Judith Lee Haxton died unexpectedly on October 12, 2020 at her home in Laurel, Maryland. Born in 1942 in Bettendorf, Iowa, she was the eldest of three daughters of Robert and Virginia Morton, both of whom predeceased her. Throughout her life she demonstrated her commitment to family, faith and exceptional service to others.
Judy attended the University of Iowa where she met her husband, Donovan Merle Haxton, who passed away in 2016 after a long battle with cancer. They married in Iowa on September 8, 1963 and lived in Laurel since 1972. Their two daughters, Lilah Jane Haxton, Columbia, and Ruth Joanne (Eric) Huffman, Clarksville, survive her.
Judy, a loving and involved mother, assisted with many of her daughters’ childhood activities and hobbies, such as Girl Scouts and Explorers, sewing and band. They, in turn, have remained an exceptionally close family as adults, going on vacations (even one to Hawaii!) and attending community events together.
According to Pastor Peter DeMik, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Laurel, Judy “has been an incredible force for the Lord both in the community and church over her many, many years of service. Active as a leader of our emergency meals program, a Stephen Minister, Cancer Companion, Wee Worship leader, VBS volunteer, and many, many, other forms of service, to say that Judy will be merely ‘missed’ would be a gross understatement.”
Judy formerly served on the Board of Directors of Open Arms Child Development Center and has volunteered with Side by Side of Prince George’s County, Elizabeth House, and, most recently, with North Laurel Community Center. Prior to moving to Maryland, Judy volunteered in Iowa with Tri-Y (a service oriented Christian fellowship club) and Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
Challenged in childhood by a diagnosis of Type1 diabetes which in that era required sacrifices and discomfort, Judy nonetheless lived fully, without complaint. Even as a young girl, she participated in a support group for diabetic children and then continued throughout her life to engage actively in diabetic education and advocacy. Judy helped organize and lead the Columbia T1 Support group.
Judy championed social justice causes, including local efforts to provide affordable housing, restore clean air and water, and prevent gun violence. She campaigned for political candidates whose ideals she believed in and served for a time as the Columbia Democratic Club newsletter editor and secretary. In 1992, Judy was the recipient of the Howard County Democrat of the Year Award. During her employment with a Public Radio grant program, she assisted broadcast stations throughout the United States located in ethnic and economically challenged communities. And her generous philanthropy with local, state and national museums will help preserve Norwegian American, African American and Native American history and culture for future generations.
Extended family brought her great joy. She shared meals (almost daily!), games of Uno and a special family tradition of Turkey Notes with her grandsons Zachary and Joshua Huffman. Because of her husband’s profession of astronomy, Judy and her family enjoyed numerous Star Parties—telescopic observation of the night skies—at Black Water Falls State Park, West Virginia, Big Meadows in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia and Howard Community College.
Her loving heart encompassed three more grandchildren, Julia (Jason Honeycutt) Huffman, Brandywine, Maryland, Ariana (Nicholas) Donofrio, Seattle, Washington, and John (Jacqueline) Huffman, Aurora, Colorado and two sisters, Jane Weede, Peoria, Illinois, and Lilah (Roy) Pengra, Buffalo Gap, South Dakota. She especially anticipated the annual “Three Sisters” reunions over the past 15 years when she and her sisters met at various US locations to share memories, good food and fun tourist attractions.
A memorial service for Judith Haxton will be live streamed on Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the Our Savior Lutheran Church of Laurel website www.oslclaurel.org.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to:
Don and Judy Haxton Memorial Fund, Howard Community College. Checks should be made out to the Howard Community College Educational Foundation (or HCCEF) and mailed to the foundation at 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD 21044 www.howardcc.edu/donate. If done online make sure to fill in "Please designate my gift to " and choose "Scholarship", and then fill in Don and Judy Haxton Memorial Fund or donations can be made to
Our Savior Lutheran Church 13611 Laurel-Bowie Road, Laurel, MD 20708 https://oslclaurel.org/resources/online-giving/
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