Judy Eaton

judy eaton
Judy Kay Eaton, 72, passed away in Fargo on December 2, 2020. Raised in Fargo, Judy was among the original members of Holy Spirit Catholic Church, where she was an active parishioner her whole life. Her childhood summers were spent first at her parents’ Dairy Queen in northern Minnesota (making dilly bars) and later at their cottage on Middle Cormorant Lake, where she learned to waterski. She graduated from Shanley High School and studied math education at NDSU, where she met John Eaton at the Newman Center. Judy and John married November 16, 1968 at Holy Spirit before he left for Vietnam. During college, she began working at the USDA Metabolism Radiation and Research Lab as a technician in the entomology section. They started a family while John completed medical school and she continued working at the lab. As a mother, Judy taught her children to love learning. She was actively involved in furthering education, even brushing up on calculus to tutor math study groups. She proofread book reports, assembled science fair posters, and sewed costumes. She cheered at Shanley football games over several decades. The addition of grandchildren brought her much joy – as John’s “hockey grandma,” and bringing Zoe to “coffee with the ladies” when Michelle came to Fargo. Miriam and Moira recognized her French toast as the best. Judy loved to travel and fulfilled her lifelong goal to go to Australia; her cruise to Alaska was another favorite trip. She enjoyed going to Florida for a break from winter. For more than twenty years she made an annual trip to New York City and volunteered at the National Model United Nations. She passed on her love for Broadway musicals to her kids. Judy also passed along her love of the water. At the family cabin on Lake Ida she drove the boat for hours of skiing, tubing and wakeboarding. She enjoyed pinochle, cribbage and Sudoku puzzles. Her excellent cooking and baking brought family and friends together. After John’s sudden heart attack in ’04, she cherished an amazing network of friends. Judy is preceded in death by her husband, Dr. John G. Eaton, an infant daughter Nicole, and her parents James and Hazel Wilk. She is survived by her four children and their families: Michael (Paul VanCura) of Maple Grove, MN; Michelle (Frank) Scimecca of Lakeville, MN and Elizabeth and Andrew; Matthew (Meghan Smith) of West Fargo, ND and John, Maris and James; and Mark (Vonnie) of Lakeville, MN and Miriam, Moira, and Camilla; her sister Jean (Tom) Picard of Fargo and their family: Brian (Kristina Wolf) and Ashlynn; Theresa (Neil) Crawforth; and James (Dori); her siblings-in-law Ann and Phil Curtin, James Eaton, Laura Friezen, Bernard Ohnstad and Ruth Phalen; and multiple generations of Schaack, Richter, Sorenson, Eaton, Friezen, and Curtin nieces and nephews. The service will be livestreamed on Boulger Funeral Home website. Memorials preferred to Great Plains Food Bank.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Judy Kay was a life long friend of my sister Kathy and I. We new your entire family as we lived next door growing up and we have visited the Dairy Queen to eat her dilly bars. I moved away after college and my sister kept me up to date on Judy and Jean. We are saddened to learn of her passing. Barbara Ann Lee Tellinghuisen

  2. I loved Mama Eaton! Her passion for life and vibrant personality was refreshing during her annual visit to New York. Sending comforting hugs as you honor her remarkable legacy. Extending my thoughts and prayers to you and your family during this time. All my love!

  3. Judy Eaton was a wonderful advocate for education. Her warmth resonated throughout the NMUN organization. My deepest condolences to the Eaton family.
    With deep regret,
    Narges Rabii-Rakin

  4. Judy was a sweet soul. We have very fond memories of working with her at National Model UN. She loved being able to support the organization and her family with grace, humor, efficiency, and well organized files! And she was such good company! For nearly twenty years, we would often find each other to share breakfast and trade stories at the Sheraton New York before the conference day began. She will very much be missed. We are sorry that we cannot be with you all in person to celebrate her life, but are sending much love.

  5. Godspeed Judy. Truly, working with you was among my favorite parts of helping run the conference. I always looked forward, every year, to getting to the conference early, seeing you first at HQ in Michael’s room/office, and spending the next half day organizing for the coming craziness/awesomeness, all the while catching up and laughing. Forever, our anchor and the de facto ‘staff mom’, you will be missed and always loved!!

  6. I am so sorry for your loss. Judy was an amazing woman and mother. Please know your family is in my prayers.

  7. Sending my love, prayers, and thoughts. I did not know Judy much, but I heard about her through my great friend, her son Matt. Matt’s example and positive outlook on life shows me the kind of person Judy was.

  8. I am very sorry to hear about your mom. She and your family were wonderful neighbors. I will keep you all in my prayers. Blessings to you, Nancy (Gustafson) Luthi. A donation to Great Plains Food Bank will be sent in honor of your mother.

  9. Judy was our life long friend. We met John and Judy in Manhattan, Kansas in 1969. We were neighbors in a duplex home and created a strong and lasting friendship that carried us forward with many glorious meetings at Easter time in NYC. We will miss her deeply. God has called one of his angels home, way too soon.

  10. Our sincere condolences on the loss of Judy.
    She was a classmate of my husband Charlie and several of our children went to school with hers
    May she Rest In Peace
    Kathy Hanish

  11. My sincere condolences on the loss of your mom. I have fond memories of sharing a special Vogel holiday celebration with Judy and daughter, Michelle, and the laughter and stories we shared. She will remain a delightful soul in my memory and I hope that you all are able to know that she touched many lives in wonderful ways. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  12. My prayers go out for your family. Judy was a classmate of mine at Holy Spirit grade school, and Shanley. I remember going to Campfire girl’s meetings at her house. Her mother, Mrs. Wilk, was our leader for several years. Very fond memories and good times in our lives.

  13. My prayers go out to your family. Judy was a classmate at Holy Spirit grade school, and. Shanley High. I remember being in Campfire girls, and attending meeting at the Wilk home. Judy’s mom, who we called Mrs. Wilk, was our leader several of those years. I have very fond memories of of time spent with the Wilk family.

  14. My love and prayers to the Eaton Family. All will always hold a so very special place in my heart. Because of Covid concerns felt I could not be with you at the Mass today. God bless you and thinking of a better place for Judy now, just so sorry especially for her past few months. Rosemary

  15. Dear Eaton Family, I am so sorry for your loss. Thanks Jean for asking my sister to let us know about Judy’s passing. My family also had a cottage on Middle Cormorant Lake. I have many very fond memories of being at the lake in our younger years – water-skiing, swimming and and just having lots of fun with Judy and with Jean. I hope and pray that your own fond memories will live on and comfort you. Best regards, Bill Briggs

  16. Judy, and the entire family are in my thoughts as I try live stream the funeral today. Judy will be missed dearly and thought of fondly.

    Kelsey (Friezen) Weber Family.

  17. My deepest sympathies and thoughts of love and happy memories are with your family.
    I did not know Judy, but know her son Michael through the United Nations Association of Minnesota
    and Model UN. It was so wonderful to read that Judy had gone to New York City each year to volunteer at
    NMUN. What amazing memories those must be! What a wonderful family and what a wonderful woman and mother. Peace and love to you all, Kari

  18. I am grateful for being able to join the Eaton and Picard families via the live stream today. My most vivid memories of Judy are all connected to Shanley and Holy Spirit. She was an amazing woman of great strength and faith. Her children and grandchildren will all be a living legacy to this sweet lady. Her spirit will be forever with all of you. Rest In Peace Good and Faithful Servant of the Lord. You all remain in my heart and prayers.❤️🙏🏻

  19. I cleaned for Judy and she was always so appreciative. One day I brought my little dog Shanti with me and she jumped in Judy’s hot tub.
    We both started laughing. She used to talk with me about her children with so much love. She will be deeply missed.

  20. We met your Mother only a couple of times but we knew how wonderful she was because she and your Father created Michelle! The memorial service beautifully celebrated her vibrant life, her love for all of you and her strong faith, a life very well lived. Our Sympathy to all of her treasured Family. Johnny and Joyce Engstrom

  21. Judy and I were classmates at Holy Spirit Catholic School and Shanley. She was a friend and nice lady. May she rest in peace.

  22. Such a beautiful legacy. Each of you are a true treasure that your mom and grandma held in her heart always. Always feel that love, it’s the gift you keep forever. Peace to you.

  23. Sending love and prayers to the entire Eaton Family. Judy was a wonderful neighbor who was so proud of her children and grandchildren. We have great many memories of Judy at the lake. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

  24. I send deepest sympathy to the Eaton Family. I was the piano teacher of all four children. They were all talented and bright students. Judy was a wonderful mother and I enjoyed our relationship for many years.
    I would like very much if Michael or Shelly would get in touch with me. My husband passed away about two years ago after a long illness. I still live in Buffalo, ND, after retiring from teaching several years ago. I will always remember this family. I also gave lessons to the children of Tom and Jean Picard. It is with sadness that I write this letter. Antoinette Fraase Babcock

  25. I was a friend of Judy’s in grade school and high school. Occasionally, we would see each other at St. Mary of the Lakes on Pelican Lake. Judy was the salt of the earth – loving, dependable, caring, fun. She always had a great sense of humor. My thoughts are with you, her family, at this difficult time.

  26. Dear Eaton Family. My condolences for the passing of your mother. I only met her once when she and your father came to San Antonio for a conference. What a lovely person she was. I met your father in Tacoma during nurses’ training. He was in a class ahead of me. He went to Vietnam and I followed. I don’t remember how we exchanged addresses, but we did some how. Up to his passing, we kept in touch. Your mother then continued to send us a Christmas card every year up to last year when she reported that she had a progressive medical situation. I often thought of her and wanted to write her of our prayers for her. She and your father really did a good job with you all. God bless you all and may your parents rest in peace.

  27. i am so sorry to read of Judy’s passing. She was just a wonderfully kind person. As I returned to Holy Spirit Church,I got to know her in my adult years, She was very supportive of young parents of the parish. OUr thoughts go out to her family and friends

  28. We were blessed to be Judy & John’s neighbor for 20 years. I have missed her as a neighbor since she moved last year and will always miss her as a friend.

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