Judith M. (Simkins) Stiel


MENDOTA - Judith Marie (Simkins) Stiel, 80, of Mendota passed away peacefully on April 21, 2021 at Manor Court, Peru in the loving company of her family and thoughtful caregivers.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, April 26 at Holy Cross Church, Mendota with Father Peter Pilon officiating. Burial will be at Holy Cross Cemetery, Mendota. Visitation will be from 1-3 p.m. on Sunday, April 25 at the Merritt Funeral Home, Mendota. Face masks are required and social distancing encouraged.

Judy was born March 22, 1941 in LaMoille to Howard and Gladys (Sollenberger) Simkins and was the oldest of their five children. She married Alan Stiel on Sept. 3, 1960.

Survivors include her husband; three children, Jeff (Kendra) Stiel, Christy Stiel and Vickie Stiel; four siblings, Jerry (Joyce) Simkins, Roger (Jean) Simkins, Richard (Deb) Simkins and Kathleen (Bill) Kirkman; three grandchildren, Jacob Stiel, Brandon Stiel and Olivia Strawn whom she loved dearly; and numerous wonderful nieces and nephews. 

She was preceded in death by her parents and two loving aunts, Ruby Biehl and Evelyn Flannagan.

Judy attended a one room school house at the end of her gravel road, then the historic Allen School in LaMoille. She went on to be in the first class to graduate from the new LaMoille High School in 1959, where she participated in choir and flag twirling. Shortly after, she was a candidate in the Mendota Sweet Corn Festival, where she was escorted by Alan Stiel, who would be her future husband. Shortly after their marriage, Alan was drafted. The young couple spent some time in Lawton, Okla. before returning to Illinois to start and raise their family. They were married an adventure-filled 60 years in 2020.

Judy took great pride in gardening, euchre clubs and partners bowling with her husband. She even took up golf and tennis to play sports with family friends. Mostly, she loved raising a family and being at family events. You could find her driving a go-kart on vacations, cheering in the stands at her grandchildren’s baseball and softball games and on “girls outings” with her daughters and grandchildren. She was an enthusiastic presence at extended family events from holidays at her parents’ farm to the family’s long-running euchre tournament. She will always be remembered as a loving, kind, full hearted person who will be dearly missed.

Judy took pride in being an 18-year breast cancer survivor and took part in Relay for Life and Race for the Cure walks. She was also proud of her career as an executive secretary for 35 years at Phalen Steel Construction Company.

Memorials may be directed to Alzheimer’s Association or Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Online memorials may be directed to www.merrittfh.com.