Judith Anne Primrose


ROCHELLE — Judith Anne Primrose, 79, passed peacefully Thursday morning, Feb. 24, surrounded by her children. Born Oct. 18, 1942 in Chicago, then moved with her family as a small girl to Wichita, Kansas, eventually returning to Rochelle, graduating from Rochelle Township High School, Class of 1960. She married Bill Primrose of Steward in 1962. She held several office positions over the years, the last two with Dr. Edward B. Johnson and Dr. Scott Wilson.

Judy was a strong independent woman of faith. She took pride in her yard and found joy meeting with her special friends Judy, Sharon and Pat for coffee on Tuesdays. She enjoyed attending her children and grandchildren’s events, gatherings with family, swim classes at Hickory Grove, dinner plays at White Pines, breakfast after church at the Butterfly, monthly dinners with her girls, and “dates” at Culvers with her grandson, Caleb. Judy loved desserts, especially cookies and vanilla ice cream.

She enjoyed playing solitaire and watching Blue Bloods, Northwoods Law and Yellowstone, even though the language was “filthy.” She enjoyed reading, especially Westerns, and always had a book with her, in case of a wait somewhere. Over the years, we have come to know of Mom’s anonymous kindnesses she bestowed upon others in need.

Some of our greatest memories as her children include wonderful camping trips with cousins, and magical Christmas celebrations. She had a servant’s heart, and was a dutiful wife, mom, daughter and sister, often putting her own needs last. Even in her final days, she was concerned about being a burden to others. 

One of her greatest gifts she left for us was her love of reading. Even as adults, she would quote our favorite children’s books, often reminding us of The Little Engine That Could, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”

Judy was preceded in death by her husband Bill Primrose in 2005, parents William and Eileen Olmstead, siblings, Sharon, Jan and Brian and infant granddaughter, Becca Primrose.

She is survived by children, Shelley Lawson (Greg Hopkins) of Rochelle, Drew (Christy) Primrose of Ankeny, Iowa, Shawn (Marvin) Schabacker of Chana, and Colleen (Steve) Esterday of Rochelle. Grandchildren include Lauren Schabacker of Stillman Valley, Kevin (Scotlyn) Schabacker of Dixon, Aaron (Ali) Primrose of Ankeny, Iowa, Emmi (Zach) Budde of Kailua, Hawaii, Megan and Nathan Primrose of Ankney, Iowa, Ariana (Antonio) Welle and Caleb Esterday, of Rochelle and great grandsons, Peter and Stanley Schabacker and Elijah Welle.

Visitation will from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, March 1 at Unger-Horner Funeral Home. Funeral to be held at Unger-Horner Funeral Home on Wednesday, March 2 at 10 a.m. with Pastor Andrew Kayes officiating. Burial will follow at St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery in Rochelle.   

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Community Action Network of Rochelle (C.A.N.), or Serenity Hospice. Our deepest thanks to those who helped us to honor mom’s last wishes. Visit www.ungerhorner.com for the online guest book and video tribute.

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