Cover photo for Judy Ruth Sanders's Obituary
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1944 Judy 2023

Judy Ruth Sanders

September 27, 1944 — November 26, 2023


Judy R. Sanders, 79, of Missoula and Polson passed away due to COPD complications November 26, 2023, at St. Joseph Medical Hospital with her daughter Julyn and friend Tola by her side.

Judy was born September 27, 1944, to Pete and Thelma Holder in Duncan, OK. She was an outgoing child full of spunk and life. She had stories of her childhood that she would love to tell of doing things none of us would think of doing today. She graduated from Velma-Alma High School in Velma, OK in 1957. After high school she moved to Montana to attend nursing school. She went on to work as an LPN at a nursing home, a doctor’s office, and where she would retire, Cuddles N Care Daycare at St. Patrick’s Hospital.

Judy married Luther L Sanders in Vernal, UT on March 25, 1982. She and Lynn had one child, a daughter. They lived in Vernal until the following year when their lives would change due to Lynn being in an oil field accident. They would then move to Cheney, WA while Lynn was in the VA Hospital in Spokane. Later Judy would move her family to Missoula, MT, where they would buy their family home.

In Missoula, Judy took care of her family. She was Lynn’s wife, caretaker, and friend while being a mom, caretaker, and teacher of life to her daughter. Judy was very involved in her daughter’s life growing up. She was a classroom mom for many years, involved in field trips, was there for every holiday and party that was had. Being involved as she was, she would become a “second mom” to some of her daughter’s friends.

Lynn and Judy were married 14 years before he passed away in 1996. With this shock the “Sanders Girls” would grow a bond of strength and love. These two would travel, share stories, laugh themselves to tears, call each other daily, fight but make up as moms and daughters do, become true friends as they grew older.

Judy’s life changed drastically in July of 2021 when she welcomed her new title as Grammy to her granddaughter Dalyn. It took 37 years for this blessing to come and Dalyn was the light of her life. No matter what was going on or how she was truly feeling she’d make sure she was there for her baby. Her and her friend (Julyn’s mother-in-law) Sheila were a babysitting tag team. They’d travel to Polson to take care of their girl. Judy will forever be Grammy and took in every second of every moment with this child.

She is preceded in death by parents and her husband Lynn. Also, her fur babies Henry and Charlie.

She is survived by her daughter Julyn (Dan) and granddaughter Dalyn of Polson, MT; step-grandchildren Bryce of Missoula and Bailey of Polson; sister Sue Sisson (Richard) of South Dakota, and along with many extended family members and friends.

This is not all of Judy’s life. If you knew her- was always busy, spunky, and full of life. She loved being around family/friends, laughing, telling stories, and just enjoying the company. She was a caregiver until the day she passed. She took care of so many- taking them to appointments, to the store, making sure they always had what they needed. Even held their hands as they said goodbye to the world around them. She had a big heart, and you could feel it.

At Judy’s request she will be cremated by The Lake Funeral Home and ashes will be interned with her husband at the VA Cemetery in Missoula. No services will be planned. Instead, she wants everyone to go out and enjoy life. Think of her and smile, share a story and smile, do something for someone else and smile.

The family suggests that a memorial be made to your local animal shelter or animal rescue of choice. Her fur babies were treated as one of the family and they made her happy.

Julyn would like to say a special thanks to Judy’s friends Nancy, Tola, Sheila, and Robert for all the extra love and support. Also, to St Pat’s and St Joe’s for their extraordinary care given to Judy and to the Village Rehab for putting up with her stubbornness and helping her to smile at times she needed it most.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Judy Ruth Sanders, please visit our flower store.


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