Cover photo for Judith M. Dern's Obituary
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1939 Judith 2022

Judith M. Dern

April 20, 1939 — March 27, 2022

MERCEDES - Judith (Judy) Marie Wilke Dern, age 82 of Mercedes, Texas.

We grieve deeply because we loved deeply. In the early morning hours of March 27, 2022, Judy Dern took her last breath on this earth surrounded by her family and then began her eternal life in the presence of her Lord and Savior. At that moment, her body was healed, she was no longer in pain, and she was surrounded by family and friends who preceded her.

Judy was born April 20, 1939, in Sheboygan, WI to Richard and Ursula Wilke. She grew up in Cleveland, WI and graduated from Sheboygan Central High School. She went on to attend Holly Family College. Judy married William (Bill) Dern on July 20, 1957. Judy taught 6th and 5th Grade social Studies at Chilton Middle School.

Judy and Bill lived most of their adult life in Chilton, WI before retiring to Mercedes, TX 15 years ago. Judy had a love of travel and visited many places in the US and around the world with family and friends. Always a reader, she also enjoyed a round of golf, and in later years became an amazing crafter, excellent quilter, and watercolor painter. She enjoyed good conversation, a brandy Manhattan, and a rare steak. A devout Catholic, she made God and Church a priority in her life.

Her greatest calling though was being a loving wife, mother, G-ma and Gi-gi-ma, sister and friend to all she met.

Judy is preceded in death by her parents: Richard and Ursula Wilke, her sister: Vicky Kelly and her infant daughter.

Her survivors include her husband of 64 years William (Bill) Dern of Mercedes, TX, her son: Russell Dern (Claudia Pressley) of Knoxville TN, daughter-in-Law Shelley Dern of Florida, sister: Janice and Bob Pine of TX, brother: Richard and Mary Wilke of Plymouth WI. Grandchildren: Travis Dern (Ashley) and Meagan Dern-Bragg (Tyler), great-grandchildren: Avin and Braun Dern, and Camron, Landen and Aspin Bragg, and a soon-to-be-born great-great-grandchild all of WI. A host of friends in WI and Texas. Step-grandchildren: Arman Wise and Kimball Wise (Thomas Cates), step-great-grandchild: Malachi Dewayne Cates of Knoxville, TN.

Funeral service and Interment are scheduled for Thursday, April 7, 2022, 11 am, at St. John Catholic Church (address: N7692 Co Hwy BB, Hilbert WI). Receiving of friends will begin at 10 am, prior to the funeral service. All are welcome to a reception for Judy’s Celebrate of Life at the Neighborhood Pub located at N5091 Co Hwy after the service. A Celebration of Life Service will be planned later for Judy's Texas friends.

Thank you to all who have walked this journey with Judy, Bill, and Russell. We are all just walking each other home.
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