Obituary: Judith (Judy) Marie Stithem
Beloved wife and mother, Judith (Judy) Marie Stithem, was born on March 2, 1944, in Clinton, Iowa. She was called to heaven on April 27, 2016, from her home in Prescott, Arizona, after her brave fight with ovarian cancer.
Growing up on the farm, she attended a one-room schoolhouse, and was the only girl of eight children born to August and Elsie Von Thun. Throughout her long medical career, she focused on serving others. She began as a Lab Tech and worked her way through college, all while raising a family. She worked for several years as an RN at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California, where she cared for many patients succumbing to AIDS in the 1980s. She continued her nursing career as an RN in Prescott, Arizona, and retired from the Prescott VA Hospital in 2003. She will be missed by her many friends and family who loved her, her sense of humor, kindhearted caring nature, keen memory, Love of Christ, and her wonderful stories about growing up in Iowa.
As an adult, she was most proud of her family, whom she loved unconditionally. She is preceded in death by her father August; mother Elsie; and brother Erving Von Thun. She is survived by her husband Wayne of 44 years; and her five children, Paul (Martha) Stithem of Phoenix, Arizona, Tim Stithem (Jenn German) of Sherman Oaks, California, Mark (Teresa) Stithem of Prescott Valley, Arizona, Paula (Scott) Williams of Mission Viejo, California, and Tanya (Dan) Tan of Tempe, Arizona; her brothers, August Jr. (Joyce), Dale (Mariechen), Erich, Roland (Phyllis), Stanley (Nancy) and Philip; 14 grandchildren, Ruben, Monique, Steve, Tiffany, Christian, Andrew, Gabriel, Matthew, Ryan, Katherine, Gavin, Titus, Leah and J.J.; and 10 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by many cousins, nephews and nieces.
We would like to express our appreciation to Arizona Oncology and Honor Health Hospital of Scottsdale for the caring and talented doctors, nurses, and staff; Dr. Downing and staff; Good Samaritan Home Care and Hospice nurses, aides, and staff for the wonderful care given during Judy’s final days at home; The Marley House (hospice) for their great care during her one week stay; and Option Care and Alliance Home Care for their prompt deliveries of home care equipment and supplies.
Celebration of Life services will be at 1 p.m. on May 16, 2016, at American Lutheran Church, 1085 Scott Drive, Prescott, AZ 86301.
Thinking of others to the very end, Judy wanted to support cancer research to the fullest extent possible by donating her body to Science Care. Following collection of tissue samples, her body will be cremated and returned to the family. She will seek her final resting place in Sterling, Illinois. A second Celebration of Life service is tentatively planned for July in Sterling, Illinois.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Judy’s favorite charity, Hope4Kids International. She sponsors a child and has donated funds for the purchase of two water wells in Uganda. A special page was created in her honor, http://tinyurl.com/h2xpeq9.
Information provided by survivors.