Born December 15, 1948 Judy passed away bravely and peacefully on October 4, 2022 at the age of 73.
Judy was born in Minot, ND to Bill and Alunda Blotter and raised on her family farm northwest of Turtle Lake, ND. Judy grew up with her sisters Delores, Jan, and Jean and brother Jerry. Together they raised chickens, ducks, goats, horses, cattle, and a variety of crops. Judy loved most being with the horses and working the fields with her dad.
Judy was known for living her life on her own terms. Incredibly resilient, tough as nails, and as brave as they come! Tiny in stature and huge in heart. She had many jobs throughout her colorful life, including operating scraper for Lindteigen Construction helping to build the McClusky Canal system, to graduating with her cosmetology degree from St. Joseph’s School of Hair Design in Bismarck, ND. Judy was also a wife (on multiple occasions) and a mother of three children; Jeremy Westrum, Melissa Parks, and Justin Parks. She was a grandmother of seven; Lindsey, twins Alex & Jamie, and Electra Westrum, Coleman Poort, and Ava and Norah Parks, and a great-grandmother of one; Roman Enzo Heinle. Judy loved being a grandmother, but refused to be “old”, so she insisted on being called “Mumsy” instead of “Grandma”.
Judy didn’t like to stay in one spot for too long, and if you knew her you know she was a bit of a gypsy. Not many people can say that they hitch hiked from Mexico to North Dakota, but not surprisingly SHE did it! Her “Jesus Shoes”, as she called them, carried her everywhere from northern Canada to the deserts of Mexico, upstate New York to the coastlines of California, and literally everywhere in between. Judy LOVED to travel, exploring many national parks, little odd bucket stops along the way, random streams where she’d throw in a fishing line, and major landmarks as well. She never went anywhere without her tent, sleeping bag, a little charcoal grill, her fishing pole, and a cooler in the trunk of her car….with her you just never knew where you’d end up going… but it was sure to be an adventure! Judy saw more of this country in her lifetime than most of us can ever hope to experience.
Judy was a true lover of the outdoors. She was an avid bird watcher and could name most birds by sight or sound. Judy read many books on various bird species and toted her binoculars around with her most everywhere she went so she could study them up close. She loved the lakes, camping, and being on the water. It didn’t matter if she was on a boat or on shore, she was a fantastic fisherman. Although she couldn’t swim a lick, she once jumped off the boat at West Park Lake “just to see what it felt like”. Judy almost drowned that particular day, but her kids saved her and in true Judy fashion, she cooked fresh walleye over an open fire that evening. She was also an avid water skier in her younger days at our Crooked Lake cabin. Fear never did stop Judy from doing the things she loved and we doubt she even knew how to spell the word.
Deer season at the Parks’ ranch was another of Judy’s favorite times of the year. She would make a massive roaster full of her scrumptious Chicken & Knoephla and drive to the farm from her home in Beulah to make sure we were all fed. Her favorite card game “31” would always be on the list of deer camp festivities. She taught her grandson Coleman how to play and may have regretted that later, as she very rarely won a game against him over the following years. She would call Coleman often, just for a chat, to see how he’s doing, and just to talk. Mumsy and Coleman had their special connection for sure.
She was a lover of music… everything from country to the blues, bluegrass to funk, and everything in between. She would often play the accordion and piano, the spoons, sometimes the harmonica, and on occasion the guitar. Her favorite all time sound came from a little known acoustic band out of Grand Forks, ND called the “Pine Needle Poppers”. This band had a very special place in her “Mumsy” heart. The band would call on occasion to personally play her some songs. Made up of head lead Justin on the harmonica, Miss Norah stringing across the violin, and Miss Ava Rae rockin’ homemade drums. Her favorite “Pine Needle Popper” songs were “Underwater Bubbles”, “Slow Bass”, “Rooftop Acorns”, and “Fireflies”.
Judy lived a very colorful life, full of extreme joys along with extreme sorrows. She was the bravest soul, a very giving person even in times of hardship, and she absolutely lived her life on her own terms.
There will be an intimate outdoor service honoring Judy’s life when the wildflowers bloom on the Twin Butte Ranch south of Turtle Lake, her chosen place to rest. Details will be shared once that date has been set for Spring of 2023.
Judy was preceded in death by her parents, William and Alunda Blotter (Turtle Lake, ND), sister Jean (Bob) Landseidel (Washburn, ND), brother-in-law Jack Walcker (Benedict, ND), husband James Reppen (Beulah, ND), and husband LeRoy Parks (Turtle Lake, ND). Judy is survived by her sisters Delores Walcker (Turtle Lake, ND) and Jan Madsen (Minot, ND), bother Jerry (Rita) Blotter (Coleharbor, ND), her children Jeremy Westrum (Moss Landing, CA), Melissa Parks (Bismarck, ND), and Justin (Andrea) Parks (Grand Forks, ND), former husband Wally Westrum (Turtle Lake, ND), along with her grandchildren and great grandchild. Judy loved and also leaves behind many nieces, nephews, and close lifetime friends too many to list.
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