Eulogy for Judith A. (Judy) Kingan
February 14, 2023
by Rev. John Partridge
In 1947, was only two years after the end of the hostilities known as World War Two and automobiles, for the first time since the war began, were once again rolling off the assembly line for the average consumer. At the same time, India and Pakistan proclaimed their independence from Great Britain, the United States launched the rebuilding of Europe with its Marshall Plan, Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier for the first time, the transistor was developed at Bell Labs, Jackie Robinson played his first major league baseball game, and “The Miracle on 34th Street” was released to theaters. And in the midst of these auspicious events, Judy Kingan was born to David and Mildred Hostetler. She became a “Preacher’s Kid” with all of the expectations and baggage that go with that.
As a freshman in high school in 1962 or 1963, Judy asked Don to go with her to the “Gold Digger’s Dance” and having chosen wisely, they dated throughout the rest of their high school years. After graduation, Judy went to Goshen College in Indiana to get a four-year degree in home economics, while Don stayed closer to home pursuing an associate degree, and joining ROTC, at The University of Akron and Don tells me that a great deal of mail passed between the two of them. After finishing his two-year degree, Don joined the Air Force, they were married, and then Don shipped out for Thailand during the conflict in Vietnam.
Upon his return home, Don found a new job in Galion, Ohio, they moved, and eventually had three children. Somewhere around 1980 they moved to Canton, and Don’s new job at Mercy Hospital, and then to Alliance where they spent the last 30 years together. For her part, Judy worked at a pet store for a while, as a Mary Kay consultant, taught at the Alliance Christian Center School for 10 years, taught job training courses for adults for three or four years, and then took a job at the hospital in food service and, after several promotions, eventually retired. It’s also worth noting, in light of her time at the pet store, that Judy really liked dogs, but she loved cats.
Judy was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, fought it, and two years later was told that they “got it all.” And they did… for a while. Until it came back in 2015. And, when it came back, they said it was aggressive and it progressed rapidly. But even so, she fought like the warrior that she was for seven years and, according to her family, never once complained. No matter what Judy was going through, she always thought about everyone else.
And that was Judy’s trademark. Her family told me that Judy’s love was felt every day in everything that she did. Friends were always welcome, bread or cookies would be made at the drop of a hat, and the friends of her children often said that if they had a problem, they needed to “talk to Mrs. Kingan.” She was everyone’s “substitute Mom.” One of the hardest things that she did was being isolated by the pandemic. Being immune suppressed while fighting cancer, her doctors told her to stay in, stay home, avoid crowds indoors or outdoors, and even recommended that the grandchildren stay away. Judy dearly loved playing in the bell choir where she stood, and shared stories, next to Lynn Goldrick. But she had to quit because of her battle with cancer and even when she was feeling better, and though she might be able to go back for a while, she just didn’t have the strength to stand behind the bell tables long enough.
Anyone who knew her knew that Judy was a crafter. She loved sewing, calligraphy, scrap-booking, making greeting cards, gardening, animals, flowers, and almost any other craft. One winter the family was snowed in, school was cancelled, and she and Annie sewed in the basement for an entire week. They made school clothes, pajamas, stuffed animals, doll clothes, and anything else they could think of. At one point, Judy entered her doll clothes and some of her homemade bread into for judging at the Stark County Fair and came away with blue ribbons for both. What’s more, Judy’s grandchildren always looked forward to visiting because they said that grandma always had crafts and “fun stuff” to do together. Judy also loved making cloth banners, and many of the banners and other decorations that we enjoy each year at Christ Church were the fruit of her labor, passion, and skill.
Judy loved her family and everyone around her, she loved her church, she loved her Jesus, loved cats and crafts of all kinds, and she was a warrior who was not to be trifled with. She did battle with one of humanity’s greatest enemies and did so for ten years of her life while still doing the things that she loved, loving the people in her life, and living, and loving, as normally as possible and with all the fun and style that she could muster. We know where Judy has gone. If she has gotten her way, by now Jesus has a new pair of pajamas to go with the warm cookies that she made, and there are some new banners in the works for the God’s throne room or wherever she’s allowed to put them.
Those of us who have put our faith in Jesus know that when our day comes, Judy will be there to welcome us. And I am sure that she will and remind you all that she never stopped praying for you, bugging God on your behalf, and you know that she will never stop loving you. Because she loves you even more than cats.
From Jackson Tittle
(Don and Judy’s son-in-law/Annie’s husband)
To know Judy is to see Christ truly alive in a person. Judy understood what it is to be Christ to people. She understood what it is to love. Those who knew her know of her joy and of her love and compassion for others.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7 ESV)
Judy got Christianity right, she knew how to receive the love of God and then share it with all, unreservedly. She kept no record and laid down expectations, she simply loved.
Those who know Judy, knew that she lived out the following:
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
(Ephesians 4:32 ESV)
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
(Philippians 2:3-4 ESV)
For believers, to live here should be to love but to also have a longing to be home with our savior…Judy is home! We know with all confidence that she received the greeting we believers all long to hear… “Well done, good and faithful servant…Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matt 25:23)
“So, we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. For we live by believing and not by seeing. Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8 NLT)
From Annie Tittle
(Don & Judy’s daughter)
“Mama’s Hands” (written by Annie Tittle)
My Mama’s hands were beautiful,
I’ll always remember them well.
There was always something for them to do, And what a story they’d tell.
Mama’s hands were busy,
But never too busy for me.
No matter what project she had to do,
She could always stop for a cup of tea.
Mama’s hands were nice and strong,
To stitch, or write, or bake.
She could lift a person up to God,
With the thoughtful cards she’d make.
Mama’s hands were teachers,
And taught me things I needed to know.
Like how to be a mother,
To cook, be kind, and sew.
But most of all, I tell you true,
My Mama’s hands were from God.
Every touch, every hug, every card, every word, Told me how much I was loved.
I pray that God will take my hands,
And make them just as well,
A blessing like my Mama’s hands,
And give them a story to tell.
Judith A. Kingan
by Rev. L. Chris Martin
February 14, 2023
If someone were to describe you and your attributes in a few words, what would they say? Would they highlight your personality, your distinct features, or maybe your interests or family? Perhaps they would focus on your unique talents or abilities that make you stand out in a crowd. The scriptures are full of snapshots of characters that were important to the spread of the good news of the gospel. Sometimes we get more details than others. In other cases, we listen in on dialogs that give us glimpses into their lives. It is in these studies, as we lean in, look, and listen, that we find truths that can transform the way we live.
Such is the case with a woman named Lydia in the New Testament. Lydia was well known because of her work with precious fabrics, especially the much sought-after rich purple fabric. I introduce you to Lydia in the New Testament because many of the qualities and unique characteristics that she possessed were also acquired by Judy Kingan – at least the qualities and characteristics that I admired the most in Judy.
Growing up Judy was lovingly nurtured in the Christian faith by her parents the Reverend David and Mildred Hostetler, two of the most dedicated and spiritual people I have ever known. Judy learned early on what it means to be and become a committed follower of Jesus Christ. The light of Christ burned brightly in everything Judy did as she shared her faith and the talents bestowed upon her by the eternal God of the ages.
Judy was a very special person to each of us here this morning. Her infectious smile could light up a room. Like Lydia in the early church, Judy always focused on priorities that made life better for those who crossed her path each day. Again, like Lydia, Judy had a depth of creativity that she shared with everyone she met. In the church, Judy loved playing in one of the hand bell choirs, and designed and fashioned worship banners for the Chancel that are among the most creative and stunning banners this Pastor has ever seen. All of Judy’s banners are still in use at Christ United Methodist Church in the appropriate season for each. Judy also invested much time in creating unique greeting cards and in reviving the ancient art of calligraphy.
Far more important than all other attributes, Judy, like Lydia before her, shared the hospitality of her hearth and home with others. Judy profoundly believed that the lives we live in this world determine how others view our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And because of that belief, Judy did everything humanly possible to share her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ with everyone she met in life. As a woman of influence and reputation, Judy served as an encouraging example of how our lives can be a testimony to God and his love.
Thank you, Judy, for being such a delightful mirror of God’s unconditional love for each of us.
Indeed, thank you!
L. Chris Martin
Cassaday, Turkle, Christian Funeral Home
February 14, 2023
Obituary for Judy Kingan
Judith A. Kingan, age 75, passed away on February 9, 2023.
She was born on November 1, 1947, in Wooster, to David and Mildred (Warner) Hostetler.
Judith graduated from Goshen College in Indiana with a bachelor’s degree in home economics. She taught K-12 at Alliance Christian Center School for 10 years and then taught adult education in Alliance for several years. Judith was also the breakfast supervisor at Alliance Community Hospital for many years until her retirement in 2014. She was a member of Christ United Methodist Church where she was active in the bell choir and making banners. Judith was also active in the Alliance Calligraphers Club. She enjoyed making greeting cards and sewing.
Those left to cherish her memory are her husband, Donald; her sons, Jason (Kathy) Kingan and Zachary (Shawna) Kingan; her daughter, Annie (Jackson) Tittle; thirteen grandchildren; and two sisters, Sue Hostetler, and Becky Christner.
She was preceded in death by her parents.
A visitation while be held at Cassaday-Turkle-Christian Funeral Home on Monday, February 13th from 6:00-8:00 p.m.
A funeral service will be held at the funeral home on Tuesday, February 14th at 11:00 a.m. The funeral service will be live-streamed and can be viewed at the bottom of her obituary on the funeral home’s website.
Arrangements are entrusted to Cassaday-Turkle-Christian Funeral Home 75 South Union Ave Alliance, Ohio 44601.