It is with great sadness that the family of Judy Hermanson announces her passing, after a valiant battle with breast cancer at age 76.
A native of Northern Minnesota, Judy developed an affinity for the outdoors early on. Whether it was swimming, waterskiing, boating, scuba diving, fishing, ice skating, deer hunting, gardening or yard work, she sure did stay busy.
In 1972, Judy began working for Northwestern Bell as a telephone lineman, in fact, the first woman lineman for that 5-state sector. There was not a piece of equipment in the company arsenal (backhoe, bucket truck and caterpillar to name a few) that she could not deftly operate. Regardless of the task at hand, Judy was known as the one to Get-It-Done! During her tenure she acquired several awards, accolades, letters of commendation and a President's Club recognition.
After a 1979 transfer to Mountain Bell in Albuquerque, New Mexico and 23 more years with the company that ultimately evolved into Qwest, Judy retired. Finally able to reside full-time at the family home on Conchas Lake, Judy pursued her hobbies with the same fervor that drove her professional success. Known by all for her creative flair, she spent hours charcoal sketching, painting, clay sculpting and rock work, to name a few. The most photographed piece is a 12-foot tall chainsaw-carved wood sculpture of a Captain and his parrot, overlooking the lake, known as "Jake & Ole"'.
Judy and Wayne had a shared passion for all things Harley Davidson and enjoyed thousands of miles on trips throughout the country during their 30+ years together. Wayne held a 2-year elected position as First Vice for the state of New Mexico American Legion Riders as well as serving in leadership positions at Post 19-Conchas Dam. It was also the catalyst for the donation of her Iwo Jima charcoal that currently remains at Post 19 and another piece featuring a Huey at Post 60 in Grants, New Mexico. Judy was patriotic to the utmost degree and was equally spirited in her support of veterans, particularly Vietnam and POW/MIA platforms. For many years she was the Historian for Post 19, ALR, as well as a member of the Ladies Auxiliary.
During this time of sorrow, it gives Judy's family comfort knowing that "THE BAND IS BACK TOGETHER" and she is once again with Wayne and those who went before her. Cancer was the only thing that Judy could not conquer but she died the way she lived: Her Way.
Judy will be lovingly missed by daughters, Lisa Stembridge, Sandy Ahlbom and Kristina Ahlbom (Steve Chacon). Judy will also be fondly remembered by her three grandchildren, Nelson, Ashley and Michael; as well as several nieces and great grandchildren.
Judy was preceded in death by her father, Jacob Moilan; mother, Signe Moilan-Lehtonen; brother, Warren Moilan; grandson, Anthony Ahlbom; and husband, Wayne.
A private Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.