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1955 Judith 2020

Judith Lynn Thoma

December 14, 1955 — November 27, 2020

On Friday, November 27th, Judy Thoma, loving wife and mother of two children and grandmother of three granddaughters, passed away at the age of 64.
Judy was born on December 14th, 1955, in Green Bay, Wisconsin. In 1976, she married her childhood sweetheart, Darrell Thoma. The two met at Franklin Elementary School in the second grade and were smitten with each other. Together they raised their two children, Lisa and Bradley, and welcomed three beautiful granddaughters. Judy was thoroughly infatuated with her granddaughters and enveloped them with love and attention.
Judy earned her Masters’ Degree in Social Work from UW Oshkosh and she worked at Evergreen Manor for many years before establishing her own caretaking businesses which were the ‘Serenity Place’ franchise and then ‘Guardian Payee Services’. She later served as an adjunct instructor in Fox Valley Technical College’s Adult Basic Education Department. Her career trajectory and its success can be attributed both to Judy’s strong work ethic and her desire to be a helper in her community.
Judy loved music. In her youth, she learned to play piano, flute and oboe. Often, after the kids went to bed, the music from her piano playing would drift through the house and lull her children to sleep. As an adult, Judy played handbells in the church choir and then in the professional handbell group, Encore! Handbell Ensemble. When Judy played handbells, she was happy and found a musical family that she cherished. Her friends and family enjoyed seeing her perform in concert; especially during the Holiday season.
At Algoma Boulevard United Methodist Church, Judy found a rich and rewarding community. There, she began teaching Sunday School classes to children as a teenager filling in for another teacher’s maternity leave. She taught Sunday School for nearly 50 years and was involved in numerous mission trips, bake sales, and church choirs, as well as serving on many committees. Judy believed in the importance of the church’s community in spreading the light of God’s love.
She was also an avid traveler and was happiest when she was basking in the sun with her toes in the sand. Judy loved seeing new places and exploring with her husband, children, grandchildren, and sisters.
Judy also had a mischievous streak. She regularly birthday bombed her friends and family’s yards with signs, decorations, and/or flamingoes. Much to her family’s chagrin, she put a rubber band around the sink sprayer every April Fool’s Day. She also enjoyed salting people’s ice waters, saran wrapping toilet seats, and newspapering door frames. She was also fond of the fake raccoon tail in a paper bag. She once positioned Darrell’s bear rug on a park bench to fool passers-by which resulted in a call to the police. She also spent time on the TSA’s passenger watch list over an international fruit smuggling incident. Life with Jude was never boring.
Following Judy’s cancer diagnosis, her friends, family, and community members showered her with flowers, cards, text messages, home cooked meals, and support. In fact, the outpouring of support was so abundant that it become difficult to keep up with the ‘thank you’ messages. Judy’s loved ones appreciate each and every person that took the time to show their love and support during this difficult time. You were rays of sunshine during a difficult journey. In the last season of Judy’s life, she was lovingly cared for by her husband, Darrell, and her siblings. We would like to extend our deepfelt gratitude to all of the friends and family that helped care for Judy. She was surrounded by the people that she loved and they, in turn, showed her their love through their gracious service to her. Judy passed at home, with a view of Lake Butte Des Morts, surrounded by family.
Jude’s legacy of strength, grace, and love is carried on through her husband, Darrell; daughter, Lisa (John); son, Bradley (Courtney); and granddaughters: Phoenix, Penelope, and Addilynn. Judy is also survived by her parents, Glenn & Jean Steinbrecher; her siblings: Deb Madel, Brian Steinbrecher (Cindy), Susan Steinbrecher, Lauri Boyer, and Nancy Severn (Ken); as well as her cousins, many nephews and nieces that she loved, and all of the children that she taught and mentored in her Sunday School class. She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Elmer & Wilma Schnell and Sylvester & Mabel Steinbrecher.
A service for immediate family will be held, followed by a larger celebration of life event during the Summer of 2021.

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