Judith Marie Huber of Greensburg, Pa passed peacefully on Sunday, May 17, 2020 in Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital, Greensburg. She was born on July 10, 1949 in Trafford, PA, the eldest of 7 children to Marion Frances (Irwin) Huber and the late Edward Gerard Huber of Dobbin, TX. She was a graduate of Trafford High School and held a bachelor's degree from Slippery Rock State College. She was a member of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, Greensburg. In addition to her mother, she is survived by her son Thomas Richard Battenhouse JR, wife Carrie, and their children Margaret, Sophia, Eric, and Jason of Stow, OH; her daughter Jennifer Marie Stoecklein, husband Christian, and their children Elizabeth, Caroline, and Stephanie of Bridgeville, PA; brother Edward G. Huber Jr and wife Nancy of Cumberland, MD; sister Diane Brillhart and husband David of Dobbin, TX; sister Phyllis Paladin and husband Larry of White Oak, PA; sister Monica Lemke and husband Danny of Dobbin, TX; sister Barbara Blair of Nacogdoches, TX; sister Christine Miller and husband Gregory of Tyler, TX; and many nieces and nephews.
Judy Huber graduated from Trafford High School in 1967 where she was head majorette in the marching band and a lifeguard at the Blue Dell pool. She attended Slippery Rock State College and graduated with a special education teaching degree. As a young woman, she was athletic and passionate. She was a swimming instructor, she gave piano lessons, and she was employed as a special education teacher. She married her high school sweetheart; bought an old farmhouse in the country; cooked, canned, and baked; and she was a proud mother to her two children. In 1978 she was stricken with Devics Disease, a rare and progressive disorder with MS-like symptoms. Over the course of a year she lost the ability to walk and became reliant on a ventilator. Doctors gave her months to live. She was sent home and chose to rest with her parents and siblings, who were then living in Houston, TX. With tremendous support from her family and friends, she spent the next decade confounding the doctors. She learned to not just live with her tremendous disability, but to thrive.
In a bold move that shocked even her family, Judy moved from TX to PA in 1990 to start a new life near the family and friends of her youth. A close friend found her a first-floor apartment suited to her disability, and she made Greensburg her home. Through the grace of God, she found a fearless army of doctors, nurses, aides, and dear friends to orchestrate a healthcare regimen that permitted her to live independently. She became a services coordinator for accessAbilities, a local non-profit and one of the agencies that assisted in her own care. Through that job she became an advocate for disabled persons across Westmoreland County. She also tutored students from her home and led a prayer group twice monthly. In 1996 she focused her determination into the first “Afternoon of Reflection for People with Disabilities and Life-changing Illnesses,” which is now an annual event in its 24th year. Regarding the event, Judy was quoted in 2017: “We have to continue, all of us, to do the Lord’s work and the Lord has a job for each one of us...People with disabilities can contribute, and they are an asset to society, to their church and to their families.”
In 2002 she boldly travelled to South Carolina to visit her son’s family when her first grandchild was born. She didn’t let her health complications stop her; she knew no bounds. Other grandchildren soon followed, and when her son’s family moved north, her grandchildren discovered that grandma’s small apartment was the perfect hub for family events. Whether it was a gathering of high school friends, a prayer group, or a Thanksgiving celebration, Judy directed preparations herself, and through the charity of everyone around her, always provided an excess of food like a good hostess does.
Due to her debilitating illness, she eventually became a quadriplegic and lost her vision. Then in 2006 she was diagnosed with lymphoma. Even with aggressive treatment, doctors warned that she would survive a few years at most. For more than fourteen years, she endured rounds of radiation treatments and chemotherapy. Her vigor for life was renowned in the community, despite her numerous setbacks.
Judy was an inspiring woman. She was decisive, she had an excellent memory, and she had a firm grip on the harsh realities of her fragile health. She knew when to ask for help, and in turn was always the first to offer it to others. She was spiritual. She was humble, patient, and compassionate. She was brave, joyful, and even comical. She was a beloved friend, daughter, sister, mother, and grandmother. She lived every day as if it might be her last, and yet endured. With the support of caregivers who exceeded every expectation, she lived in her apartment for 30 years. She showed us the power of prayer, and we witnessed countless miracles. She was a living testament that God has a plan for us all.
Judy called her eldest granddaughter to wish her a happy 18th birthday and fell peacefully asleep two days later. She was surrounded by loving family when her youthful spirit came to know God’s grace.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.
Honoring Judy’s request, there will be no public visitation. All services and interment are private. LEO M. BACHA FUNERAL HOME, INC., 516 Stanton Street, Greensburg is in charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers Judy asked that donations be made to Our Lady of Grace Church in Greensburg, PA for an elevator. www.bachafh.com
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