Judith 'Judy' Lee

Judith K. Lee, 76, of Devils Lake passed away on Sunday, April 11, 221 at Eventide Heartland Care Center surrounded by loving family.

Judith ‘Judy’ Van Duyn was born on January 14, 1945 to James and Marjorie (Edwards) VanDuyn in Fargo. The family would call Landa, Maida, Klose, Fargo, and finally, Valley City home. 

Judy attended Valley City State Teacher’s College, earning her teaching degree. She taught school in Marion, Adams, and Crary. While teaching in Crary, Judy was introduced to Newton Lee by mutual friends. They were united in marriage on July 6, 1968.  The couple had two daughters, and for a time Judy was a stay-at-home mom. She took motherhood very seriously.  She read to her girls, did arts and crafts projects with them, and fostered a love and appreciation of nature and all the beauty it has to offer. 

Judy had many hobbies and talents, most centered around crafting. She made candles, knitted, crocheted, sewed and needlepointed.  She dabbled with decoupage, macrame, Artex paints, and making pinecone wreaths.  She found her true passion in quilting. She amassed an endless supply of craft supplies and fabric – if you needed it, she maybe had it! She was an excellent cook and especially liked to bake. She was an avid bird watcher and was able to identify many birds not only by sight, but also by song. She loved to go fishing and could fillet a walleye like nobody’s business. 

From September through May, EVERY Monday night, Judy could be found bowling with the Fireball League. She was honored for 25 years participation in the ND Women’s Bowling Association’s annual championship tournament in 2015. Additional bowling honors include 1st Place in the ND “600” Club Handicap Division in 2006 (1369) as well as induction into LRUSBCWBA Hall of Fame in 2007.  Bowling brought Judy many lasting friendships and opportunities for travel; she and her teammates traveled to several national tournaments.

Newton passed away in April 1985. She met LeRoy Ackerman in 1987. He became her life-partner, and was very near and dear to her heart. LeRoy’s children and grandchildren became hers and she loved them as much as she loved her own. She was a very proud grandma and celebrated their milestones and achievements. She attended many activities and events with great pride.  She also enjoyed her two grand dogs, Tigger and Major – and they loved her too!

Judy began working at Lake Region Junior College in 1973 and remained there for over 40 years. She worked in various capacities throughout her employment there, retiring as Associate Registrar in July 2012. 

Retirement afforded Judy the opportunity to spend more time at the lake. She enjoyed many sunny days on the deck, drinking her morning coffee, and working on her craft projects. The daily project would depend upon the weather; she always had more than one project going at a time. She and LeRoy found many fast and lasting friends at the lake. 

Judy is survived by her two daughters, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren – Debbie Lee of Devils Lake and her daughter Haley Larson; Christy (Joel) Cichos of Devils Lake and their sons Tate (Roxy) Cichos and his children Braxton and Adalynn and Hunter Cichos; her partner of 30 plus years, LeRoy Ackerman and his children – Melody (Todd) Hart of Sparta, Wis., Perry (Donna) Ackerman of Kenmare, Boyd Ackerman of Tolley, Marty (Joan) Ackerman of Reno, Nev., Donny (Wendy) Ackerman of Thompson, Rocky (Karla Jones) Ackerman also of Tolley, Sheila (Jim) Goforth also of Reno and the many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; siblings – Jim (Nedra) VanDuyn of Brainard, Minn., Susan Pederson and Mary Jane Manke, both of Fargo; sisters-in-law– Kay Lee and Linda Lee; several nieces, nephews, adopted lake grandkids and many, many friends. 

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Newton; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law – Donald and Bev Lee, Sherman Lee, Jim Lee and Caryl and Vern Loehr.

Judy will be greatly missed; her memory and spirit will be celebrated by all who knew her and will live on. 

Funeral Services will be held on Friday, April 16, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Devils Lake with Rev. Reuben Schnaidt officiating. Judy will be laid to rest in the Devils Lake Cemetery. Gathering of family and friends at the Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake on Thursday, April 15 from 5 until 7:00 p.m. with a time of prayer and remembrance at 7 p.m. 

Posted online on April 14, 2021