Judith Ann Garbers
Judith Ann Garbers, 79, passed away at Mercy Hospital surrounded by nurses and doctors who cared for her on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, after a brief illness.
A private memorial Mass will be held at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Van Horne on Wednesday, Oct. 28, with Father Craig Steimel officiating. Visitation will take place at Phillips Funeral Home in Vinton from 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, masks are preferred.
Judy was born Sept. 22, 1941, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to parents Leroy and Geraldine (Hegewald) Boddicker. She graduated from Newhall High School in 1959. She attended Marycrest in Davenport. While working at a diner in Newhall, she met the love of her life, Ron (Dutch) Garbers. On June 25, 1962, the two were united in marriage at St. Paul's Catholic Church in Newhall. They made Keystone their home and had four children: Laurie, Lisa, Michael and Matthew.
In 1968, Judy returned to college at Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to pursue a degree in education. Mrs. Garbers was a human who loved Benton Community and Keystone Elementary as much as anyone could. She spent her entire teaching career teaching second and third grade in the building for 30 years. She then spent the last 20 years as a substitute, teaching the children of the children she had once taught. She loved Keystone Elementary because of the people in it and the life and joy it gave her and her family. Until recently, she sat at her kitchen table and watched as the staff drove to school, working on her morning crossword and Sudoku while enjoying a cup of coffee. She was always waving and hoping for good things to come in the school day ahead. Finding ways to help even when she wasn't in the building was pretty common for Judy. She helped by preparing bus tags and sewing coasters for all students and staff in the building just a few weeks ago. She believed school was the place for kids to be and the best place for learning to occur.
Faith, family and friends were priorities in Judy's life. Cooking a meal for her family or friends, attending an event for one of her children or grandchildren, sewing in the basement, and sitting around a table with a deck of cards were some of her favorite things. She especially enjoyed hosting people in her home and was known to have the table set at least four or five days before her guests were set to arrive. Traveling to see her children, grandchildren, siblings and friends in different areas of the country brought her great joy. Escaping the Iowa winters for a few months in The Villages, Fla., always was a highlight of her year.
Judy is survived by her husband of 58 years, Ron, and their children, Laurie (Frank) Sobetski of Omaha, Neb., Lisa Upah of Keystone, Mike (Tracy) Garbers of Orlando, Fla., and Matt Garbers of Cedar Rapids; and grandchildren, Adam, Grant and Aaron Sobetski, Anna and Emily Upah, Zach (Becca), Jeremy and Kalie Garbers and Aubrey Garbers. She is lovingly known as "G'ma" and the very best pancake flipper by her only great-grandchild, Carson Palmer. She also is survived by her siblings, John (Rhonda) Boddicker, Jane Junge and Joe Boddicker; in-laws, Donald (Tully) Garbers, Susan (Fred) Dumbaugh and Wendy (Roby) Fark; along with many nieces, nephews and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Leroy and Geraldine Boddicker; father and mother-in-law, Ralph and Margaret Garbers; brother, Jim Boddicker; and many aunts and uncles.
The family would like to thank everyone who provided care to Judy as she battled this illness, including Rita Taylor-Stewart and staff at Van Horne Family Medical Clinic, staff at Virginia Gay Hospital, and those who provided her care and comfort at Mercy Hospital. The family forever is grateful for the support of all those who provided meals, kind words and prayers.