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Judy Gilman

Lead Summary

Judy Mae (Church) Gilman, 82, of Spencer, Iowa, passed away peacefully with family by her side on Monday, May 15, 2023.
Judy was born on April 8, 1941, to Harvey and Ruth (Anundson) Church in Volga, South Dakota.
She married Robert “Bob” Franklin Gilman on May 1, 1960. They were together for 24 years before Bob’s death in 1984. In 1965 Judy and Bob moved to Luverne, Minnesota, where they raised four sons, Robert, David, Michael, and Roy.
Judy moved to Spencer in 1989 to be closer to family. There she met her partner, Ray Davis, where they happily spent more than 30 years together.
Throughout her life, Judy enjoyed traveling, camping, gardening, and cooking. She had an impressive garden and introduced family to many new rhubarb desserts. She loved bird watching and collected bird houses.
Judy’s boys and their families were the highlight of her life. She adored spending time with family and always enjoyed get-togethers with her sons, wives, grandchildren and extended family.
Judy was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Bob; mother and father, Harvey and Ruth Church; brother John; and sister Audrey.
Judy is survived by her partner, Ray Davis of Spencer; four sons, Robert Jr. and wife Tracy of Plano, Texas; David and wife Robin of Big Lake, Minnesota; Michael and wife Anna of Eden Prairie, Minnesota; Roy and wife Maria of Maplewood, Minnesota; 12 grandchildren located in Minnesota, Texas, Colorado, Norway and Japan; two future great-grandchildren arriving this summer; two sisters, Bonnie Axtell and husband, Jerry, of Spencer and Beckey Gagnon of Spencer; brother Norm Church and Sandy Rybacki of Lake Placid, Florida; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Memorial service will be held on Friday, June 2, at 11:00 a.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, 500 N. Kniss Avenue, Luverne. Celebration of life will be held on Saturday, June 3, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Judy’s home in Spencer.
Arrangements are under the care of Hartquist Funeral Home in Luverne.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The Pillars Hospice Home located in Oakdale, Minnesota. Please visit for online donations and specify Judy Gilman in the comments, or mail to Episcopal Homes Foundation (490 East Lynnhurst Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55104) and include a note specifying your donation to The Pillars Hospice Home in memory of Judy Gilman.

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