Judith Ann Leftwich, 82, of Pittsburg, Kansas, died March 10, 2023, at Freeman Hospital in Joplin, Missouri.
She was born Jan. 31, 1941, in Mound City, Kansas, to Charles F. and Edna M. (Hand) Nelson. Judy lived all but the first few months of her life in Pittsburg.
She married William Bradrick on Sept. 4, 1960, and the couple had two daughters, Nancy Ellen and Jennifer Ann, and divorced in 1978.
On Jan. 30, 1982, she married Thomas A. Leftwich in Frontenac, Kansas. He preceded her in death on Nov. 26, 2005.
Judy attended Eugene Field Elementary School and Roosevelt Junior High and graduated from Pittsburg High School in 1959. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Education degree with a major in Home Economics in January 1965 from Kansas State Teachers College, now Pittsburg State University. While her girls were preschool age, she was employed as a substitute teacher, then served as the food service director of Pittsburg Unified School District 250 for 32 years. She was instrumental in developing the district's breakfast program, summer food program, and after-school snack program. In 1978, the PHS kitchen was designed under her guidance, and the remodeling of each of USD 250's kitchens was under her direction during her tenure with the district.
She was an instructor of Kansas State Department of Education training classes for Kansas food-service personnel for many years, and she served in various offices for the Kansas School Food Service Association.
She was a member of South Broadway Baptist Church and the Christian Women's Club. For decades, she organized and hosted large family gatherings in her home for Christmas and other occasions, and she helped organize reunions for her Pittsburg High School class of 1959. She greatly enjoyed gardening, cooking, baking, bookkeeping, sewing, and spending time with her great-grandchildren. During her retirement, she enjoyed picking her great-grandchildren up from school to take them for ice cream. She was an independent and strong woman.
She was preceded in death by her parents and a daughter, Jennifer Bradrick.
Judy is survived by a daughter, Nancy E. Bradrick of Pittsburg; a granddaughter, Andrea L. Oehme, whom Judy raised as her own, and husband Chris of Frontenac, Kansas; four great-grandchildren, Robin Arne, Gwendolyn Crosetto, Madeline Oehme, and Jase Oehme; three stepchildren, Carolyn Zagonel, Cathy Mogle, and T.L. Leftwich; four step-grandchildren; two brothers, Robert D. Nelson Sr. of Ford, Kansas, and Larry Barrett and wife Sue of Frontenac; two sisters, Shirley J. Modlin of Manhattan Beach, California, and Vickie Marshall of Raymore, Missouri; a special cousin, Karen Laskey of Little Rock, Arkansas; seven nieces; and a nephew.
A visitation will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 24, at Bath-Naylor Funeral Home in Pittsburg; friends may call after 2 p.m. Friday. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 25, at Bath-Naylor, followed by burial at the Garden of Memories Cemetery in Pittsburg.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks expressions of sympathy to be in the form of memorials to Special Olympics New Hope in Pittsburg. Friends may drop off or mail memorials to the Bath-Naylor Funeral Home, 522 S. Broadway, Pittsburg, KS 66762. Condolences may be left at www.bathnaylor.com.
Arrangements and services are under the direction of Bath-Naylor Funeral Home of Pittsburg.