Judith Kay Devich Kauchick was born on May 6, 1943, in Virginia, Minn.
She died unexpectedly Feb. 21, 2021, at home in Virginia, Minn., at age 77.
Her parents were Steve and Dorothy Devich. They had three daughters: Jean, Judie, and Margo.
Her father was the Vice President of the First National Bank of Virginia. There were times when her Dad needed to go in to the bank to work for a few hours and he would take his elementary aged girls with him. Jean played “Secretary” at someone's desk but Judie played "Banker” at another desk. Her career path was set in her mind at a very young age.
In high school she was very active in school activities. She was a cheerleader and loved sports and cheering at events.
She graduated from Virginia Junior College in 1962 then married Cyril Kauchick in 1963 and they had one son.
Judie started working at Queen City Federal Savings and Loan as a teller in 1964. She retired 42 years later as a Vice President. She loved her coworkers and customers and was very proud of her career and the work she did there.
Her son Todd was Judie’s pride and joy. He was a very talented musician. As a teen he played the organ for local churches.
He worked at the Guthrie Theater before graduating from New York University Tisch School of the Arts in 1989. Then he worked with Siegfried and Roy in Las Vegas before returning to New York to work with notable designers on Broadway. Then he became the director of costuming for Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circuses and Disney On Ice. Judie was so proud!
Todd passed away suddenly on August 18, 2011 and his death was Judie's greatest sorrow.
Judie was a vibrant energetic person who loved music, theater and planning ahead. She was great at getting a group of friends or family together to go see a musical, choir, concert or band.
She also believed in supporting and working for community-based organizations and gave generously of her time.
She served on the Virginia Community Foundation board for 31 years, The Mesabi Community Alumni Association for 41 years, and the Salvation Army Board for 40 years. She was on planning committees for her class reunions and the all city class reunion. She was the chairperson for the Land of the Loon Parade for 19 years, and also sang with the East Range Choral Society, supported the Lyric Center, and donated Todd's piano to the Center as well.
In her spare time she and her partner of 30 years, Allen Niemi, enjoyed time at Lake Vermillion, attending MN Vikings games including two Super Bowl trips and basketball games including two NCAA Final Four trips.
They went to New York to see Todd and plays on Broadway. They took a bus trip to the North Dakota State Fair and drove to Wisconsin for concerts at Big Top Chautauqua. It was all a great pleasure to her.
Judie was passionate about visiting with family and friends. She spent holidays in Duluth, summer vacations at Kabetogama. She loved visiting with her aunts, Marie Begich and Dorothy Polski Parish. She just loved people and spending time with them was her great joy.
She is survived by her longtime love, Allen Niemi; sisters, Jean Abramson, Margo (Ed) Essman; and many loving nieces and nephews and friends too numerous to list but not forgotten.
Judie is preceded in death by her parents, Steven and Dorothy (Polski) Devich; and son, Todd Kauchick.
We are planning a celebration of her life on Thursday, May 6. Only immediate family will be allowed to attend due to COVID-19 restrictions but there will be an opportunity for you to watch her funeral safely from your own home.
We will reprint her obituary the week before her funeral with all the information you’ll need to join us virtually.
In lieu of flowers please support one of the non-profits Judie served. You may send a donation to the Salvation Army, 507 12th Ave. W, Virginia, MN 55792 or the Lyric Center, P.O. Box 416, Virginia, MN 55792.
Arrangements are with the Landmark Funeral Home in Virginia.