Judy E. Nebgen, age 78, of Chillicothe, passed away on Wednesday, December 14, 2022 at Evergreen Senior Living in Chillicothe.
Judy was born in Oberlin, Kansas to Gerald and Rosa Brown. She was raised on a farm near Lyle, Kansas. She attended a one-room grade-school and graduated from HS in Oberlin, Kansas. Judy graduated from Kansas State University in 1966 with a degree in Elementary Education.
Judy married John “Tom” Nebgen in 1964 in Lyle, Kansas. He survives. They had met in Calculus class at Kansas State University and danced together at a Fall mixer. After getting married and finishing college, they came to the Peoria, Illinois area briefly before heading to Germany where Judy and Tom were stationed with the Army for two years. Judy taught young soldiers basic skills in order for them to pass their GEDs and taught classes on the Army Equipment Record System. Tom and Judy came back to Manhattan, Kansas where Judy then stayed, raising their newborn daughter, Ginger, while Tom served with the Army in Vietnam. They eventually made their way back to central Illinois for Caterpillar and settled in Rome, Illinois where they had their second child, Dane, and have lived for over 50 years.
Judy spent many years volunteering as a room mother for her children’s grade schools and helping with band uniforms and activities as her children grew older. She also volunteered for the local 4-H club and county Extension. Over many summers she ran the Rome Little League Concessions. Judy was active in the United Methodist Church, working as Educational Director for 10 years, teaching Sunday School, organizing a sewing room for missions, serving as lay speaker, volunteering at Midwest Mission Distribution Center, and participating in and leading many United Methodist Women activities. She also participated in the Walk to Emmaus. Judy was a reading aide and substitute teacher for the Chillicothe Elementary Center for many years. Many local children will remember her in the library, organizing creative reading contests, and coaching the Declamation and Speech team—some will remember her monitoring noon detention.
Judy was active in the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 9, serving as President and Treasurer and helping organize hospitality rooms for the state convention among many activities. Her skills in the kitchen were valuable for many events and honed even further through years as part of a local Gourmet Club. Her creativity and skills with crafts and sewing have literally been appreciated around the world as many items have made it to people in need in other countries. For many years, Judy was known for the colorful varieties of iris that grew around the outer fence of their yard. She enjoyed many hours gardening, reading books (especially in a sunny spot), crafting, sewing, dancing, doing puzzles, caring for her pets and cooking/baking. Most of all she enjoyed interacting with the people around her, from children to adults, with family and friends. She’ll be remembered especially for her giving heart, humor and wit. She loved her children and grandchildren and taught them to be self-reliant, caring, and creative individuals.
Judy is survived by her husband, Tom, and their children Ginger (and Scott) Johnson of Farmington, IL, Dane (and Brenda) Nebgen of Bloomington, IL, as well as their grandchildren Ashley Johnson, Benjamin Johnson, Emilee Nebgen and Maddy Nebgen. Also surviving are her sisters-in-law, Palle (and Dennis) Rilinger of Kansas City, KS, and Pat Swayne of Montgomery, AL, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents and infant twin brothers.
The family wishes to thank the many caring hearts at Evergreen Senior Living, Legacy Memory Care Unit.
Cremation rites will be accorded and a memorial service will be held on Wednesday, December 21, 2022 at 11am at the Chillicothe First United Methodist Church with visitation beginning at 9am. Burial of ashes will be at Chillicothe City Cemetery. In lieu of sending flowers, consider planting a flower in memory of Judy next Spring. Memorials can made to the United Methodist Church of Chillicothe or the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 9 in Chillicothe. Arrangements are under the care of Weber-Hurd Funeral Home.