Judith (Judy) Lee Hineman Sjoberg was born May 13, 1943 and passed away peacefully on March 15, 2024. Judy was born in Manhattan, KS to Kalo and Geneva Hineman. She grew up on the family farm near Dighton, KS and was the oldest of four. Her Western Kansas roots were deep, as well as her love for family.

Growing up, Judy played the piano and flute, and excelled at big sister duties to her siblings, Don, Tom and Linda, as well as nearly 50 first cousins. She relished hunting for arrowheads and shark teeth with her beloved Grandmother Nancy Esther Hineman throughout Lane County. Her high school days were filled with joy as she cheered on her hometown Dighton Hornets.

Judy went to the University of Kansas and pledged Alpha Phi. She loved being a “coed” as she called it and thrived at KU and the Elementary Education Department. It was her Sophomore year when she went on a blind date. When standing on her date’s fraternity house steps, he introduced her to his Pledge Dad, Dave Sjoberg. When Judy and her date got in his car, Judy couldn’t stop asking about Dave. When Judy’s date got back to his house, his Pledge Dad couldn’t stop asking about Judy. The poor guy finally threw his hands in the air and exclaimed, “Fine! You two can have each other!” It was truly love at first sight.

Dave took a job in Denver, CO, so Judy followed the love of her life and finished her college days in Boulder attending the University of Colorado. However, her heart always remained true to the Kansas Jayhawks.

Judy and Dave married on June 24, 1964. Judy taught school in Denver and fell in love with teaching fourth grade. She was a conscientious, well-prepared and loving teacher who connected with all her students, especially through creative science experiments. Together Dave and Judy crafted a full and beautiful life in Colorado, always taking advantage of the beauty and glory of the Rocky Mountains.

Judy was an extraordinary Mom to her kids, Scott and Kristen. She was the I-am-always-here-for-you-and-I-love-you-oodles-and-gobs kind of Mom. She happily volunteered for any and all activities and made sure that the Sjoberg household was welcoming, full of faith and happiness and that nightly family dinners preceded by prayer were a must. She often stayed up into the wee hours of the night waiting for her teenage kids to arrive home safely. She defined the term unconditional love.

The beach was a special place for Judy, with shells being a fascination of hers. Whether on the beach, a mountain hike (with “gorp” for all) or a simple walk in the neighborhood, she could often be found with her head down scanning for nature’s treasures.

Judy was a voracious reader and a lifelong student. She prided herself in sliding big and impressive words into her daily talk, leaving all impressed and a few scratching heads. She had an open mind and heart, which made her an exceptionally loving and accepting person with the biggest of hearts. She was always the champion of the underdog in everything. Through the years, many a kid has called “Mama Jude” their second Mom – making her happy beyond belief.

After her kids were grown, Judy began a second career in selling computer training, school furniture and A/V equipment. With her people skills, she was a natural at sales.

Judy and Dave moved to Kansas City in 2009 to be closer to their kids, six grandkids and “Outlaws.” She found “Gramsie” to be her absolute favorite title in life. She loved spending one-on-one time with her “Grands” and was never happier than when the “Dirty Dozen” was together.

Together Judy and Dave with their son, Scott, and his wife, Kami, started Right At Home – Kansas City, an in-home care and assistance company in Overland Park, KS. Judy was involved with the business on a daily basis for several years. Right At Home was tailor-made for her; working with seniors to remain in their home and age in place showcased her loving heart and kindness.

She was a lover of people of all kinds, the last to leave a party or church. Throughout her life, Judy collected friends just like she collected shells, rocks and one-liners. She loved the color blue, ice cream, being a farm girl, cooking Chinese food, her faith, family, friends, genealogy, jazz music, crossword puzzles, hiking, museums, traveling, reading, butterflies, cats, sleeping in and did we mention people?

When Judy was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she was adamant to be a part of the solution and the cure. She participated in several clinical trials with determination and urgency. Having seen her Dad fight the disease, she was fueled by a resolve to learn all she could about prevention and management. She proudly arranged for her brain to be donated to the KU Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. She fought this horrible, ugly disease with incredible grace and grit.

Judy’s favorite saying was, “Every day is a Gift.” In honor of our Judy, let us all work to live intentionally and remember that every day truly is a gift.

Judy is survived by her beloved husband Dave Sjoberg, son Scott Sjoberg (Kami) and daughter Kristen Christian (Matthew); grandchildren David and John Sjoberg and Brian, Kala, Karly and Mac Christian; her siblings Don Hineman (Betsy), Tom Hineman (Jan) and Linda Gallagher (Mike); sweet nieces and nephews; and countless cousins and friends. She is preceded in death by her precious parents, Kalo and Geneva, and her forever best friend, Joan Beindorff.

The family would like to thank all those who played a role in caring for Judy through the years. Those who saw, honored and celebrated HER beyond the disease, especially her Right At Home caregivers Ernestine Lyons and Evelyn Auten, sweet friends Natalie Blackwood and Angie Smith, the many angels who work and serve at Prairie Elder Care, Ascend Hospice, Michelle Niedens with KU Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and Emily Stirewalt with Church of the Resurrection.

There will be a celebration of life on Tuesday, April 2nd at 1:00 in the Wesley Chapel at Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, KS with a reception to follow. We invite all to wear BLUE to celebrate Judy and her beautiful blue eyes.

Judy will be laid to final rest next to her parents in Dighton, KS at a Hineman family reunion this spring.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the University of Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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