Judith (Judy) Elaine Rattenborg Millard, 74, died heroically from pancreatic cancer on March 18, 2016 at her home in Dumas, Texas. Memorial services will be at 2:00 P.M. on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at the First Christian Church with Rev. Darrell Wait, pastor, officiating. Burial will be at Northlawn Memorial Gardens. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors of Dumas, 500 N. Maddox.
Once in a while, God sends a person to help teach us how to love, to be creative, to be yourself and to live life to the fullest. Judy was one of those people. Judy was born Sept. 14, 1941 in Elk Horn, Iowa to John and Mabel Rattenborg, the descendants of Danish immigrants. Judy was proud of her Danish heritage and loved to cook Kringla, Ebelskiver, Frikadeller and Danish pancake recipes for the family that were taught to her by her mother.
She was raised in Denison, Iowa where her father and mother operated a dairy and produce store. She met the love of her life there, Dale (Duke) Millard, and they were married shortly after high school graduation in 1958.
Duke worked in the beef packing industry and Judy counted 14 different houses that they had lived in over the years due to work related moves. When Duke had been injured early in their marriage, she ran a blue plate diner in Sioux City, Iowa to make ends meet, with two young children.
The family came to Dumas, TX in 1973 after moves from Sioux City, IA; Hereford, TX; Plainview, TX and Holton, KS. Her husband Duke helped build the original American Beef Plant in Cactus, TX, which is now JBS Swift.
In 1988, Judy and several of her friends were instrumental in bringing the Memorial Hospice to Dumas. She volunteered for hospice for many years. In 1995, Judy and Duke were awarded the “Citizens of the Year” from the Moore County Chamber of Commerce for their civic contributions. Judy also served on the Dumas city commission for a short time in 1996, during which time she helped to acquire a new city animal shelter.
For the last 30 years, Judy was known during the Halloween season by her alter ego, “Witchy-Poo.” Judy loved dressing up in makeup like a witch and entertaining kids at the library, schools and especially at her house on Halloween night. Hundreds of people would come by to see what “The Witch” had brewed up for decorations and treats each year.
Judy was known as “MeMe” to 8 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. She loved her family with passion and made sure every Christmas or any other family get together included plenty of food and games such as card games or Pictionary. Her family scavenger hunts became legendary.
She loved her dogs, feeding the birds, painting and creating artwork, playing Bridge, traveling with friends and entertaining others. She never met a stranger and was always quick to make them her friend. She also loved to make sure you were completely stuffed at dinner and if you didn’t take seconds, she was quick to guilt new guests into more helpings by her famous, “What’s the matter, you don’t like it?” line. She will always be remembered for her laughter, her beauty, her dedication to her family, her imagination and creativity, her compassion for animals and the best homemade cinnamon rolls ever.
Judy is preceded in death by husband Duke, parents John and Mabel Rattenborg, two brothers Richard and Phillip Rattenborg and grandson, Justin Reeves. She is survived by daughter, Kelly and Robert Fortney of Lubbock, TX; one son, Bryan Millard and Tammy Muckle of Austin, TX; daughter Kaye and Tory Moore, of Dumas, TX; daughter Kathleen Ransonette of Amarillo, TX; 8 grandchildren, Kristina and Tim Dean; David and Kathryn Moore; Drake Ransonette, Danielle Ransonette, LeShea Millard, Laura and Zach Maner; Lexi and Davidson Venencio. Also 5 great grandchildren; Alana and Maddison Dean, Haidyn Ransonette, Matthias Moore and Bexley Maner. Also her faithful companion, Miss Boo whom she rescued from the animal shelter.
In lieu of flowers, Judy would rather you make a donation to Memorial Hospice, any “No-Kill” animal shelter, or 1st Christian Church of Dumas, where she was a member.
The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Monday, March 21, 2016 from 6:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M.