On Wednesday, March 16, 2022, Judith Ann “Judy” Brown O’Donnell passed while being cared for by the attentive staff at Mountain Memories in Elkins, WV. She was 83 years old.
Judith Ann Brown was born in Buckhannon, WV on May 14, 1938, the youngest of 6 children born to Stella Engel and Stanley Brown. Inspired by her family of educators, Judy embraced a lifetime of learning, earning her bachelor’s degree from West Virginia Wesleyan College and later, a master’s degree from West Virginia University.
Judy taught kindergarten through third grades in Lewis, Randolph and Upshur counties and also in North Carolina where she lived from 1985 to 1992. She was the director of the preschool program at the Appalachian Mental Health Center in Elkins for several years in the 1970s. She enjoyed working with children and gently encouraged them to have their own independent thoughts and ideas. A member of the First United Methodist Church in Elkins, she was the organist there from the fall of 1974 until September 1985.
Those who knew Judy will remember her appreciation of the natural world. She equally admired the mountains of West Virginia and every tiny wildflower and the vastness of the North Carolina shore and every tiny seashell. In all places, Judy saw the forest AND the trees! She loved spending time with her family and friends, and frequently joined in vacations and camping trips with her children and grandchildren. She also found joy in gardening and had the pleasure of loving many pets during her life.
Judy was preceded in death by her parents, her sisters, LeEllen Best, Edith Rae Evans, Grace Hicks and her brothers, Jerome Brown and Kenneth Brown.
She is survived by her son, Lorentz W Hall II and partner Karen Kalafat of Bridgeport; daughter, LeEllen Hall Phares and partner Jack Wallace of Elkins; granddaughter, Ali Gleason and husband, Dana, of Bozeman, Montana; grandson, Tyler Hall of Buckhannon; granddaughter, Megan Phares and husband Jared Miller of Elkins; grandson, Dylan Hall of Buckhannon; and one great-grandson, Emerson Jude Miller of Elkins. Judy’s request for cremation was honored. A memorial service honoring Judy’s life will be held at a later date.
Judy loved to laugh. Her children recall her appreciation for a familiar limerick by Ogden Nash titled “A Wonderful Bird is the Pelican.”
A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican.
He can take in his beak
Food enough for a week,
But I’m damned if I see how the helican.
Anyone who would wish to do something in Judy’s honor please make a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association at www.alz.org.
The Randolph Funeral Home has been entrusted with the arrangements for Judith Ann “Judy” Brown O’Donnell. Send online condolences to the family at www.therandolphfuneralhome.com.