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Jorgesen, Judith

Judith Marilyn Jorgesen passed away at the age of 91 on May 30, 2024 at Tamarack Court.

A celebration of life will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, June 28, with visitation from 10:00-11:00 AM at First Lutheran Church in Bemidji, MN with the Reverend Corey Fuhrman officiating.

Judy Jorgesen was born on January 31, 1933, in Waupaca, Wisconsin to first-generation Norwegian/Danish parents Aleda and Howard Jorgesen. After spending her early childhood in Evanston, Illinois, the family moved north to the small town of Scandinavia, Wisconsin when Judy was 14. Considered a big city girl by her new classmates, it wasn’t long before freshman cheerleader Judy caught the eye of junior basketball player Art Lee, who also happened to be the son of their high school principal. Art and Judy soon began to “go steady,” having fun jitterbugging to big band jazz at community dances and enjoying picnics at Sand Lake.

Judy and Art stayed together after high school, while she worked at different jobs around town and Art finished his studies at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. On August 20t, 1955, they were married at Scandinavia Lutheran Church. The couple then moved to Osseo, Wisconsin where Art began his first teaching job. Son Scott and daughter Kristen were born in Wisconsin, and in October of 1959, they moved to Bemidji, Minnesota, where daughter Karin was born. Judy and Art spent most of their years in Bemidji enjoying their home on beautiful Lake Movil, a place Judy always held dearly in her heart.

They owned a condo in Tucson, Arizona as well, becoming snowbirds and escaping many cold Minnesota winters so they could experience desert sunshine and the unique beauty of the Southwest.

Judy also enjoyed traveling to many other parts of the world. This happened when Art retired and became a guide for Elderhostel; Judy joined him on several trips that saw them doing everything from touring all over Europe to taking a paddleboat river cruise up (and down) the Mississippi. Her enthusiasm and curiosity about places and people were always present during these new adventures, and she came back from them with many good stories to tell.

Judy was an advocate for compassionate care through her 30 years working as a volunteer for Hospice. She guided many, many people through their final journey, and it is fitting that she was supported by the wonderful Hospice volunteers in her last days. Judy also had a passion for music. She was a charter member of Sweet Adelines as well as singing in the choir at First Lutheran Church. Judy had an amazing sense of humor and a beautiful laugh! She surrounded herself with wonderful, dedicated friends and enjoyed many social outings and events with her “Committee.”

All in all, Judy was a singer, an artist, a writer, a gardener, a poet, a caller of loons, and of course, an amazing and wonderful mother. She loved her family deeply, and created a solid foundation for the family home. As a grandmother she traveled far and often to support all of her grandchildren and cheer them on for birthdays, concerts, athletic events and graduations. She loved them all, and never failed to show that love. Her family will miss her more than words can say.

Judy is survived by her 3 children: Scott Lee, Kristen (Rick) Barnes and Karin Lee. Her grandchildren; Molly (Aron) Roberts, Madeline Barnes, Micah Barnes, Kristian Hansen and Eirik Hansen, She was preceded in death by her husband, Arthur Lee; parents; Aleda and Howard Jorgesen, and her brother Roger Jorgesen.

The family would like to especially thank Dr. Rodney Will for his kindness and professional care. In addition, the family would like to thank the caring staff at Tamarack Court, the wonderful nurses and staff at Sanford Hospital and the caring hands of Sanford Bemidji Homecare & Hospice personnel.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks any memorials be given to Sanford Bemidji Homecare & Hospice, 3201 Pine Ridge Ave NW, Bemidji, MN 56601.

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