Judith Allen Retsema, age 76, died November 25th, 2017 peacefully in her home surrounded by family.
She was born at Middletown, OH, 14 August 1941, to Eldon E. and Freda K. [Barker] Wilkerson. She Married Arthur W. Retsema, Flint, Michigan, July 1960. She has three children: F. Kriztine Retsema, Garden City, KS; A. Wayne Retsema [Lourdes], Miami, FL, and Allen J. Retsema [Lisa], Jefferson City, MO.
She was very active in the communities she lived in throughout her life. Based on programming initiatives in Flint Mich., Ms. Retsema founded and directed an Elementary Preschool Story Hour, when they moved to Barberton, OH. In concert with the Barberton Public School System, the Barberton Public Library and the Perkins Children’s Zoo.
When the family moved to Galion, OH. Ms. Retsema, again using models from Flint, Mich., Turri-Mott Foundation, founded and directed the Maternal Health Education Program at the Community Hospital.
Ms. Retsema obtained her undergraduate degree from Lindenwood Colleges, St. Charles, MO. And graduate degree from Eden Theological Seminary, Webster Grove, MO. She did Post graduate work and programs at Lindenwood Colleges, and Washington University’s George Warren Brown School of Social Work.
She enjoyed working chaplaincy at UMC, KS, and volunteering with Doug at St. Catherine Hospital in Garden City, KS. She loved working with community-based systems integrating and developing new programs in schools and project areas, Head Start, alcohol and drug treatment centers for women and children, and mental health social rehabilitation programs in Missouri and Ohio.
Her motto regarding life was: “If it’s not fun don’t do it.” She made whatever she did fun. Her latest adventures were “playing” at the Shift Center and its programs with her daughter and the wonderful people there. Sometimes she’d go to Deb and George’s at Wharton’s Florists to play with their phone lines and the people there.
Her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, cousins and friends survive.
Preceding her in death were her parents, her brother Eldon E. Wilkerson, Jr. [Jackie], and several cousins.
A celebration honoring her life and love for others will be held April 1st, 2018 at 2:00 pm, at her home in Garden City, KS.
Memorial contributions may be given to St. Catherine Hospice program in care of Garnand Funeral Home, 412 N 7th St. Garden City, KS 67846