Judith ‘Judy’ Carline (Pfeiffer) Wilmarth

Posted 4/18/24

Judith “Judy” Carline (Pfeiffer) Wilmarth died April 12, 2024, in Walnut, IL at the age of 95.

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Judith ‘Judy’ Carline (Pfeiffer) Wilmarth


WALNUT — Judith “Judy” Carline (Pfeiffer) Wilmarth died April 12, 2024, in Walnut, IL at the age of 95. Born November 14, 1928 in Savanna, IL to parents Charles Andrew and Marjorie (Deyo) Pfeiffer, Judy was raised in Oregon, IL, by her maternal grandparents, Fredrica Harris Deyo Stouffer and John Stouffer. She met her husband of 58 years, Gene Wilmarth, at Oregon High School. Judy and Gene married September 1, 1948, and lived in Belmond, Iowa for several years, where they had the first of their nine children, Katherine. In 1950, they moved to the Wilmarth family homestead in Leaf River, IL. Gene died in 2006 and Judy lived on the farm until 2017 when she moved to assisted living.  

Judy was a loving mother, grandmother, aunt, sister, and friend. She will be remembered for many things: homemade macaroni and cheese, her raspberry patch, cutting wool and denim pieces for rag rugs and quilts, reading to her grandchildren, jelly made with concord grapes from her own backyard, crispy oatmeal cookies, hosting sleepovers on the farm, asking every visitor to help her pick up sticks in the yard, and her famous sweet rolls. 

Judy was a dedicated community leader for many years, serving the region through her work with the Salvation Army and People Helping People, where she was president for fifteen years. She also spent time teaching adults and children how to read. Judy was honored with many awards for her impact in the Ogle County region, including the Jefferson Award, a prestigious national award honoring individuals who demonstrate a commitment to serving their community. A real highlight was when Judy was chosen to carry the Olympic Torch through Chicago for the 1996 games in Atlanta. In addition to her involvement with the local community, Judy was also a member of Beacon Hill Assembly of God Church in Byron, IL.

In recent years, a variety of amazing caregivers have been part of Judy’s life, including Shirley Mazzei. Shirley has provided loving care and friendship to Judy, becoming a true favorite. The staff at Allure Nursing home in Walnut, IL have also provided Judy with exceptional care. Judy’s family is full of gratitude for the individuals who provided her with compassionate support during the last few years of her life.

Judy is preceded in death by husband, Gene, siblings Charmion Ewing, Priscilla Pfeiffer, Rebecca Crisci, and James Pfeiffer, son Christopher, and grandchildren Kathryn “Kailey” Wilmarth and Kyle Marcos. She is survived by her siblings Margo Atherton (Robert) and Frederick Pfeiffer (La Nee). Also surviving are eight of her children: Katherine Edwards (Richard), Julie Meriage (Richard), Jeffry (Mary Slocum), Randi Marcos (Juan), Michael (Betty Stone), Daniel (Susan Waterman), Gary (Shelli Zimmer) and Nancy White (Thomas). She leaves behind 25 grandchildren, 38 great grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.

A service celebrating her life will be held on Saturday, May 18th at 1:00 pm at the Rock River Center (810 S. Tenth St., Oregon), followed by an open house until 4:00 pm. Those who attend are welcome to bring the following items, which are needed at People Helping People: canned goods - especially fruit, vegetables, and meat - toilet paper, dish soap, and paper towels. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Vitas of Lee County at 1040 4th St., Peru, Illinois, 61354 and People Helping People at 8648 Verde Dr., Byron, Illinois, 61010 c/o Ruth Ann Goelitz. Sympathy cards can be mailed to the family at 8221 N. Conger Rd., Leaf River, IL 61047.