In loving memory of

Judith Ann Stinson

February 14, 1959 - August 26, 2020

Biography

Judith Ann Stinson passed away with dignity and grace at her Kirkwood home with her husband and best friend Scott Schaefer at her side on Wednesday August 26, 2020 following a courageous battle with cancer. A lifelong St. Louisian, Judy was immersed in the medical and legal communities. Following a ten year career as a neonatal intensive care flight nurse for Cardinal Glennon Hospital, Judy was recruited to the law firm of Gray Ritter and Graham P. C. to become the senior nurse paralegal. For the next thirty years Judy was a key member of the firm’s trial teams, working close for clients with unwavering devotion. Her many lifelong friends will remember Judy’s warm hospitality, her superlative baking and cooking skills, and her dry wit.

Judy was one of five sisters, who were also her best friends. She cherished her role as the cool aunt to her 11 nieces and nephew; who in turn idolized her for her style known as “sexy elegant.” We will never forget her bright blue eyes, wispy blonde hair, and brilliant smile often seen as the passenger of the giant red ’74 Cadillac Eldorado convertible with a glass of wine in hand, wrapped in her fur, waving at us with tissue in hand. We will love you forever, Judy.

Judy is survived by her husband, Scott Schaefer, her parents, Robert and Virginia Stinson, sisters Chris Gibbons (Patrick), Casey Lange (Bob), Peggy Shelly (Carson), and Patty Kleiss (John), 11 nieces and nephew, and many friends. She will be sadly missed by her colleagues at Gray Ritter & Graham. 

Pursuant to Judy’s wishes she was cremated. A memorial service honoring Judy’s life will be held at a future date. Donations may be made in her honor to PBS/Channel 9 below.

The love of my life passed away this morning . . .

8:02 am on August 26, 2020. She was 61 years old.

I was blessed enough to be able to hold her in my arms and whisper sweet nothings in her ear as she drifted away from me forever.

I wanted to write down my thoughts while they were fresh in my reeling mind.

I will miss you terribly my love. You were my wife, my lover, my very best special friend. It took me 50 years to find you.

I’ve always been a relatively solitary kind of guy. I had no problem being alone. That changed when I met Judith.

She was the first woman that ever, truly saw my soul. I opened to her completely. No secrets. No varnishing the truth. She knew me as I was. Warts and all. And I believe she shared her inner most thoughts and dreams and fears with me as well.

We were both born on Valentine’s Day. She was Ying. I was Yang. She was right hemisphere, I was left. Together we made one hell of a brain. We were the “Schaefersons.”

I miss her already. Not really sure how to proceed with a life without her. Not sure what to do.

Judith was special. Loving. Generous. Kind. Funny. Beautiful. She was the “whole package.” To me, she was “Judalicious.”

I will miss her laugh. Her intensity. Her smile. Her ability to bring order to chaos in our lives. I will miss listening to her sing (and her knowing all the words to every musical we ever watched together). I will miss our slow romantic cruises in our old Cadillac convertible. The long, fragrant soaks we shared during “tub-time.” The sweet, lazy days at the Lake. I will miss kissing her goodnight – and kissing her again every morning.

My bestest friend. The love of my life.

Both of our lives have been plagued with pain and fear and heartache. The great “cosmic unfairness” that we all have to endure at some points in our lives. Being with Judith – knowing there was someone I could share my life with – made it all bearable. All worthwhile. The woman saved my life.

I only had the privilege to know and be with Judith for about 12 years. I wanted to celebrate that time with you in the attached video. As you will see, she was my muse…and a great sport to put up with my tilted sense of humor. So, please do not judge her when you see many a picture with a wine glass in her hand – that was simply how I plied her to participate in my folly!

 

Remembering Judy . . .

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I encourage everyone to leave their thoughts, stories and memories of Judith.

Let’s share all the good times that occur during a life well spent.

When all the Corona Virus dust settles, and we can gather again as friends, family and colleagues  – we will have a proper celebration and memorial service commemorating the life of Judith Ann Stinson.

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My beautiful sister you will forever be in my heart. Love you, Casey

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Aunt Judy – I love you forever. I will work hard every day to make you proud. You taught me so much about about life, and I aspired to be like you more than even I knew or realized! But in the days since you’ve been gone, I look around and everything reminds me of you. Decor that was inspired/passed down by you, trinkets that were given to me by you, cook books full of recipes you taught me or we traded. There isn’t a single part of me that wasn’t influenced by you. And I will always be grateful for the millions of pieces of you that are a part of me forever. Thank you for being the best aunt that anyone could ever ask for. I hope you know how much we loved you, needed you and appreciated you- even though sometimes I wasn’t always the nicest niece… I will think of you every time I drink a fine wine, clean my house, clip a coupon, decorate for any holiday, get my hair to have any volume, have success at work, or anytime that I am driving and yearn to call you to see what’s up just one last time. Thank you Aunt Judy. You will always be our favorite aunt.

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We miss you so much aunt J! I loved our In depth conversations about cooking, my girls, ways I could be more organized, nurse life (RN) and how to throw a good party! Andrew and I always enjoyed going to the lake with you and Uncle Scott. I will miss seeing you do backflips off the diving board, making your fancy “poo poo plater” for snacking on the dock, making sure everyone had a cocktail for the evening boat cruise and watching the storms on the covered porch. Every time I find a good sale, pour a fancy cocktail, or go to the lake I will think of you! You are the greatest! I love you so much! Love, Katie

We miss you so much aunt J! I loved our In depth conversations about cooking, my girls, ways I could be more organized, nurse life (RN) and how to throw a good party! Andrew and I always enjoyed going to the lake with you and Uncle Scott. I will miss seeing you do backflips off the diving board, making your fancy “poo poo plater” for snacking on the dock, making sure everyone had a cocktail for the evening boat cruise and watching the storms on the covered porch. Every time I find a good sale, pour a fancy cocktail, or go to the lake I will think of you! You are the greatest! I love you so much!

Love, Katie

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Judy,
Thanks for being the most thoughtful, generous, dependable, and loving friend and sister that there could ever be. Through the years you were my shopping buddy, my best babysitter, my interior decorator, my therapist, my social director, my travel buddy, my make up artist, my personal chef, my confidant, my business partner, my gardener, my nurse, and so much more, but most of all,
you were my best friend.
Thanks for loving me and my family so much.
Thanks for being a second mother to Annie, Kasey, Steph and Lucy.
You even loved our damn dogs, and that wasn’t easy.
It’s been 5 days since you left this world and I can’t count the number of times since then that I’ve randomly thought “I think I’m gonna give Jude a call…” , Or “ I need to send Judy this pic” So though I can’t dial you up or shoot you A text anymore, know that your spirit will forever be in my heart.
Love you forever,
The luckiest little sis in the world,
Peg

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I just watched Scott’s beautiful montage of Judy and him . I am in tears as I remember my friend and all the funny memories I have of us together . Starting at Cardinal Glennon back in 1985 until now I can’t think of a time we didn’t laugh hysterically together . A few years ago Judy , Scott and I had a dinner that they put together for all of us at the lagoon at the bottom of Art Hill; this was before her health took a turn and we had a splendid nite in the park and driving around in Eldo . I miss her so much . I will remember working together , making dinner together , me doing her always gorgeous nails , enjoying wine together , laughing at odd coworkers , cutting her hair when she was losing her hair and her asking if she needed to tip me for the haircut .. I will always remember her laugh , her strength , her faith and her love of life , and especially her love and appreciation of Scott , and all of her great sisters . We were all blessed to have her in our lives

My sweet sister; miss you so much already. We are the Fab Five. Always have been… forever will be. We are not complete without you. Love you so much. P.

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I met Judy in high school at Notre Dame. Our friend groups intersected and enjoyed each other but it was working at Cardinal Glennon with her where we became really good friends. She brought so much fun and laughter into my life! She went through both of my engagements and weddings with me and helped me get through it all. We laughed so very much! I have so many wonderful memories and stories of our times together. I moved to Columbia, we stayed in touch off and on, but reconnected again last year. Then we went to a Glennon reunion together and I stayed over with her and Scott that night. Scott made us the best grilled cheese and we just sat together and talked. I got to see her and Scott together like I hadn’t before. I was so impressed with their relationship and so very happy for her. She found the love of her life! She so deserved it! She may not have had the quantity but she sure had the quality in both love and life! Judy, you are my friend forever and I love you!

I’ve heard it said
That people come into our lives
For a Reason

Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return

Well I don’t know if believe that’s true
But I know I’m who I am today
Because I knew YOU

Love you to Infinity and Beyond, Michael

Well said my friend ❤️

Aunt Judy,

You will be so so missed! You have always been a very classy lady that we look up to.

Since we were little, through highschool and college and especially into “adult” life Annie has always talked a lot about you. You mean more to her than she may have let on. I know she values your opinion, especially on home decor. (When we lived together in Chicago all of our nice things were from you. We were so proud of our cheese knives and serving bowls).

But more much more than that. Annie lights up when she shares stories about you. She cares deeply about you and the things that are important to you. I know she’s enjoyed the extra time together when she moved back home.

We’ll continue to cherish the memories of you and still talk about your witty remarks and fashion sense.

I’ll miss seeing you around. I hope you are drinking fancy champagne out of a nice crystal glass, rocking your fur and pretty blonde curls reading these tributes now and feeling very loved. Because you absolutely are so loved.

Love,
Tricia

I had the pleasure of going to school with Judy and growing up with her family in St. Matthias parish. She was a genuine, fun-loving, caring, ready to help at a moment’s notice kind of friend. I am truly honored to have called her my friend. My deepest condolences to the Stinson family and to her husband. You were lucky to have found each other and we were all better for having her in our lives.



Judy ALWAYS brought a great sense of calm and decency to all of the cases which I worked with her. Coupled with her wonderful smile and infectious giggle, I looked forward to seeing her appear on cases with GR&G. Judy was a firm advocate for the firm’s clients, a formidable opponent, and a class person. She will be greatly missed by all of us who had the privilege of working near her. Kevin O’Malley

Judy always considered herself the matchmaker for my husband, Andrew and I. I guess you could say she was! Judy’s best friend from childhood and St. Mathias was my mother-in-law Susan. Andrew has known Judy since he was born. He lived next to her on Rosa and moved to Nebraska with his family where he grew up. The Milhouse family continued to come to STL over the years and they always saw Judy. Andrew has stories of cleaning Judy’s gutters while vacationing in STL.

Andrew and I connected through a friend that was in his grad school class, started dating and eventually married. Judy found out that Andrew and I were dating and years later moved in together from my grandpa Bob. Can you imagine how she reacted? Haha
J always reminded me of this, even at my last visit with her.

A few weeks ago when Judy and I were talking on the phone she asked if I was pregnant again: I replied no. She said thank god! (My girls are 13 months apart). Haha Judy had her sense of humor until her last days on earth. She was always thinking of others and making them smile.

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It’s crazy to think these two best friends are together again in heaven!

It is crazy to think of what that reunion must have been like! I am sure Judy is sharing all the details on Susie and Hal. With heavy pours of wine, watching over the girls and us with extra enthusiasm now that they are together. Your family has the dream team of guardian angels now!

Scott, what beautiful words. What a wonderful video. What a wonderful relationship. To you and to Judy’s family: She glowed whenever she spoke of you. Her heart was filled up with you. It was a joy to see and share. There is simply too much to say and not enough words. Judy was so filled with intelligence, dedication, humor, wit, creativity, life, and love. I am privileged to have known her. She lives on in the so many of us she touched.

Oh what a dear woman— our beloved Aunt Judy! In spite of being the same age as Judy, I always knew her as Aunt Judy and never called her anything other than Aunt Judy. That was what she was introduced to me as by her Shelly nieces and that’s who she was.
Truth be told, maybe it made me feel younger!
What a grand aunt she was! It almost seemed like the girls had a mom and a half, because she was such a big part of their world. Aunt Judy was a part of every aspect of their lives. And how kind of Peggy and Carson to make sure their eldest, dear Annie looked exactly like Judy! Seriously, compare childhood pics, you might not guess which is Annie or Judy! Same hair cut, same smile, same fashion sense, and who knows, maybe the same antics while growing up!
You would see Judy walking all over Kirkwood, often miles from her home. She was always good for a quick catch-up and a good laugh. Gosh she was funny!
I one time found her at Global Foods picking out nearly inedible items from various foreign lands for a family holiday party! And this was done with leftover pocket change! A sheer genius!
She was accomplished, successful and beautiful. I will never forget how excited she was when she told me she was getting married! There was pure joy in her voice!❤️
Judy, thank you for a pocketful of wonderful memories and laughs. We all learned so much from you God bless Scott, and all the Stinsons and their kids for sharing Judy with us all. Your grief won’t be permanent as it is only the result of great love. It is that love that will ease your sadness. Until then, we’ll hold you up in our prayers.
❌⭕️❌⭕️,
Cathy

Judy, So glad to have shared a portion of my life with you….all the parties in grade school and high school; and our little group of friends all along the way….Some of the most fun and best times of my life…..Thanks for all the fun times…..So glad you and Scott found each other these last 12 years, and that you had such love for each other. What a tremendous gift and grace. That love will carry you both through even this, and will never end……Bless you now in your new life where you are, I can’t imagine your reunion with Susan, but I know it probably involved some good wine and lots of laughs…..Love to you, Judy…..remember us, we will never forget you.

Judy, I remember all the fun we had together growing up. I lived across the street from the Stinson girls, walked to St. Matthias with the girls and later was in the Notre Dame carpool together. We all crammed into the car with our dads driving to school each morning. Our poor dads putting up with all that talking and laughing so early each morning. I’d go back to those days in a heartbeat. Back to our homes on Southshire Drive. I’m so happy you found the love of your life even if it wasn’t the longest the quality is what counts. Rest In Peace Judy, until we meet again.

My darlin’ Judy, Saying goodbye leaves us all inconsolable …I will forever cherish the generous piece of your kind, compassionate self, you so graciously Gifted to all of us throughout you’re 61 years. Thank you for that wonderful gift that keeps on giving…

Love you with my broken but peace filled heart.

Your Big Sis forever

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Scott, heartfelt sympathy dear friend. You have wonderful memories to hang on it .
So sorry for your loss.

Please accept our deepest sympathy on the death of your darling Judy. We shared many happy times with the beautiful Stinson family. May your wonderful memories bring you peace in your sorrow. You are in our prayers as you grieve.

I am so sorry for the tragic loss of your wonderful Judy. Her smile was one of my favorite memories from Notre Dame! I ran into Judy at the Kirkwood Summer Concert a few years ago and she filled me in on all the news of the Stinsons and her wonderful husband. She was so proud of your family! You are all in my prayers!

Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers.

Since Donna and I were already in Houston when Scott met Judy, we do not have much in the way of memories of Judy to share. But we do know that Judy was an angel sent to help Scott heal from past wounds, and to share his life. Scott was never happier than after he and Judy tied the knot. What a blessing she was, and we know she was an exceptional person with a strong sense of humor and an amazing capacity to love (both true blessings for Scott). Their time together was far too short, but that is not a choice we get to make, and we grieve for Scott and for Judy’s family. While we know she was descended from the angels to be at Scott’s side, we also believe she has returned to that realm, and is now an angel watching over Scott. 
To Scott, you have been a trusted friend since we were teenagers engaging in childish (yet fun) behavior. We love you and cherish your friendship. Hang in there.  

Scott, My heart goes out to you. There are no words to describe it all. Bless your good heart for loving her and seeing her to the door through which you could not pass with her. Bless your good heart for your faithfulness and truth and love. It’s not an easy journey, but it’s one that you walked with her. What a great gift you gave. Having been in your position some 4.5 years ago, the pain is the measure of the love you shared. She will help you now in ways seen and unseen… But maybe you already know that. Family and friends are so important for the support, but the journey is yours alone to take and a it’s a very solitary one at that. She will not leave you, but will be your help in that walk….. take care of your heart.

Aunt Judy, I keep reaching for my phone to call you or text you. I miss you more than words can describe. Thank you for being such a wonderful aunt. I wish you were here.

Love you more than anything.
Erin

@erin obviously same because here I am checking the website 30 minutes after you! I’d imagine it’s probably pleasant for Judy to see how much she’s missed every day. that part makes me happy!!

I love that I’m not the only one checking and reading all the amazing memories people have of our wonderful aunt.

Scott and all you beautiful Sisters, and Friends,
Please accept our sincere sympathy in the passing on of your wife, sister, and friend, Judith. Thank you for your generous sharing of your hearts. We, too, will miss her. Judy was one of our ‘Special Team Nurses’ who cared for a very special gentleman for several years. Judy’s compassionate heart and skilled hands in care made his days and nights be filled with interesting stories and her sharing of her heart and sweet personality. Judith exemplified our motto
‘to serve with our hands, love with our hearts, and seek the face of our Creator in those we serve’ She is blessed. I was proud to work with her and we were always proud of having her on our Martha’s Hands Team.
May God grant her His grace, mercy, love and peace.
The Martha’s Hands Home Care Team.. Andrew & Denise Huber, John Hedrick and Staff
Eileen Hedrick RN BSHA
Founder Nurse

My grade school friend…
My high school friend…
My bridesmaid.
Cherished memories of a life time that will never be forgotten.
I miss you.

I just saw Judy’s obituary in the Webster-Kirkwood Times. My heart breaks for all the many who loved her. As former neighbors of Peggy and Carson, we saw Judy at many get togethers. She was always so fun and full of joy. Judy was one of our favorite people to run into around Kirkwood. She was frequently at Mass at St. Peter with my husband Dennis. He would come home and tell me he saw Judy at church and fill me in on all she had to say. I am not sure either of them were paying much attention to the homily.
You all have my deepest sympathy for the great loss of such a wonderful person.

I had the pleasure and honor of working with Judy for 18 years at the law firm. Everyday was very busy and stressful at times, but we always found time for humor and good times. We were like a family. Judy was very smart and knowledgeable in her nurse paralegal duties. Best in St. Louis! She made the world’s best brownies. When we would see her walking in with the “crystal plate”, we knew to head to the breakroom. My last memory (and I have many) was the evening my husband Bill, my daughter Jen and her husband Ryan and I went to visit Scott and Judy. We made homemade pasta and sauce, drank a lot of wine, then headed out in the caddie (we all six fit comfortably) to enjoy a drive around Kirkwood. It was so much fun. I will never forget Judy’s quick wit and sense of humor. I miss her.