NEGAUNEE, MI – Judy Kay (Lahde) Richer, 73, of Negaunee, passed away on Friday, June 7, at Marquette County Medical Care Facility in Ishpeming with her husband, sons, and family by her bedside.
Judy was born on April 14th, 1946 in Ishpeming to the late Toivo and Caroline (Baldini) Lahde of Negaunee.
Upon graduation from St. Paul’s High School in 1964 as salutatorian, Judy left for Detroit to attend cosmetology school. Returning home, she opened her own shop, Tiny’s Beauty Nook, in Ishpeming. In 1969, she began her career with WLUC-TV6, where she remained for 39 years until her retirement in 2008. She held positions as Traffic Manager, National Sales Manager and Local Sales Manager before retiring as Business Manager.
During her time at TV6, she was integrally involved with the annual Canathon, as well as with the news station’s “Someplace Special” marketing campaign. Many remember her as “Mrs. Claus.”
Not one to sit idle, Judy went to work at Younkers department store in the business office following her retirement, working with the numbers she enjoyed so much. It was during this time that she was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia and Parkinson’s Disease.
The years following were spent at home until being placed under the dedicated care of Brookridge Heights for one year. She then spent her remaining time under the loving and dedicated care of the staff and administration of Marquette County Medical Care Facility until her passing.
Among her many talents, Judy was a marvelous cook, specializing in Italian food. With friends and family, she enjoyed knitting, quilting, needlepoint, embroidery, dancing, book clubs, berry picking, card-playing, and entertaining house guests.
Throughout her life Judy served Church and community. She served as President of the West End Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and was on-call to those who were in need. She also worked as a Negaunee Booster Club volunteer, and served as President for many years. In countless other ways, she personally endeavored to benefit the lives of others. She accepted individuals for who they were. All were someone to love, respect and accept into her life.
She and husband Thom were married at St. Paul Catholic Church in Negaunee on the 4th of July, 1969. They would have shared their 50th wedding anniversary next month.
Survivors include her husband, Thomas Richer; her sons: Dax Richer of Marquette and Nicholas (Holly) Richer of Ann Arbor; brothers: Jim (Virginia) Lahde of Charlevoix and Robert Lahde of Ishpeming; sisters: Gloria Saari of Ishpeming and Barb (Jerry) Flannery of Ishpeming; special friends: Jeannie (Jim) Flannery of Negaunee, Kathy Feit of Negaunee, Greg Zyburt of Marquette; special nieces: Debbie Dagenais of Marquette, Shannon Vilona of Negaunee; and many, many others.
Judy was preceded in death by her parents; brother-in-law Bruce Saari; sister-in-law Nancy Lahde; sister-in-law Lois Meeves; and brother-in-law Leo Richer.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 12:00 noon on Thursday, June 13th at St. Paul Catholic Church, Negaunee, with Rev. Larry Van Damme officiating. Interment will be in Northland Chapel Gardens. The family will greet relatives and friends from 10:00 am until the time of Mass at 12:00 noon at the church on Thursday, and also at a luncheon immediately following services in the St. Paul School gymnasium. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Judy’s memory to St. Vincent de Paul Society, 211 Iron St., Negaunee, MI 49866
Koskey Funeral Home of Negaunee is providing cremation and funeral services to the family.
Judy’s memorial page may be viewed at koskeyfuneralhome.com.