Judith Lynn Merz
Judith Lynn (nee Merz) Glaeseman born July 27, 1946
Climbed her last mountain on August 24, 2022
Aged 76 years
Judy passed away peacefully on August 24, 2022 after living with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease for several years. Her three children and husband were by her side and amplified the strength, love, compassion and grace that her family held at their core and leaned on whenever they needed fortification.
She joined her Mother Ivis and her Father Martin as well as her Aunt Wilma in the next realm where their pure love will be multiplied yet again.
Judy had a long and joyous life. She grew up in Hemlock, a small town in central Michigan where her dad was the single teacher at the one room schoolhouse she attended until she reached high school. She was baptized and learned catechism at Zion Lutheran Church, which housed the school she attended. Much of her family life revolved around Zion, where her dad also played organ and her mom was deeply involved in community outreach. During the summers, the family would spend time on Lake Michigan with her large family of cousins, aunts, and uncles. A Merz family summer evening wouldn’t be complete without a neighborhood softball game on the field behind their house with her sister Joann and brothers Marty and Chuck.
She graduated from Concordia River Forrest College before moving to Flint, Michigan for her first teaching assignment in a Lutheran school where she met her friend Diane who quickly became her adventure buddy. She and Diane became room mates and spent a summer exploring Europe. Much later in life, she would reveal to her father that while in Frankfurt, she and Diane had stayed out past curfew and their hostel had locked up for the night, leaving them to sleep on a park bench in a park in the middle of the city.
After rafting the Grand Canyon, she settled down in a teaching job in Denver, Colorado where she met her husband David at a Lutheran teacher’s convention. She and David dated for several years and married in 1975 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Denver, Colorado. The day after her wedding, which happened to be her birthday, she loaded up with family and moved to Worland, Wyoming to start her new life as Mrs. Judy Glaeseman. In 1977 she gave birth to her first and only daughter, Chandra Lynn. Two years later, in 1979, her first son David Mikkel came along and in 1983, she welcomed her youngest son, Kurt Carl into the family.
Shortly after Kurt was old enough, she returned to teaching at Worland Middle School teaching 6th grade. One of her favorite subjects has always been history and she loved teaching a section on Egyptian History that involved a detective like game called Mummy’s Closet.
Judy took good care of her family, friends and fellow parishioners and expressed her love through baking and cooking. The cookie jar was always full of homemade cookies and her pies rivaled those of professionals. Food preparation was often a family affair and everything from canning to decorating Christmas cookies often involved all her kids. Her spirit for adventure and exploration was sated by the many opportunities that the Big Horn Basin as well as greater Wyoming offered. She enjoyed cross-country skiing in the winter and hiking, water skiing and fishing in the summer. She loved Yellowstone and took as many trips as she could to see the constantly changing landscape.
Judy sat on the committees of Community Concerts as well as Young Authors and enjoyed bringing these tidbits of culture to her small Wyoming town.
When given the opportunity to return to a younger grade level, Judy moved to West Side Elementary where she taught 3rd grade until her retirement in 2008. She loved her students and loved teaching. Her kind, generous and warm heart made space for success and recognition as she validated decades of little experiences.
In her retirement, she helped to raise garlic and seeds at an eight acre hobby farm in Miltona, Minnesota while snowbirding to Arizona where her boys live. In Arizona she joined a Rock Hound club and adventured out into the desert and abandoned mines to find treasures.
She was thrilled when both of her boys married strong, independent, supportive and compassionate women, welcoming the opportunity to grow her family with the additions of Whitney and Katherine.
Judy was a kind and loving friend, teacher, wife and mama who taught love, acceptance, grace and humility, a legacy that will live on in her children.
All memorials or remembrances can be donated in Judy’s name to the Worland chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace. https://www.facebook.com/SHPWorland/