Judith (aka Judy, Judes, Pootie) Louise Allen Swayze was 82 living in Harlingen when she passed away in her home on January 2, 2020 at 9:42pm with her family by her side. She was born on February 2, 1937 to Charles Allen and Vera Louise St. Pierre.
Judy is survived by her daughter Lorie Melody Swayze-Birschbach (Jim), her son-in-law Robert Dale Roberts, her 5 grandchildren, Brooke Melody-Swayze Burns (Levi), Tanya Ashley Swayze-Miller, Jennie Louise Remington-Miller, Whitney Erin Roberts Van Hees (Russell), Walker Dale Swayze-Roberts. Her great grandchildren, Beau Swayze Burns, Brooklynn Reese Burns, Maverick Terrell Swayze-Claffy.
She is preceded in death by her husband Terrell Wayne Swayze and her daughter Lisa Melanie Swayze-Roberts.
Judy was born in Raymondville, Texas but left shortly after. She grew up in Seattle, Washington and Indianapolis, Indiana. She loved telling stories of how she would walk to school in the snow (uphill both ways).
When she was a Jr. in High School, she was placed in a boarding school. But to no avail, she found a way out and took a train to Raymondville where she graduated high school while living with her mother’s best friend, Ms. Alma Spivey. Ms. Spivey had a huge impact on Judy’s life for many years and instilled the elegance and class that Judy expressed so freely.
After graduating from Raymondville High School, Judy married the love of her life, Terrell Wayne Swayze on October 13th, 1955. They had 2 daughters, Lisa and Lorie. In their Raymondville home, you would find white, spotless carpet in their dining room where they loved to entertain. They were married for 50 years when Terry passed away in 2006 and went to be with his Lord and Savior.
Judy’s biggest passion in life was raising her two girls in a Christian atmosphere. She had a deep love for the Lord and the arts: dance, music, painting, and stained glass. This love has trickled all the way down to her great-grandchildren.
Judy began volunteering as a Secretary at Raymondville First United Methodist Church in 1974. She worked the hours that fit into her and her girl’s school schedule. Eventually, she became the Church’s Finance Secretary for the congregation of 200.
Judy taught Sunday School for 25 years and was also a leader for the Methodist Youth. She was also known to go around many neighborhoods and pick up children to make sure they had a ride to Sunday School. Judy was not only a shining light but a beacon of leadership in the life of many to her church congregation.
She was the President of Valley Methodist Church Secretaries Association, a Membership secretary and was voted by the congregation as Layperson in 1992-1993.
In 1994, Terry and Judy moved to Harlingen and she worked at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church from 1994 – 2006. Their home then became the holiday hub for the Swayze’s and anyone else Judy knew that didn’t have a place to celebrate.
Without being able to sit still, Judy found a traveling and dancing partner John Kershaw. They danced the night away most evenings all year long for over a decade.
With all of these accomplishments, it was her grandchildren and great grandchildren that had her heart, and you would find them with her wherever she’d go. Judy will be deeply missed by her family, friends and all who knew her.
The family would like to thank Dr. James Castillo and DHR Hospice. A special thank you to her loving caretakers Cecelia Torres and Lisa Campos for the gentle care they gave Judy. They made sure she always had her Cheetos and vino at 4pm.
A memorial service is scheduled for 11am on Tuesday, January 7th at the First United Methodist Church in Harlingen. Reverend JJ Wicke will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Blue Sunday, P.O. Box 531653, Harlingen, TX 78553 or First United Methodist Church, 321 E. Harrison Ave, Harlingen, TX 78550.
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