Barbara A. Judd
Barbara A. Judd
  • December 24, 1932 - September 6, 2017
  • Tampa, Florida

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She would never believe it herself, but the world lost a selfless loving wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter, niece, friend and consummate professional when Barbara (Huber) Judd passed away on September 6, 2017. Born on Christmas Eve, 1932 in Muscatine, Iowa – a date which her husband and daughter quickly learned not to mix holiday and birthday - Barbara Ann Huber was the eldest of Kenneth and Florence Huber’s four children. Barbara was named after her mother’s favorite aunt and inherited her mom’s curiosity, thirst for knowledge and love of family. Her parents were strict but loving. Her father was a teacher who worked his way up to a highly-respected elementary school principal. After years as a housewife raising those four kids, her mother worked to earn her GED after age 50. Following his retirement from his education career, her dad continued working for the local co-op handling the books for local farmers. In between he would play countless rounds of golf, fish and hunt. Needless to say, Barbara’s strong work ethic was certainly inherited. Her family wasn’t well-to-do but was comfortable, and big sister Barbara and her siblings enjoyed their childhood. Close bonds with her grandparents, especially with one Grandpa who took to calling Barbara “Whippersnapper” solidified her belief in family ties. As she grew up helping her mother oversee the household while living with cook stoves in the kitchen for food and warmth; traversing gravel roads while walking to school in small-town Iowa, working at H.J. Heinz Co., enjoying picnics in Weed Park and Sunday worship at Musserville Methodist Church, Barbara also envisioned becoming a nurse, seeing herself helping multitudes of people while wearing that crisp, white uniform and cap. After her graduation from Muscatine High School in 1950, her dream came true when her parents told her they would do whatever it took to help her attain her goal. In 1953 she graduated from Augustana College St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing, then passed the state boards to earn the title Barbara Huber, R.N. However, for someone who many felt was ahead of her time in the 1950s – more of an independent woman than one who would conform to societal norms – Barbara did seem to conform somewhat when she met William “Bill” Judd on a blind date while in nursing school. She described Bill as nice, quiet, sincere, smart and someone who liked to have fun. Barbara said he complimented her, in a his ying to her yang sort of way. A native of nearby Davenport and an Engineering student at the University of Iowa, he proposed following her nursing school graduation. They married on June 12, 1954. That’s when Barbara’s choice to put other’s lives ahead of hers came to fruition. While Bill continued his education, Barbara delayed putting her nursing degree into action and stayed at home. In April 1959, she became “Mom” to daughter Tracey. Following Bill’s graduation, his engineering expertise saw him move his family numerous times to multiple states as a civilian Air Force employee. The family finally settled in Dayton, Ohio in 1968 where Bill served as an electronic radar engineer developing the F-15 fighter jet radar control fire design. Barbara kept busy, met many friends and treasured her time with Tracey but longed for her opportunity to put her degree to work. She unselfishly spent a decade at home with “the kid” as Barbara usually referred to Tracey before finally deciding to make her career move. In 1970, Barbara told Bill it was his turn with “the kid” and went to work at Grandview Hospital in Dayton. She began on the 3 p.m. – 11 p.m. shift, then moved to a more “normal” 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. shift which never seemed to stop at eight hours. Nor did it slow down on weekends or holidays as she took many of those shifts for staff members, believing they should be with their families to celebrate birthdays and holidays together. In those instances, Barbara would tell Bill and Tracey that their holidays and other celebrations would just be longer than normal. Her incredible talents especially personally with patients was noticed and she was promoted to head nurse on the ICU Unit. She was the consummate professional, a whiz at the medical complexities of her job but more so a giant at the human level of nursing where simple words, loving touches and the lending of an ear or shoulder were best served. Often she and her fellow nurses would call out their doctors - especially residents - to pound the nuances of sensitivity with patients and families instead of presenting standoffish personas. When Barbara had quadruple bypass surgery in 2004 it was one of those residents who she thought she would never get through to, but became one of her favorites when he did see the light, who she hand-chose to perform her delicate surgery. When Grandview expanded and built a satellite facility in Centerville only miles from her home, Barbara answered the call and moved from the floor to management duty at the new building. She retired – twice - after more than 20 years with Grandview and when she finally walked out the door, her position required three people to fill it. “I save lives and answer phones,” was her humorous yet truthful response to the question of what she did for a living. Barbara, Bill and Tracey – “BB&T” as Barbara would sign on holiday cards – were a tight-knit trio. Barbara and Bill traveled to support Tracey’s various high school and college athletic endeavors and were the cool parents to Tracey’s neighborhood and high school pals. They cherished time with family and friends, especially on their pontoon boat or their small mobile home on Lake Cowan or during summer and holiday trips to Iowa. Once Tracey was off to college, Barbara and Bill cruised to fascinating faraway places such as Alaska, Italy and Russia. Barbara used to say she had her time, Bill had his