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1938 Judith 2024

Judith Burnett

October 11, 1938 — April 9, 2024

Lubbock, TX

Judith (“Judy”) Shreve Burnett died on Tuesday, April 9, 2024. She was 85 years old. Judy was born on October 11, 1938, to Carl and Lola Shreve in Wichita, Kansas, where she was raised with her younger brother, Jim.  As a teenager, Judy contracted polio during an epidemic. She was treated in the isolation ward where she was incredibly bored. There happened to be a cord to the window blinds that dangled just behind her bed. She would flick the plastic bit up the cord over and over to relieve the tedium of isolation. The doctors informed her and her parents that she would need to be placed in an iron lung but somehow, the day before that was to occur, her health improved. She knew it was the cord flicking that had saved her.

Judy graduated from Wichita East High School in 1956, where she met friends who would go on to have a lasting impact on her life. The “girls” went on to take annual trips to a wide variety of beautiful locales throughout their adult lives. Judy was the proud mother to two sons, Steven Taylor and David Taylor. 

Judy moved to Lubbock, Texas in 1966. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University in 1975. She took a fateful class in pursuit of this degree. The class was American Government and in taking this class, Judy made a bold declaration. She would marry her professor. Judy did indeed marry her most dedicated friend, partner, and confidant, Dr. John Burnett in October 1981. John and Judy created countless unforgettable happy memories for their newly expanded family, including John’s children, David and Margaret Burnett. Judy provided unwavering love, comfort, humor, and stability. She created a hub where her family looked forward to gathering year after year. 

Judy would go on to earn her master’s degree in public administration while working full time as an elementary school librarian. Judy’s love of books knew no bounds. It was a natural fit. She took joy in her work and shared her love of reading with countless children, creating generations of new book lovers. Judy would go on after retirement to volunteer for the Lubbock Public Library Friends of the Library.

Judy and John traveled extensively throughout their life together. She particularly enjoyed spending time in areas of the Western U.S. and visiting the National Parks. Judy enjoyed watching John play in tennis tournaments and they would often attend professional matches as well. Judy took pleasure in spending time outdoors working in her garden, attending performances of the Lubbock Symphony, and supporting Texas Tech University athletics. She also enjoyed her time spent as a member of the Lubbock Unitarian Universalist Church.

Judy excelled at friendship. Excelling at friendship is remarkable. Friendship has no goal. It is not directed at some result. Instead, it is a means to its own end. Judy was vivacious, a delight to be around, and carried a spark throughout her life that did not dim. It was not surprising that people were drawn to her.  But she also put in the work. She knew how to listen, how to be patient, and how to show up during the rough times, again and again. Those in her orbit knew they were cared for, knew they were seen, knew they were heard, and knew they were loved. The question we ask ourselves now is, “what will we ever do without her?” Lest we forget, those worlds she created in us remain. She shared her spark. Now we carry it. And because we are lucky, and if we’ve learned anything, we will pass it along in turn. The spark will not dim.

Judy is preceded in death by her parents, Carl and Lola Shreve and her brother Carl Shreve. She is survived by her husband: John Burnett; two sons: Steve Taylor and his wife Eva, and David Taylor and his wife Stephanie: two stepchildren, David Burnett and Margaret Burnett; and 6 grandchildren: Ken Taylor, Tim Taylor, Cory Taylor, Josh Taylor, Karen Burnett, and Genevieve Cox.

The family of Judith Burnett will honor and celebrate her life with a memorial service at 2:00PM, Friday, May 10, 2024, at Covenant Presbyterian Church 4600 48th St. Lubbock, with Rev. Becky Fox officiating. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Judith Burnett, please visit our flower store.

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