Judy Lynne Dennis, 78, passed away at her home in Forest Lakes (Bayfield), Colorado, on April 19, 2021.
Judy was born on July 29, 1942 to Myron and Nadine (Preston) Dennis in Culver City, California.
She earned her nursing degree at California Hospital School of Nursing, Los Angeles, California in 1964 and became a Second Lieutenant at the Medical Service Corps Officers Basic Course on December 19, 1964 at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. A childhood friend Judy Dexter attended school with her through this training and both left aboard the USNS Barrett on Friday the 13th, of August 1, l965 to Viet Nam as Army Nurses serving with the 85th Evacuation Hospital in Qui Nhon. They were the primary care to the soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division and the 4th Infantry Division. The Durango Herald featured La Plata County veterans in a tribute for the 40th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon on Sunday, May 3, 2015. She was interviewed for this article. She is also featured in a book “Tales” of the 85th Evacuation Hospital 1965-1966” by James Madura.
Judy dedicated her life to service through nursing. She was a nurse practitioner in Long Beach, California and was a Charter Member of Women in Military Service for America in Vietnam with the 85th Evac. Hospital. She served in the Army Nurse Corps from September 1963 to August 1966. In 1966 she was honorably discharged from the US Army as a first Lieutenant. She eventually moved to Forest Lakes and built her dream home. She operated the out-reach health clinic for Durango doctors in a clinic in Bayfield.
Judy loved gardening and had a plot at the Bayfield Library. She decorated her porch with pansies and called her home “Pansy Pines.” She was an active member of Calvary Presbyterian Church, helping with Vacation Bible School. Every week she helped pack bags at the Bayfield Schools to send home for students who needed food for the weekend.
She loved her Irish heritage and was able to travel to Ireland with her Cousin, Carolyn, to visit the Dennis ancestral home. Judy was an active member of Jonathan Gilbert Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Her Quaker ancestor was Quaker Walter Thornburgh.
Judy is survived by a half-sister, Connie Flores and her husband Keith of Elma, Washington; Cousins: Carolyn Dennis Thompson and her family of McCracken, Kansas; David T. Dennis and his wife Janet and family of Wichita, Kansas; Danny Dennis and his wife Gail and family of Pueblo, Colorado; The Preston family, and other cousins, friends and her church family. She had some close friends who have helped the family cope with her loss.
Services will be held at 2pm on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 at the Calvary Presbyterian Church in Bayfield, with Pastor Jane Martinez officiating. Interment to follow at the Pine River Cemetery with full military honors.
n lieu of flowers, please consider donating in Judy’s honor to the Calvary Presbyterian Church, Bayfield, Co or food assistance for students at Bayfield Schools.