Where Food, Drinks & Stories Are Shared

Judy Washburn

January 8, 1944 - October 11, 2021
Lawton, MI


Life Story Service

Saturday, October 16, 2021
12:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
Paw Paw Location
60900 Michigan 40
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-3870

Visitation one hour prior to service. Burial will follow at Chamberlin Cemetery in Porter Township.

Driving Directions


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Taylor's Florist and Gifts
215 E. Michigan Ave.
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-6256
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Judy Washburn had a heart of gold and lived her life as a kind, caring, and thoughtful woman. She often said that you should always be kind to one another because you don’t know what others are going through. Judy would give her last ounce of blood for you because putting other’s needs above her own was just the kind of person she was. Family was everything to Judy. She adored spending time with her children and grandchildren. Judy left her footprints on the hearts of many family and friends; her memories and legacy will be remembered and cherished forever.

The 1940s brought about the establishment of the United Nations, the completion of Mount Rushmore, and in 1943, the first kidney dialysis machine was built. The Japanese surprise attack on the U.S. base in Pearl Harbor on the 7th of December 1941, brought the United States into WWII. The Pentagon building was completed in 1943. For John & Velma (Williamson) Dubbeld, January 8, 1944, marked the best day of the decade as they welcomed their first child, Judith. As the oldest of four, Judy always felt she was the protector of her younger siblings. She liked to maintain a sense of family and would often come home from school during lunch to care for her mom and siblings; she would then return to school in the afternoon. Judy’s mom started a fun family tradition that would carry on to when Judy had kids of her own—telling stories about Pete and his girlfriend, Petunia. The couple would go on extravagant adventures together, and their story would constantly change as the kids made up new journeys for them.

In Judy’s early years she was courted by several young men. One time, two boys showed up at her door at the same time! Judy’s dad made her pick which boy she wanted to go out with because he forbade her to go out with both young men. Judy met her future husband, Ken Washburn, on a blind date set up by friends. The happy couple entered marriage together in 1967. Judy and Ken had two children together, Kim and Jen. They enjoyed taking the kids on adventures. Trips to Lake Michigan and Sault Ste. Marie driving to both destinations crammed in a tiny Ford Pinto. Fitting six people into a tiny car to travel is no easy feat, the girls used to take turns riding on the emergency break because that was the only spot they could squeeze into. Finally, their grandma gave them a pillow to sit on to make that spot more tolerable. Another family activity involved taking the kids to watch the Travelogues at a theatre in downtown Kalamazoo. Before they built their home, Judy and Ken would have picnics in the woods on their property.

Judy was a beautician for a short while when her kids were young. They would sit in the back of the salon quietly and help Judy straighten up the magazines after closing time. Judy eventually began working at Western Michigan University as a cook and baker. This job was perfect for her since she absolutely loved to bake. Judy ended up retiring from WMU and made many good friends during her time there. Cooking and baking were two things that always remained near and dear to Judy’s heart. She shared many family recipes. Dutch apple pie was one of her best dishes and her homemade cheesecake was legendary.

Not only did Judy have a knack for creating masterpieces in the kitchen, but she was also known to have a green thumb. Ken used to say it looked like a jungle in their house because she had so many plants. A houseplant would be practically dead, and Judy would be able to revive it, and somehow get it to thrive. Judy loved to listen to Christian music and was a deaconess at Decatur Bible Church. Judy always made sure to watching Mission Impossible movies (the new and old one) on the big screen whenever the opportunity presented itself and other movies Tom Cruise was in. Over the years, Judy took several art classes because she was quite the artsy individual. She could make a blank canvas beautiful through her oil paintings. Judy also enjoyed expressing her artistic capability through wood burning. On the weekends Judy would make her famous homemade trail mix to bring along for her kids when they went out to find the best bargains at local garage sales. The thrill of finding a cheap item was fun for Judy and she would make sure to haggle the best deals from sellers. Judy adored spending time with her grandkids. She loved baking with them and would always let them make a big mess in her kitchen. The grandkids knew they would always have fun at Grandma Judy’s house; they were the center of her life.

Judy was the kind of person that could start a conversation with anyone. If you were to chat with Judy, she would know your entire life story before you said goodbye to her. Ever the sociable and funny person, Judy was liked by all. Her delicious meals and baked goods, her kind personality, and her thoughtful nature will forever be missed by those who knew and loved her. Famous chef, Julia Child, once said, “find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” Judy Washburn was passionate about so much and lived her life to the absolute fullest.

Judith Washburn of Lawton, age 77, died on October 11, 2021. Judy was born January 8, 1944 to John and Velma (Williamson) Dubbeld. Judy was preceded in death by her husband, Ken; Surviving are her daughters: Kim (Scott) Simcox and Jen Washburn; grandchildren: Ashlee Simcox, Emilee Simcox, Britney (Chris) Steffler, Kendra Simcox, Taylor Nondorf, and Megan Nondorf; great-grandchildren: Kara, Ava, Chase, Luke, and Ella; siblings: John (Cheryl) Dubbeld, Jeff Dubbeld, and Jan (Don) Schaap; and many nieces and nephews. A Life Story Service will be held at noon on Saturday (OCT 16) with visitation one hour prior at Betzler & Thompson Life Story Funeral Homes, 60900 M-40 Highway, Paw Paw, MI (269) 375-2900. Burial will follow at Chamberlin Cemetery in Porter Township. Visit Judy’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and sign her guestbook.