Mary Judith Olsen (Miss Judy), 83, of Amarillo, TX passed away peacefully on November 30, 2023 after a brief illness.
Miss Judy was born in Waseca, Minnesota on April 19, 1940, to parents Milo and Teckla Olsen. She is survived by her sister, Pat Simpson, and brother-in-law Lan of Las Vegas Nevada, a niece Jenna Simpson, a nephew Michael Simpson, both of Las Vegas, NV, and a long-time friend, Suzanne Fuller of Lake Tangelwood, TX. She is preceded in death by her parents.
She contracted polio at an early age and suffered from its ravages. She spent many years of her childhood in a hospital bed at Gillette Childrens Hospital followed by years in a hospital bed at her parents’ home. She was finally able to complete her final two years of high school on campus. However, Judy did not consider herself to be handicapped and dedicated her life to helping others. Miss Judy made her career as an occupational therapist having received her BS in Occupational Therapy from St Catherine’s University, St. Paul, MN and an MS degree in Counselling and Guidance from the University of North Dakota.
After moving to Amarillo, she enjoyed a long career with Bivins Rehabilitation and BSA as an occupational therapist where she helped teach other handicapped people how to swim. The onslaught of Post Polio Syndrome forced Miss Judy into an early retirement.
She participated in the delivery of Meals on Wheels for 10 years, was a member of the Pilots International Club of Amarillo, and an active member of St. Andrews Episcopal Church where she participated in many ministries and committees including Daughters of the King, and the breakfast ministry where for many years she helped feed a healthy breakfast to parishioners and the homeless.
In 1979, Miss Judy received the award of “The Handicapped Person of the Year” from the Texas Governors Committee on Employment of the Handicapped.
Perhaps Miss Judy’s most enjoyable experiences in life were when she volunteered for 25 years at St. Andrew’s School where she assisted preschoolers and second grade students in improving their reading skills. She remembered and loved all of the students that she worked with, including each of their pets.
Judy was and will continue to be an inspiration to us. She had every right to be bitter about the physical hardships that she had to deal with, but she was always cheerful. She loved the Lord and trusted in His saving grace and she will be remembered for putting the needs of others ahead of her own needs.
Services will be scheduled in January and will be held, at St Andrews with Fr. Jared officiating. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.