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It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Judy Barraugh (Big Jude), a beloved mother, grandmother, wife, and friend, who departed this world on October 27, 2023, at the age of 81, surrounded by her loving family. She leaves behind a void that cannot be filled but also a legacy that will live on in the stories told, the memories shared, and the lives she touched.
Judy was born on November 11, 1941 in Helena, MT to Doris and Henry Huth. She attended Bishop Gilmore Catholic School through 8th grade before moving with her family to Townsend, MT, where she completed her high school years at Broadwater County High. While in Townsend, she met and married the love of her life, Ron Barraugh. Soon after Judy and Ron moved to Helena to raise their two daughters, Kelli and Ronda, and remained in Helena for the rest of their lives.
To know her, was to love her. With her quick wit and cheeky humor, Judy left a lasting impression on everyone she met. She was fun loving, kind, compassionate, and fiercely loyal to her grandchildren. Gathering around to listen to her stories of yesteryears, filled with unique sayings, quotes, and witty one-liners will be memories cherished by all who had the fortune of hearing them.
Judy enjoyed 30+ years working for the Helena School District. Here she provided immense joy to the lives of all the kids who had the pleasure of being mentored by her. Much of her career was spent working at Helena High School which led her to become a proud and loyal Bengal fan throughout her life. She always had an eye on how the Bengals were doing in many activities, every year. She also thoroughly enjoyed her years subbing at various other schools, such as Jefferson Elementary School which always held a special place in her heart.
Her kitchen table was welcoming to all and often was the heart of many gatherings, celebrations, and cherished memories for family and countless friends. Whether it be the holidays, craft days with Grandma, or just halftime of a local football game, she and Ron always had food, drinks, laughs, and a warm place for everyone to gather and spend their time together.
Judy’s hobbies included yardwork, crafts, reading, crossword puzzles, and decorating for the holidays which kept her busy and constantly moving. She could not sit still. In addition, some of her proudest accomplishments were the incredible custom birthday cakes she made for her family every single year. She also loved the ocean and made some of her best memories on family trips to the Oregon coast. From eating steamed clams to getting up early to search the beach for that perfect sand dollar, it truly was her happy place.
Her favorite hobby of all was being the biggest fan to her grandchildren in everything they accomplished. She was always there to support them, encourage them, and lend a helping hand whenever and wherever they needed it.
Judy is preceded in death by her husband Ron Barraugh and her parents Doris and Henry Huth.
Judy is survived by her daughters Kelli Kessler (Don) and Ronda McMillan (Bill), grandchildren Stefani Reinhardt (Craig), Brian Kessler, Kassidi DeMars, and Kendra Kessler (Hannah), great-grandchild Finn Reinhardt, sisters Jane Wells and Joni Sittler (Ed), brothers Jim Huth and John Huth, sister-in-law Barb Wogamon and brother-in-law Bill Barraugh, and many nieces, nephews, and a host of relatives and friends who mourn her loss but celebrate the beautiful life she lived. As we bid her farewell, we find comfort in knowing that her spirit remains alive in the laughter of her family, her stories we will continue to pass on, and the countless hearts she touched. Judy was a true fighter in every sense of the word, and up until her very last breath. We will all miss her feisty spirit along with her contagious laugh and smile. Rest in peace and happiness, Big Jude. “Go Bengals!”
A Celebration of Life will be held Friday, November 3rd from 3:00-6:00pm at the Helena Air- port Event Center. Memorials in Judy’s name may be made to the Angel Fund (angelfundhelena.org) or the Lewis & Clark Humane Society (lchsmontana.org).
To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Judy Ann Barraugh, please visit our Tree Store.