Our sweet mother, Florence Katie Olsen Judkins, 86, passed away at home on October 17, 2021. She was so excited to be reunited with her sweetheart of over sixty years, which we know was a most joyous occasion.
Florence was born on January 4, 1935, in Ephraim, Utah, the youngest of eleven children. Her parents, James Andrew Olsen and Katie Christensen, doted on her and she had a very happy childhood. She talked of herding cows and helping her dad on the farm. Her father died when she was 14 years old, and she missed him terribly. Her mother had to sell the farms to pay medical bills, and thereafter worked tirelessly to provide and care for Florence. As a youth she loved sports and was a great student, becoming the valedictorian of her school. It was there she met her lifelong best friend and husband James Leonard Judkins. They were married in the Manti Temple on September 10, 1954.
Leonard and Florence had eight children of their own, yet even with a house full of kids, still opened their hearts to other children. They resided most of their married lives in Hunter Utah – later known as West Valley City. Leonard was a chemical engineer while Florence was a very busy stay-at-home mom. She was a hard worker, and quickly learned how to involve all her family in her never-ending projects.
Florence was devoted to her children and threw herself into serving others. She loved sports and music, genealogy, gardening, cooking, sewing, and decorating for every holiday. She was a talented artist, and almost anything she put her mind to doing, she did well. Florence worked hard and played hard. Many nights were spent playing Rook with her family or playing volleyball in the backyard. At times like these, her competitive spirit would emerge as she played to win - and usually did.
Leonard and Florence loved to travel and were able to visit many foreign countries throughout the world. They especially loved the Holy Land. As they grew older, they looked for opportunities to meet often with friends and keep life-long friendships. They especially loved their gospel study group that met monthly for countless years.
Florence loved God with all her heart and was very active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her testimony touched many lives as she served in multiple callings. She was an excellent teacher whether it be in Primary or a Gospel Doctrine class, and she studied the gospel of Jesus Christ with zeal - pouring over the pages of the scriptures daily. Florence loved going to the temple, and on ward temple night she didn’t just go, she called around to all the widows and took some with her. Later in life, Florence and Leonard served a proselyting mission to Oklahoma (January 1996 – June 1997), where she found great joy in teaching the gospel and volunteered her time cuddling and rocking babies in the local hospital nursery.
Florence’s beloved husband developed Alzheimer’s, and her devotion to him shone through as she took care of him for many years. After his death in 2017, she spent the remainder of her life doing what she loved most - spending time with her children and grandchildren. Towards the end of her life, she was able to live with some of her children, which was a blessing for her, but especially for them.
Florence is survived by her eight children: Gary (Vicki) Layton, Linda Niebergall (Bryan) Murray, Diane Berrett (Roger) Eagle Mountain, Jeanette Clark (Burton) Riverton, Karl (Colenda) Kaysville, Andrew (Cari) St. George, Susan Taggart (Barry) Tooele, Katie Redmond (Doug) Tooele. She leaves behind an impressive posterity of 37 grandchildren and 75 great grandchildren that loved her dearly. She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, and siblings.
A viewing will be held on Friday, October 29, 2021, at McDougal Funeral Home on 4330 S. Redwood Road, in Taylorsville from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, October 30, 2021, at 10:30 a.m. in the Stone Ridge Ward church house located at 12070 S. Laurel Chase Drive, Riverton. Prior to services, a viewing will be held from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. in the same building. Florence will be buried next to her sweetheart in the Ephraim Park Cemetery at 620 N. Main Street, Ephraim, at 3:00 p.m.
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