Judith Luden Slocum O?Donnell
Judith Luden Slocum O'Donnell died peacefully on Aug. 27, 2020, at her home, surrounded by her family.
Judith, the oldest of eight children, was born on May 6, 1933, in Bryn Mawr, Pa., to Catherine and Richard Slocum. For K-12, she attended the Baldwin School, a private girls' day school, in Bryn Mawr. She then graduated from Smith College in 1955. Judith's maternal grandfather, William H. Luden, created Luden's cough drops. Her father, Richard, was the CEO of the Philadelphia Bulletin, which had the largest circulation of any evening newspaper in the United States.
On spring break in Fort Lauderdale, in 1954, during her junior year of college, she met the man of her dreams, Barnes O'Donnell. Barney, a Cedar Rapidian, was a recent graduate of Yale University and a Navy officer. As fate would have it, Barney's ship was dry-docked in Philadelphia for the summer and the relationship blossomed. Barney and Judy married several months later in December 1954.
Shortly thereafter, Judy and Barney moved back to Cedar Rapids. Judith, an East Coaster, embraced Cedar Rapids. And Cedar Rapids embraced her. Judith contributed many volunteer hours to her community. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church for more than 60 years and, over the years, a member of numerous civic organizations, typically taking on leadership roles. She served on the boards of the Cedar Rapids Junior League (president), Cedar Rapids Museum of Art (president), Brucemore Board of Directors (president) and Marvin Cone Art Club (president), and was an appointed member of the Cedar Rapids City Planning Commission.
Two organizations were especially important to her. One was Mount Mercy University, where she served on the board for 25 years. Her other passion was gardening. She nurtured her own gardens and was a longtime member and also president of the Cedar Rapids Garden Club. She also served as a national vice president for six years of the Garden Club of America. Judy enjoyed other activities and particularly enjoyed her weekly tennis group. Judith contributed to her community in other ways too. She worked at Frank Magid & Associates and owned a children's clothing store, "All My Children."
Judith's real love and her favorite part of life was her family. She had a wonderful, loving 66-year marriage to Barney and loved being with her children and grandchildren. Her home was always a welcome spot for family and friends. Judy and Barney travelled extensively, but were always happy to return home to Cedar Rapids.
Judith was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Sancha; and her son, Thomas, who died at birth. She is survived by her husband; her children, Stephen Barnes O'Donnell Jr. (Beth), Julie O'Donnell Allen (Ronald), Glynn O'Donnell Butterfield (Richard) and William Luden O'Donnell (Esther). "Dede" is also survived by loving grandchildren, each of whom had a special relationship with her: Stephen Barnes O'Donnell III, Samuel Glynn O'Donnell, Molly O'Donnell, Grace O'Donnell, Michael O'Donnell Allen (Rebecca), Conor Jay Allen, Judith Grace Butterfield, Richard (Duke) J. Butterfield Jr. and Harry John O'Donnell; one great-granddaughter, Emilia Valli-Allen; and stepgrandchildren, Sarah Allen, Adrienne Allen Cohen and William Havertape. She also is survived by her siblings, Richard (Beverly), William (Emmie), Wings (Bob), Susan (Scott), Jennifer (Mike) and Gwyneth (Fred); and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
Judith lived each day to the fullest and she loved and was loved by her family, friends and community. Judith left our world a better place.
Memorials in Judy's memory may be made to JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) at jdrf.org or P.O. Box 37920, Boone, IA 50037 or to the charity of your choice.
Please leave a message or tribute to the family on the web page www.cedarmemorial.com under Obituaries.