RIDGEVILLE, S.C. – Judith Amy Packer, 81, residing in Ridgeville, S.C., passed away on Oct. 12, 2023.
Judith was born at the family home on May 22, 1942, the eighth of 10 children, to Charles and Margaret Clements of Swanville, Maine. After Judith graduated valedictorian from Crosby High School in 1959, she went on to study at the University of Maine. She graduated with honors and a degree in mathematics in 1963, and began a career with Aetna Insurance Company in Hartford, Conn. Judith distinguished herself as the first woman officer at the Aetna. Throughout her career with Aetna she was promoted multiple times, holding positions as a director, as well as chairman of the standards committee, and the computer science department. Judy would go on to join the PEO International chapter in Connecticut, volunteering her time for the support and advancement of women. Of all the positions she held, she was most proud to be the chairwoman of the program for continuing education, enabling grants to well-deserving women. Women helping women reach for the stars.
Determined to make choices for herself and her future, Judy chose to explore and travel the world. While working at the Aetna, she met Charles Packer. As she would often recall, being the strong independent woman she was, Charlie would face an uphill challenge in courting her, but Charlie was persistent and insistent that they should marry; “I want to be with you, and will go wherever you go.” Judy often stated that “thankfully” his efforts “wore her down,” and they were married on July 12, 1969. Together they explored the world at every opportunity, from Europe to Asia, and across the United States to visit family. In their travels, they also visited 23 of the Caribbean islands, often staying in areas where English was not spoken, and yet found helpful lovely people despite their language barrier, making this their favorite region to visit.
Judy and Charlie lived in Rocky Hill, Conn., early on, eventually finding a lovely home in Avon, Conn. Their love of water and exploration took them to Ludlow, Vt., where they purchased a cabin on Lake Rescue, eventually turning it into their summer home. After retiring, Judy and Charlie sold their home in Avon and purchased a winter residence in The Villages in Florida. Sadly, after 43 years of marriage, Charlie passed away on Oct. 16, 2012.
Judy’s hobbies included a love of cooking, gardening, flowers, paper crafting, and she was a wonderful watercolor artist. Many would receive a personally painted postcard from recent travels along with birthday wishes. Time spent with family, friends, and the family pets held a very special place in her heart. Judy often stated her brothers and sisters had the biggest influence in her life. “My brothers and sisters were the greatest gift my parents ever gave me.” In the most recent years, since Charlie’s passing, it was her extended family that stepped in and assisted her. She is survived by sisters Rita Stone of Searsport, Maine, and Cynthia Brasslett and husband Gary of Medway, Maine; sister-in-law Marta Clements of West Paris, Maine; special nieces Margaret “Peggy” Klotzle and husband Paul of Searsport, Maine, Jennifer Smith and husband Jack Sr. of Ridgeville, S.C., and Judith Brazier of Stockton Springs, Maine; special grandnephew Nicholas (Brazier) Alvarado and husband Adam of Oakland Park, Fla.; and cousin Gordon Clements Sr. of Prospect, Maine. Judy is predeceased by her parents; husband Charlie; brothers Everett, John, Nicholas, Sherman and Stephen; sisters Adelaide and Fannie; sister-in-law Jackie; nephew John Gray; and niece Catherine Stone. Her extended family includes multiple generations of nieces and nephews who loved and adored her.
Graveside services will be held on Saturday, Nov. 4, at 10 a.m., at the Greenlawn Cemetery, Route 131 Townhouse Road, Swanville, Maine.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to your choice of: P.E.O. Foundation, 3700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50312; World Central Kitchen, 200 Massachusetts Avenue NW, 7th floor, Washington, DC 20001; or Greenlawn Cemetery Association, c/o Rita Stone, 18 Merithew Road, Searsport, ME 04974.