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Judith Kae Abel

Judith Kae Abel

Judith Kae Gowdy Abel, age 80 of Menomonie, died Wednesday November 30, 2022, at her home with hospice care and her family by her side. 

Judy was born March 25, 1942 in Mason City, Iowa to Reverend Vernon and Lois {Cook) Gowdy. 

The family relocated to Oconto, WI shortly after her birth where she began her elementary education.  As a young child the family relocated to Duluth, MN at age eight where she completed her elementary and high school education graduating from Denfeld High School in 1960. 

Judy attended St. Paul Bible College (now, Crown College) for one year.  Later in life she attended NWTC in Green Bay to get certified as a Pharmacy Technician. 

Judy married Orland Abel on June 6, 1964, at Immanuel Luther Church in Plum City. They were blessed with two daughters, Kerri and Brenda and they later served as foster parents to Wes Catalano. 

Judy worked at St Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company following her time at St Paul Bible College. While living in the Cameron- Rice Lake area she worked as a CNA at Lakeside Methodist Hospital. In the Bonduel area, she worked as a Unit Clerk, CNA, and Pharmacy Tech at the Shawano Community Hospital. She also served as an Administrative Assistant at Community Baptist (now Hope Community) Church and later as Administrative Assistant at The Center for Family Healing in the Appleton, Wisconsin area. 

She also volunteered her services at several churches they attended in directing choirs, singing, playing piano, and helping with children’s programs. 

Judy was a lifetime member of the Bonduel, State and National FFA Alumni and served the State FFA Alumni organization as their Section 8 Officer for two years. 

In the Menomonie area she was active at Cedarbrook and Branches Church where she was involved in prayer ministry, taught classes in setting boundaries, small group studies, and mentored many individuals. 

Judy loved doing in-depth Bible studies and discussing findings with others. She completed the Bethel Series overview of the Bible and served as a teacher for 3 years at Bethany Lutheran in Rice Lake. She later used the Precept Bible Study series to go deeper into her understanding of the Bible. 

Judy is survived by her husband Orland, daughters Kerri and Brenda, foster son Wes (Sandy), their children Ben(Liz), Anna, Bekah ( Jacob) Yahnke, Bridget, and Kayla(Tyler) Peters, sisters Joanne Weaver, Kathe ( Donovan) Kramer,  brothers Kenneth (Shirley) Gowdy. John (Shirley) Gowdy, sister in law Nancy (John) Meixner, brother in laws Glen Abel, Gary (Karen) Abel, Joseph Smith, many nieces and nephews. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers-in-law, Kenneth Weaver, Virgil Abel, Vern Abel, and Orville Abel, sisters-in-law, Patt Abel, Helen Abel, Eunice Abel, Norma Jean Abel, Norma Abel Smith, and Linda Sayers. 

She was also preceded in death by special nieces and nephews- Deborah Weaver, Miranda Abel, Todd Abel, Kevin Abel, James Neidermire, Colin Ross, and Andrew Kraeger 

Memorial services will be held at 1:00 PM Saturday December 10, 2022 at Cedarbrook Church in Menomonie with Rev. Remy Diedrich and Rev Mike Shay officiating. Burial will be next spring at the Union Cemetery in Plum City, WI. 

Visitation will be held one hour prior to the services at the church on Saturday.

A special thanks to the Oncology and Hospice Staff at Mayo Clinic in Menomonie and Eau Claire for the care given to Judy.



  1. Julie Eckert

    We will miss Judy's sweet smile and always her kind words.

  2. nicole franczok

    I am so very sorry for your loss. my heart goes out to you and the whole family. she is in a better place and is no longer in pain. god bless you and the whole family

  3. Mi-Yah Peters

    During my time in Menomonie, while attending UW-Stout I was so blessed to know Judy. I know she will be missed greatly but her legacy in Christ will go on as she has impacted so many through His love for her and flowing out of her.

  4. Philip Tschumperlin

    I first met Judy at St. Paul Fire & Marine, probably 1964-65 when we both worked there, and of course saw her at Plum City High School reunions with Orland. Orland, sorry for your loss. Condolences to you and your family. May she rest in peace.

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