Judith “Judy“ Ann Rochester, 76, died on June 22, 2019, in Juneau, with her family at her side.
She was born in Portland, Maine, and moved to Sacramento, California at the age of 13.
She graduated from Hiram W. Johnson High School in 1962, and attended Sacramento Community College. After marrying Daniel Rochester, she moved to Thorne Bay in 1967 to work and raise a family.
During her time in Thorne Bay, Mrs. Rochester worked her way from bull cook, cleaning bunkhouses, to second cook. She also was a co-owner in Clear Cut Market and served on the Southeast Island School Board from 1981 to 1984. When the work in Thorne Bay slowed down, she continued to work in cookhouses throughout Southeast Alaska and Afognak eventually moving into the role of head cook. From 2005 to 2014, she worked for Boyer Towing at the Cove Hotel as the manager and head cook at Ward Cove. She retired in 2014 and moved to Juneau to be closer to family.
She was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles.
Mrs. Rochester enjoyed playing Yahtzee, Bingo and slot machines, shopping online, watching HGTV and “keeping Danny, her husband of 56 years, on the straight and narrow,” her family writes. “With her passing, Hallmark has lost its best customer as Judy sent greeting cards to friends and family for almost every holiday, including Halloween and Thanksgiving.”
“Judy’s friends and family remember her as hard-working, compassionate, and generous to a fault,” her family writes. “Judy never met a stranger. Her family is constantly amazed as to the number of people who have ‘Judy’ stories to share.”
Mrs. Rochester was preceded in death by her mother, Evelyn; and father, Paul.
She is survived by husband, Dan, of Juneau; daughters, Sondra (Brock) Meredith of Juneau, and Cindy (Wade) Rochester-Gefre of West Linn, Oregon; granddaughters, Sabrina and Mirriam Meredith; grandsons, Matthew and Daniel Gefre; sisters, Susan (Gene) Valine of Sandpoint, Idaho and Sacramento, and Kathy DeGrote of Sacramento; nieces, Sheila (James) Martin of Sandpoint, Erica DeGrote of Juneau, Erica Tescher of Rancho Cordova, California, Cymbre (Andy) Colon of Inglewood, California, Breylan Martin of Sandpoint, Riley Walson of Sandpoint; nephew, Michael (Mistie) Kinney of Sandpoint, Trey Brunet of Rancho Cordova; in-laws, Barbara Jean Terry of Rio Linda, California; Pat Rochester of San Diego and Thorne Bay, and David (Barbara) Rochester of San Diego; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Aug. 18, 2019, at Ted Ferry Civic Center. Lunch will be served. Please R.S.V.P. at http://tinyurl.com/y2q4mm3a.
Donations may made to the local chapter of Big Brothers, Big Sisters or to the American Lung Association.