On the morning of Aug. 2, 2011, Judy Arlene Staley was surrounded by her loving family as she began her journey to heaven to become one of God's beautiful, singing angels.
Judy was born on Feb. 7, 1946, in Hardin, to John Schmidt Jr. and Gladys (Heckel) Schmidt. Judy grew up in Billings, attending Taft, Garfield and Senior High schools, graduating in 1964.
Judy married Willie Ventling on June 6, 1964, and later divorced. From this marriage, a daughter, Kathleen, was born.
On December 30, 1967, she married Robert Staley. From this union, three daughters, Tina, Linda and Lisa were born. Together, they celebrated 43 years of marriage and family.
Family was the most important thing to Judy, and she treasured the time she spent with her children and grandchildren shopping, baking, sewing, singing and camping at the Paradise Valley KOA. Judy was very active in her church. She was a member of the Friendly Circle and sang with family, the Songbirds, the church choir, and the Praise Team. She also spent many years as a Sunday School Superintendent, and faithfully participated in Dress-a-Child each year. She was a member of many organizations throughout her adult life, including several quilting and sewing clubs.
Judy trained on the job and was a legal secretary for 40 years, working for various law firms over the course of her career. The majority of her career was spent working for Kevin Sweeney and Don Herndon. She was awarded the title Secretary of the Year by the Billings Legal Secretary Association in 1988.
Survivors include her husband, Bob; children, Kathy (Farron) Lennick, Linda (Rex) McGraw, and Lisa Staley; grandchildren, Matthew (Julia) Lennick, Amanda Lennick and fiancé Chad Lawrence, and Meghan McGraw; great-grandchildren, Ainsley and Alivia Lennick; mother, Gladys Schmidt; siblings, Ken (Judy) Schmidt and Elaine (Andy) Black. Also surviving her are numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and special friends.
Judy was preceded in death by her father, John Schmidt Jr., and daughter, Tina Renée Staley.
The family would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to the staff of the Inpatient Cancer Center at the Billings Clinic and the many family members and friends who supported and cared for her.
Viewing will take place on Thursday, Aug. 4, and Friday, Aug. 5, at Smith Funeral Chapel, Downtown. Services will be held at Pilgrim Congregational Church at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011. Interment will follow at Mountview Cemetery. Memorials may be given in Judy's name to Pilgrim Congregational Church.
Thank you, Mom, for being our hero, our blessing, and our inspiration. We love you!