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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thankful Thursday - My Aunt Judy

Thankful Thursday is a blogging prompt through Geneabloggers that expresses gratitude for a person (past or present), resource, family history tool or anything connected to you or your and family history that has had a positive impact on your life. This prompt has been suggested by Carolyn Murphy of Family Tree Gal and has been in use by Mary Warren of Mary’s Musings for the past year.

My Aunt Judy was Mom's sister. We were blessed to have an aunt on Mother's side and an aunt on Daddy's side that were like 2nd mothers to us. Of course, we had wonderful aunts all the way around but Aunt Judy and Aunt Ruth were particularly close to us. And I've lost both of them.

Aunt Judy was born born Judith Ann Reese on December 12, 1943 in Louisville, KY to Geneva Margaret Lamb and William Wilford Reese. In this photo, she is the baby.


She had polio as a little girl and it left her with a slightly crippled leg. But her "true grit" enabled her to overcome that and she walked with a slight limp. In this photo with her baby brother, James, she was having to hold herself up on the chair.


Here is their family: Grandmother is trying to hold a wiggly baby James still while Glenn looks on and Eleanor and Judy squint in the sun.


Mom gave Judy her favorite doll because she loved her and felt so bad about her struggles with Polio. Here is Judy clutching that very same doll. Notice the rocker on the porch. That may the very same rocker that Mom has now. We call it Grandmother's rocker. It's now stained a dark brown and still has the cushion Grandmother made for the seat.

James is the baby with the long curls and Glenn in his knickerbockers.


































Here is James and Judy decorating their Christmas tree. Notice the picture on the wall behind the scrub pine Christmas tree? That picture is the same picture as the first one in this post.




Mom and Judy at Mom's high school graduation. Notice Aunt Judy was wearing saddle oxford shoes?



All the Reese children were known for their naturally beautiful teeth and bright movie star smiles (and their pretty noses). Here is Judy's famous smile and sparkling eyes.



She was baptized by her father (Rev. Reese was a Baptist minister until the early 1960's) on 4/13/1952 in Green Creek Baptist Church, Green Creek, Polk County, NC.





She graduated from Chapman High School, Inman, Spartanburg County, SC.




Here is family picture after Mom and Dad got married. L to R: Mom, Dad, Uncle Glenn, Granddaddy, Grandmother, Aunt Judy and Uncle James on the floor


She was so beautiful!






Aunt Judy in the kitchen on Poplar Street, Converse Heights, Spartanburg, SC.


My Dad was a TVA Engineer and we were living in Elizabethton, TN when she started college. She went to East Tennessee State in Johnson City, TN and she lived with us while she went. I can't remember how long she attended but it was a year or two. She didn't graduate from there. She decided to get married.

Aunt Judy married Cecil Ray Bradley on 7/9/1964 in a church on W. Main Street, Spartanburg, SC. The building is still there but it's no longer a church. Here is her wedding portrait. She wore my Mom's wedding dress and veil. Much later, I got to wear that same wedding dress when I got married!






Here is the family after Judy and Cecil got married. My parents weren't in this photo.




Here is Aunt Judy holding me when she was in high school. Granddaddy was the pastor at New Prospect Baptist Church on Hwy 9. She graduated from Chapman High School. That was the last church Granddaddy had. He began to lose his voice (in those days before sound systems and microphones) so he had to retire from preaching.
 


Judy and Cecil had two sons, Kenneth Ray Bradley and James Robert Bradley. Here is Judy with Kenneth.



Eating donuts and Grandmother and Granddaddy's.






Little Robert was sucking on a hose pipe!









Judy would play cards with us, Rummy and Uno. Here she is sitting in the floor of my bedroom playing cards with us.



After her boys were old enough, she went back to college and graduated from USC Spartanburg (now known as USC Upstate) in Spartanburg, SC. She went on to become a nurse. She worked as a nurse and rose through the ranks. When she had to retire from St. Luke's Medical Centery, Tryon, NC she was VP of Nursing. But her polio started coming back. She had post polio syndrome and diabetes. The post polio began to destroy her leg nerves and diabetes didn't help. She began falling, being unsteady on her feet, then walker, wheelchair bound. Unfortunately she lost one leg before she died of diabetes on 1/18/2005 at home in Inman, SC at the age of 61.

Judy got involved in politics and ran for SC Representative. She very narrowly lost each time. Here she is at an outdoor tea on Lake Bowen with former Governer Dick Riley. She is the one that got Uncle Glenn involved in politics and he has been a SC Senator for years now. She helped him in all of his campaigns.






Here is Great Aunt Judy giving her great niece, Jenny, a bottle.




Here is Judy and her grand niece, Jenny, at Alex's first birthday party at Chuckie Cheese.



The last photo of the 4 siblings together before Aunt Judy died.





Uncle Cecil was there by her side doing everything for her and took such good care of her. He was a wonderful Christian example of service in our call to be servants. We don't get to see him very much since her death. But we love to see him when we do. He stays very busy. Her sons live out of town and we don't get to see them very much either and we miss them.

I thank my Aunt Judy for being there for me all my life. I remember one night, when she was living with us in Elizabethton, I was crying because I was afraid of dying. She came upstairs to go to bed and heard me crying. She came in and sat on my bed and told me about heaven and that soothed me to sleep. She did so many fun things with us and Mom. We loved taking shopping trips together, going to Washington DC as a family, going to Gettysburg (same trip), vacations in their Myrtle Beach camper with her, watching Perry Mason and Perry Mason movies with her. She and I even went to Atlanta to see Phantom of the Opera one weekend. She and Mom were so tight and did so much together. Whenever any of us had medical issues or surgeries, she would go with us and hold our hand through it all to make sure everything was done right. As a nurse, she knew what to look for and we could trust her. From my surgery at 11 yrs old until I had gum surgery just before she became housebound, she would go with me. I tried to take her to doctor appts and stuff when she was sick because she had done it for me.

I learned so much from her and appreciate all the time I had with her. I miss her very much.

1 comment:

Barbara Poole said...

I was happily scrolling through your photos of your Aunt Judy, then I saw that she died. It really hit me, because she and I were born the same year. My condolences to you.

On another matter, I enjoyed your DAR article. I worked in that building for 5 years and wrote abt. it in my blog. Thanks for that.
Barbara, http://lifefromtheroots.blogspot.com/

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