Judith Wood Wussler, 84, Devoted to
Her Family, Church and Community
Judith Wood Wussler — a devoted wife, loving mother and grandmother, loyal friend, and active community member — lived a full and spiritual life surrounded by people who cherished her. She passed away peacefully on Wednesday, January 3, 2024, at the age of 84.
Judy was proud to have lived her entire life in Fanwood and Scotch Plains. She was a 1956 graduate of Scotch Plains High School, where she made many lifelong friends. More importantly, it was here where she met the love of her life, Don. Judy and Don married in 1960 and spent the next 55 years showing the world what a truly happy marriage looks like. With the arrival of Don Jr., Randy, Joel and Valerie, their family became the center of their universe.
If the kids had an activity, Judy was involved. In elementary school, she was a room mother, active PTA member, piano accompanist for the choir, and office volunteer. As the kids got older, she was heavily involved as a band and athletic booster. In the 1970s, she was also a Little League Team Mom before the term even existed.
Her community involvement didn’t stop after the kids were out of the house. She simply moved on to personal passions. Judy loved her restored 1967 Mercury Cougar (or what she lovingly called her “COUGRRR”) and enjoyed participating in parades and car shows with members of car clubs she helped run.
In her 60s, Judy learned to play the cello and spent more than 10 years with the Summit Symphony, sharing her passion for music with the community. Music was a constant joy in Judy’s life. As a child, she played the violin and piano. By high school, she had moved to the trombone as one of the early members of The Moonglowers — the high school’s long-time, esteemed jazz band. She began singing in her church choir as a teenager and continued for a miraculous 60+ years. Judy always had a song in her head, and if you spent any time around her, you’d eventually hear that song come to life via her distinctive, high-pitched whistle.
Her spiritual life went far beyond the choir. She was a devoted member of the Fanwood Presbyterian Church since childhood — a true pillar, having served as a Deacon and Elder. She also held important roles in higher governing bodies of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and regularly participated in the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Ministerium. Her constant involvement reaffirmed her strong faith and allowed her to share God’s love with others.
Judy was incredibly compassionate and often opened her home to people who needed help. Her compassion also drove her 38-year career as an administrator for First Children School (formerly Children’s Specialized Hospital). She was passionate about helping children with special needs and loved her co-workers dearly. She happily worked until retiring at 80.
Later in life her most precious role was “Gram.” She treasured every moment doing crafts, reading books, playing board games, and climbing trees with her grandchildren, Brian, Tara, Bailey, Drew, Katie, Natalie and Lexie. Her passing leaves a great void in all their hearts.
Judy was the foundation of her family. She ran the house and was the rock on which everyone could rely. The blanket of security she lovingly provided was priceless.
Other things Judy loved: Garage sales, bridge, Schaeffer beer, cheap white wine, Cary Grant, Jeopardy, parades, Yo- Yo Ma, Janet Evanovich books, dipping her feet in any ocean, class reunions, the sixth station of the cross.
In addition to Don — her lifetime love — Judy was predeceased by her parents, Robert and Marion; brother, Ken; and many aunts, uncles and cousins who were a special part of her life both in her childhood and as an adult. In addition to her children and grandchildren, she is survived by her brother, Tom.
Family and friends are invited to celebrate Judy’s life at the Fanwood Presbyterian Church, 74 South Martine Avenue, Fanwood, on Tuesday, January 16, 2024, at 10 a.m. There also will be a visitation on Monday, January 15, 2024, from 5 to 8 p.m., at the Rossi Funeral Home, 1937 Westfield Avenue, Scotch Plains. In lieu of flowers, Judy’s family kindly asks for your donation to the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Music Boosters, https:// www.spfmusicboosters.com/packet/ 62034705.
Judy was incredibly proud to have visited all 50 states and was very insistent her accomplishment be included in her obituary.