When Ancestors Find You!

In 2008 I was going through a box and unexpectedly came across a newspaper article tribute to my Great Grandfather Hubert Osborn Judd in The Garden City Daily Telegram (Garden City, Kansas) dated in March of 1940 (the actual date was missing from my copy though he died on March 8, 1940.)

My great grandfather Reverend Hubert Judd died 16 years before I was born. Hubert was father to Dr Merrill Hubert Judd who was my grandfather and Merrill was my mother’s father. She was named after both her father Merrill (Merilyn) and her Mother (Helen) Judd Massey. By the time she died my mother’s name included my father’s last name and her second husbands last name – Merilyn Helen Judd Carter Massey. Of course she dropped the Judd when she got married and dropped the Carter when she remarried dying with her legal name being Merilyn Judd Massey.

The article I found included the last sermon Reverend Hubert O. Judd ever gave and it was published in honor of his death.
This is the article as it appeared in its entirety.

The Late Reverend Judd’s View Of Life After Death Shown In Final Sermon

The last sermon that the Rev. Hubert O. Judd ever prepared for a Garden City audience was read at his funeral service in the Community Church. It was prepared for the service he himself conducted in that church on Easter Sunday, 1931.

“The resurrection of Jesus,” read the words in Mr. Judd’s handwriting, “was an extraordinary evidence of an ordinary event.

“Every death is a real resurrection.

“Death is a separation of the soul from the body. The organist rises from his seat and leaves the instrument upon which he has been playing. The instrument may crumble to dust, the player still lives on.

“‘Earth to earth, ashes to ashes dust to dust.’ But the sprit to God who gave it. Death is dust to dust, ashes to ashes; the resurrection is the spirit to God who gave it; the two are simultaneous.

“Jesus was not raised from the dead by a power acting on him from without,. He had in himself the power of an endless life. He was himself the resurrection and the life, and therefore immune from death.

“He laid down his life and he took it again because he had power to lay it down and take it again. The life was continuous, unbroken.

‘What the New Testament represents as true respecting Jesus Christ, it represents as true of Christ’s follower. He is the first fruits of them that sleep. Their resurrection is like his resurrection, their life is like his life, their death is like his death. They are not raised from the dead by a power acting on them for without. The rise from the dead as the bird from the egg, as the plant from the seed.

“The sons of God have in themselves the immortality of their Father. He that liveth and enters into the Christ life shall not die and rise from the dead – he shall never die.

“Immortality is a possession.

“‘The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a therefore not a miraculous prophecy of a future resurrection – it is visible witness of a present fact. It attest the power of the divine life in all the sons of God.

“As the germinating of a single seed is evidence of a dormant power of life in all similar seeds, so the uprising of this son of God is a demonstration of the dormant life in all the sons of God.

“While we, like Mary, weep at the grave, our friend, like Christ, unrecognized, stands by our side and speaks our name. The angels must always wonder why we still seek our living among the dead.

“Doubtless there are some passage of scripture which seem inconsistent with this view, but there are no passages in Christ’s teaching which properly interpreted do not accord with it. Most of them explicitly confirm it.

“The New Testament emphasizes that through a life personally in fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ and nourished by him is always life eternal, that the life of righteousness, unselfishness, and serviceableness, never dies, never ceases to exist but ever lives with an ever increasing fullness.”

These words, said the Rev. Marvin A. Brown in conducting the funeral service for Mr. Judd Monday afternoon, were prophetic.

Mr. Judd gave his life to community service in Garden City. He came here early in 1915 as pastor of the Union Congressional church. He remained in the service of this church (now the Community church) for 16 years, until forced by illness to give up his work on Easter Sunday nine years ago. The following year, after returning from a rest in California, he was pastor of the Congregational church in Lenora, Kansas for three months, again retiring because of illness.

During the World War he was a Y.M.C.A. secretary at Camp Funston, Kansas. In Garden City he was Red Cross county chairman; member chairman of the the school board; American Legion chaplain; Knights Templar commander and chaplain; a charter member of the Rotary club; member of the Elks lodge; and member of the state executive board of the Congregational conference.

He was born on his family’s homestead near Huntsburg, Ohio, September 24, 1870, the son of Minerva Osborn and Lewis S. Judd. He was educated at New Lyme Academy and Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio (where he met and was married to Miss Clara Harman) and Chicago Theological seminary. After a student pastorate near Marietta he served churches in Mantorville, Minnesota; Grandin, Missouri, and three other Kansas churches in Hiawatha, Nickerson and Eureka, before coming to Garden City.

Mrs. Judd, who now resides in Los Angeles, and their four children Dr. Merrill H. Judd, Littleton, Colorado; Clarence of Cleveland; Donald of Sapula, Oklahoma and Eleanor of Los Angeles, came to Garden City for the funeral and burial services at Valley Viey cemetery. Mr. Judd has one surviving brother, Charles Judd of Huntsburg, Ohio.

The End of the Article

Personal Note: I was delighted to find my Great Grandfather’s sermon inspiring and insightful. I was also surprised to see the part about his being a Knights Templar Commander and Chaplain. This revelation was especially synchronistic at the time as I had been studying the Knight’s Templars the past few years.

I also am one of the founding members of an emerging order known as the Sacred Order of the Venus Templars.

I also found this notice in The Garden City Telegram on Clara Harman Judd, Hubert’s wife and my Great Grandmother who died when I was 15.

Mrs. Clara Harman Judd Dies March 23, 1971

Mrs. Clara Judd, 95, Aurora, Colorado former Garden City Resident, died Monday (at home) in Aurora following a long illness.

Born May 26, 1875 at Coolville, Ohio, Mrs. Judd was the wife of the late Rev. H.O. Judd, who served as pastor of the Community Church here for more than 20 years. He preceded her in death March 8, 1940. They had moved here from Nickerson (Kansas) in 1915. Mrs Judd had been making her home with her daughter Mrs. Eleanor Scott, Aurora, since 1962.

She was a member of the First Plymouth Congregational Church, Denver.

Survivors include a son, Clarence, New York City, a daughter, Mrs. Eleanor Scott, Aurora, five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Two sons, Merrill and Donald preceded her in death.

Personal Note: My Great Grandmother Clara had a twin brother named Clarence. She also had four children, three sons and a daughter. She did not have twins, but she was a twin. I was not a twin but I had twins, boy and girl (Ian and Jenna), just like Clara and Clarence.

Clara named her youngest son after her twin brother. Her brother Clarence had died at a young age but her son Clarence lived into his 90’s.

Interestingly my youngest son Jeremy was born on May 26, 1990 exactly 115 years later on my Great Grandmother’s birthday .

I adored my Great Grandmother as she was the only one of my elders who I felt really cared about me. She loved to tease me and tell me she was going to put a brick on top of my head as I reached her height and then began to grow taller than she was.  She was a short woman and I quickly grew taller than her in my pre-teen years.

I remember attending her funeral in Garden City, Kansas in March of 1971 (I had just turned 15). It was my first real experience of someone dying that was close to me and I felt like I was in altered state the whole time we were there. 

As I think about that experience now, I realize it was similar to the altered stated I experienced with my Mother’s death in 1998.