Judith Derr

Obituary of Judith Derr

Judith Rose Handy Derr lived a full and rich 71 years. She raised five boys, provided years of joy to dozens of grandchildren, participated in a variety of community organizations and activities, and welcomed many, many friends into her life and home.

Judy was born on 25 December 1946 (a Christmas Baby!) in Norwich New York. Growing up in Norwich, she spent a lot of time with her father, a sound man, either on projects with him in his workshop, or traveling the fair circuit in the summer. She also enjoyed time in the kitchen with her mother, learning skills that she used prodigiously later in life to the benefit of all who sat around her table. From both of her parents she developed an attention to detail, and a yearning for perfection in her surroundings.

She moved to Bainbridge, New York, where she happily spent the rest of her life, in 1971. She quickly began a career in early childhood education, working at Opportunities for Chenango first as a Head Start teacher, and then in numerous program services administrative roles. Along the way, she obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education from State University College at Oneonta. She was very dedicated to providing preschool children with emotional, social, health, nutritional, and psychological support.

Judy was many things, but one of the most important to her was being a Rotarian. She spent decades living the motto "Service Above Self," including in many leadership roles both locally, and district wide. She was also involved in several other community organizations.

Judy passed away on 1 March 2018 surrounded by family in the home that she loved, the home she had shared for some 30 years with her beloved David and their seamlessly combined families. While at home, David and Judy gardened, worked the property, and cooked (and cooked, and cooked) together. But, once they retired, even when not at home they were rarely separated. In most of their community activism, they came as a team. And once Judy discovered, much to her surprise, that she liked to play golf, they spent hours, and hours together on courses all over the country.

David predeceased Judy by two years. She was also predeceased by her parents George and Francis Handy, and her brothers Bill and Bob Handy.

She is survived by her sons and their families Bill and Ren Lara-Lothridge; Tom Lothridge and Kristen DeBruyne and his children Kaitlin (who gave Judy her first great-grandchild, Noah) and Ali; and Steve and Jenny Lothridge and their children Sam, Katie, Luke, Shane, and Yameek; Charlie and Michelle Derr and their children Elijah, Jessica, Travis, and Bailey; and Dan and Audrey Derr and their daughters Elli, and Cali. She is also survived by her sisters-in-law Joyce Handy and Dorothy Dayton and her husband, Lowell and nephews Mike, Tim, and Chris Handy; Mark Handy; and Michael, Cristopher, and Jon Dayton and their wives and children.

She will be greatly missed by all the people she loved, and who lover her back as a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, colleague, and friend.

Friends are invited to call from 2:00-4:00pm on Monday, March 5, 2018 at C.H Landers Funeral Chapel, 21 Main St. Sidney, NY 13838. Services will follow at 4:00pm at the funeral chapel. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Judy's memory may be directed to The Rotary Foundation Endowment Fund, 14280 Collections Center Drive, Chicago, IL 60693 or to the American Diabetes Association at www.diabetes.org.

Condolences and memories may be shared with the family online at www.landersfh.com.

Arrangements are under the direction of C.H. Landers Funeral Chapel, Sidney.