Judy Helen Parmelee

December 2, 1943 - July 27, 2022
Judy Helen Parmelee

Salt Lake City retiree and long-time educator Judy Helen Parmelee of Summit Vista died unexpectedly at the age of 79 due to complications from surgery on July 27, 2022.  Judy is survived by her brother William Hill, her sister Linda Bergquest, and her daughters Katrina Ramsted and Angela Wires.  Judy was born in Kalispell Montana on December 2, 1943, to Walter and Helen Penney.  She grew up knowing a broken home and would have a difficult childhood, this experience molded her as a person and guided her onto a path of service as she channeled these experiences and forged herself into a fiercely independent and resourceful person driven to succeed in a world she recognized as tilted against her in the turbulent years of the women’s rights movement. Judy plunged herself headfirst into that struggle and never looked back, always looking to engage on the behalf of the underdog throughout the entirety of her life.  Judy pursued education as her vocation and earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees attending programs at Flathead Valley Community College, Montana State University, The University of Montana, and Lewis and Clark College.  Her desire for knowledge and personal growth was never quenched.  Judy held teaching certificates in Oregon, Utah and Nebraska and more accumulated professional accolades on her Curriculum Vita than can be listed.  Her career as an academic and as an educator spanned most of her adult life and it is certain that there is a long line of students who now live better, more fulfilled lives just because Judy came into theirs as a teacher and a mentor. She had an impact wherever she went, wherever she taught.  Judy specialized in working with children and students of special needs, always finding the most vulnerable child and giving the most of herself.  In Utah she helped to lead the Special Education Consortium and was President for the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind Education Association from 1993-1997 and then again from 1997-1998.  There is no doubt that through teaching, workshops, consortiums, and academics that education was Judy’s life.  Judy left a strong community of steadfast friends in Salt Lake that will miss her dearly.  Salt Lake is where she finally put down her roots and lovingly called home. In life Judy raised two spitfire girls in Montana who have grown into well accomplished and powerful women in their own right with careers and families.  Judy leaves a legacy of 11 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren who show great promise to carry on her strong values of service and work ethic to the communities in which they reside as the drive for academic and civic achievement is her legacy.  Judy was extremely fond of crafting. Her cards, notes and handmade gifts arriving unexpectedly in the mailbox to loved ones and friends that will no longer come may be the lingering loss that will be the bitter sting after the numbness of her passing wears off for her loved ones and the reality of her mortality sets in completely.  But Judy’s community has always been much bigger than just her family, it spans the uncountable masses whose lives she has touched.  For Judy it is a life well lived in the service of others, it is the beating of a butterfly’s wings that starts the winds of a hurricane.  Judy Helen Parmelee will be missed, but her legacy will carry on through her students, her community, and her family and because of that she can now rest fulfilled with a gold star on her report card. Interment will be at Mount Olivet Cemetery, in Salt Lake City, UT.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to epicalabama.org.  A direct link to their website has been provided to the left for your conveninece.