MENDOTA - Judith “Judy” May (Warren) Brown, 82, of Geneva and Bigfork, Mont. and formerly of Oak Park, passed away peacefully at home in Geneva, surrounded by family on June 24, 2021 after a valiant six-year battle with gallbladder cancer.
Funeral services will be held at the Merritt Funeral Home in Mendota on Wednesday, June 30 at 11 a.m. with Rev. Mary Bohall officiating. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. Burial will be at Restland Cemetery, Mendota followed by a luncheon at the Mendota Civic Center.
Judy, the third of four children, was born Feb. 1, 1939 in Melrose Park to Dr. Robert Nicholas “Nick” and May Bell (Hansen) Warren. She married James “Jim” Brown of Mendota on Feb. 6, 1960.
Survivors include her devoted husband of 61 years, James Brown; three adoring sons, Robert (Kylie), Peter (Susan) and Brett (Laura); six wonderful grandchildren, Peter Jacob (Sonia), David, Benjamin (Shaina), Alexander, Rachel and Michelle; her adorable great-grandson, Austin; and three loving siblings, Margaret “Peg” Schultz of Downer’s Grove, Carl Warren of Ridgefield, Conn. and Mary Boen of Geneva.
In her youth, Judy worked at her father’s dental practice, attended First Congregational Church, participated in the Girls Athletic Association, and graduated from Proviso High School in Maywood. She often reminisced about the special confidant she found in her attentive maternal grandmother in those early formidable years. After high school, Judy enrolled at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and joined the Delta Gamma Sorority. While at U of I, she fell for a hunky and doting football player, James “Jim” Brown of Mendota. When they wed, it was only the beginning of an inseparable 61-year marriage. Judy was the encouraging mother of three handsome sons. With her cockapoo, “Charlie Brown” at her side, she created a warm and hospitable home for her husband and sons. Even as they left her nest, she remained her sons’ biggest cheerleader. Judy supported her husband’s career as a football coach and athletic director as it took them to Melrose Park, back to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and finally to Oak Park and River Forest High School. Her gregarious nature made her a shoo-in for working at the OPRFHS book store and taking tickets for sporting events. She spent every fall rooting for both U of I and Chicago Bears football teams. In 1991, Judy and Jim purchased a second home in Big Fork, Mont. where they spent half of every year for the next 30 years. They often hosted family and friends, taking their visitors hiking, fishing, rafting, snowshoeing, and skiing around Glacier National Park. In 2002, they replaced their Oak Park home for a townhouse on Ginger Lane in Geneva. Judy loved playing cards with her “Ginger Lane ladies” on Wednesdays as well as her friends, Judy and Roger Garrigues of Oak Park on Tuesdays. She was generous and neighborly, never returning an empty Tupperware without an additional treat and “Thank You” note. She was an eternal optimist sharing a lifetime of gracious and encouraging words and gestures. Judy lives on in the hearts and minds of all of those who were fortunate enough to know her.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the fundraising efforts of childhood cancer survivor, Megan Bugg, who Judy admired as a source of strength, hope, and inspiration during her own battle with cancer (https://cc-tdi.kindful.com/?campaign:1119113).
Online condolences may be left at www.merrittfh.com.