. And afterward, she filled scrapbooks and journals with her travel thoughts and reviews - including a whole journal of the various concerts at Branson with star ratings included! Greece, England, China, Prague, and of course, her beloved Paris all have a journal filled with her memories of the trip.
Judy also loved her fast cars. Her first muscle car was a school bus yellow Z28 - not the normal “mom” car in the neighborhood. She went on to own a green Firebird TransAm, a supercharged Buick, and, after many years of waiting, she eventually got her red Corvette (and a few white ones, too). Pedal to the metal and speeding through the turns, Judy loved to drive fast and furious.
When Judy was pregnant with David, she had to hide that fact to keep her job and that experience cemented her lifelong activism to help others. Judy was known to be rebellious and ahead of her time, she was a feminist before it was trendy. She participated in demonstrations for women's rights and ending the Vietnam War. During the 1960s, Judy and Fred joined an organized group to protest neighborhood realtors not showing homes to African Americans. Judy was passionate about many causes, and she always believed awareness was not enough - she believed in doing something. Whether it was the environmental group, Save Our Shores, where she went with a coalition to study water levels at the Niagara Water Basin or becoming a founding member and President of the Marco Island Historical Society to help bring the Marco Cat back from the Smithsonian - Judy walked the walk and rose to positions of leadership. She became the first woman Elder in the Cedar Grove Presbyterian Church and participated in the General Assembly in the 70s. Later in life, she became the Women's Group Coordinator for the Peace River Presbytery visiting churches throughout the region to help advise and support. In this role, she changed attitudes from just giving money to doing hands-on work. Judy was also active in the American Association of University Women, which helps women attend higher education through scholarships.
There was also a fun side to Judy, and that came out through her love of social clubs - multiple books clubs, dinner club, wine club, and lunch bunch. In her teens, she corralled her girlfriends into becoming a social club and pooling their money to go out on the town. She founded the Loose Pages book club on Marco Island, inviting in newcomers with welcome arms. Judy will always be remembered by friends as outspoken in her beliefs and committed to her values.
For the last 11 years of her life - Judy had Alzheimer's disease. But that didn't stop her love of life. Judy continued to appreciate art and, although she was not able to paint - she spent hours coloring with particular attention paid to color selection. Even as the disease started to take her vocabulary, Judy still imparted wisdom and advice. Whether weighing in on how to select a college (choose for yourself, not your mother), giving dating advice (make sure you like the parents as much as the girl), or simply picking out the right piece of furniture (something soft but not too close to the ground), you could on Judy to be honest and insightful - drawing from some deep well of stored knowledge.
And she loved to give compliments. Her philosophy was that if she could make someone smile, why wouldn’t she. But there was always truth in her comments - if she didn’t think your clothing matched; well, she would let you know that too. She was especially fond of babies and would take any opportunity to interact with them and give compliments to their parents if the children were well behaved or dressed in a cute outfit. Of course, her great-grandkids were the light of her life and she spent countless hours enjoying their company.
To the very end, Judy and Fred would enjoy nightly walks holding hands and a cocktail while watching the sunset. Many an evening, while watching their favorite shows, Judy would reach over and grab Fred’s hand, telling him how much she loved him.
Legacies are not born from details and facts; they are created from memories, which are personal by nature. So the stories above may be different from the ones you remember of Judy, but that is a further testament to the multifaceted life she lived.
Judy continues to live on in the many hearts she touched. Although departed from this world, she leaves behind a legacy of adventure and volunteerism; of curiosity and empowerment, and most importantly a legacy of family rooted in love;
Judy was preceded in death by her Father Elmer Moore, her Mother Gertrude Moore, and her brother Gary Moore. Judy is survived by her husband of 67 years, Fred Martin; her children David and his wife Chris; her daughter Jill and her husband Denny; her daughter Jane and her husband Elvin; her son Fred and his wife Margarita; her 10 grandchildren Alex, Nathan, Zachary, Tracy, Cortney, Alex, Weslie, Valerie, Elias, and Noah; and her 12 great-grandchildren.