Judith Ann (Kerstetter)Heitmann of Greenwood Village, CO went to Heaven on Thursday, October 29, 2020 after 5 years of battling with Alzheimer’s disease, she was 80.
Judy was born in Ashland, KS on July 18, 1940 and grew up on a farm in Protection, KS along with her 4 siblings. She was attending Fort Hays State University when she met and then married John Heitmann; they had 2 sons: Aaron and Erik. The couple first lived in Lansing, KS and then moved to Pratt, KS where Judy returned to college to finish her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. After graduating from Saint Mary of the Plains College, the family moved to Waterville, KS where Judy started her teaching career. Judy would spend the next 30 years teaching first graders and Kindergartners at Waterville Elementary School. Judy loved teaching children to read and worked hard to stay up on all the latest teaching strategies. Along with school, Judy was involved in many community activities and she was active in a teacher’s sorority, Shakespeare Club and the Library Board. Judy was president of the local teachers association one year and she also volunteered with hospice after retirement. For all Judy’s life she loved the Lord and was always very active in church and was very involved in Waterville Methodist Church often helping with the children’s activities.
Over a four year period the family built a unique house overlooking the Little Blue River north of Waterville and had many stories of their adventures on that endeavor. John and Judy enjoyed collecting antiques for their home as well as travel to NYC, London and Germany. While in Germany they were able to reconnect with their two foreign exchange students and their family. After John’s passing in early 2011, Judy was able to visit the Holy Lands which was a dream trip for her.
Judy learned to knit and crochet early in her marriage and used those skills to help many children. Judy knit hundreds of sweaters, blankets and hats for World Vision to send all over the world. As well, she knit many stuffed bears that were sent to the Mama Bear Project for children in Africa affected by Aids. Judy also loved animals and had untold number of dogs and cats over the years as she could not turn away a stray.
Judy’s love for family was great and she doted on her four grandkids as often as she could. She loved to come up with surprises for the families and bring smiles to everyone’s faces. Judy moved to Wichita, KS after her Alzheimer’s diagnosis to live closer to her son Aaron and in turn moved to Colorado when he moved in 2018.
Judy’s gentle spirit and sweet smile will be missed by all.
Judy is survived by her two sons, Aaron (Susan) and Erik (Carol), along with four grandkids: Neal (Monica), Chelsea, Ian, and Ella and one great-granddaughter, Lily. As well she is survived by her two sisters: Betty (Bob) Norton and Bonnie (Doyle) Mendenhall. She was preceded in death by her husband, John Heitmann and her two brothers, Don Kerstetter and Rex Kerstetter. A memorial service will be held at a later date, yet to be determined due to Covid. Memorial gifts can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association in memory of Judy Heitmann at http://act.alz.org/goto/JudyHeitmann.