OBITUARY: Chloe Bea “Judy” McGruder

April 18, 1932 ~ April 25, 2022

Chloe Bea McGruder aka Judy McGruder passed away peacefully at home with her daughter Joy and granddaughter Kelly by her side on April 25, 2022, in Grand Junction, Colorado. Twins Chloe Bea and James Lee were born on April 18, 1932, in Meeker, Colorado, to Harold (Jake) and Pearl (Wilson) Vaughan. Apparently, the twins were so stubborn that they were nicknamed after the neighbor’s mules, and they became Jake and Judy. Living in canvas tents and babysitting siblings while her parents built fence in the Meeker/Rangely area made early life hard but roaming the hills with her twin made it fun.

At age 16 she met Wren Franklin McGruder and on March 10, 1949, they were married in Grand Junction, Colorado. Wren worked for Harp Trucking and ranchers around Meeker and Rangely until taking a job at the Union Carbide mill in Rifle, Colorado, where he worked until retiring to full time hunting, fishing and gardening. Judy and Wren lived in Silt, Colorado with their children: Jackie Wren, Joylien and Janet. Judy was the stay-at-home mom who sewed, baked, canned, hunted, fished (with a book in her hand), babysat (usually for free) and then put on white gloves to have tea with the Silt Ladies Club. Judy was proud to have attended night school and received her GED in 1969, the same year daughter Joy graduated. To fill their empty nest, in the early 1970s Judy and Wren became foster parents for babies awaiting adoption. They stopped when seeing children hurt became too much. Judy worked as a Chapter 1 reading aide in the Silt-New Castle elementary schools for a few years, spent a lot of time babysitting grandkids, then became a partner with friend Pat Adams in a second hand/antique store, Judee’s Junque (named after Pat’s daughter). After becoming sole owner, Judy moved the business to a building across the street from her home in Silt. The Exxon Bust closed that business and Judy went back to taking care of kids. In 2007 Wren died and the following year Judy moved to Grand Junction, Colorado, where she enjoyed crafting, frequenting yard sales and shopping. She lived alone until dementia/Alzheimer’s made it necessary for her to have in-home care. Son Jack and his wife Nancy moved in, and when Jack died unexpectedly granddaughter Kelly Weathers stepped up and moved in to care for Judy. Judy was able to enjoy the last five years of her life being cared for by Kelly and Joy Weathers. 

We are sad to lose Mom/Grandma, but we’re happy she finally gets to be with the loved ones who went before her: husband Wren Franklin McGruder (2007), son Jackie Wren McGruder (2018) and grandson Kevin Sean Weathers (2022). Special thanks to HopeWest Hospice for helping make the end of Judy’s life peaceful and comfortable. Judy is preceded in death by parents Jake and Pearl Vaughan; half brother and sister Earl and Mary Mae; brothers Elmer, twin Jake, and Lloyd Virgil; sisters Fay, Nellie and Susie. Judy is survived by sister-in-law Charlotte (Lloyd Virgil-deceased) Vaughan; twins Boyd (Jo) Vaughan and sister Barbara (Pat) Erickson; daughters Joylien (Gary) Weathers and Janet Barks; daughter-in-law Nancy McGruder; grandchildren Courtney McGruder and Seth (Staci) McGruder, Kelly Weathers and Kennt Weathers, Jill Amos, Crissi Welch and Emma Barks; step-grandchildren Eric (Robyn) Lyons and Crystal Lyons, as well as 10 great-grandchildren and all others who considered her family and called her their friend Judy, Aunt Judy or Grandma. A celebration of Judy’s life will be held at Eagle Rim Park in the West Shelter on May 7, 2022, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please join us for cupcakes and punch in honor of Judy’s sweet tooth. Donations can be made to HopeWest Hospice in Judy’s name.

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