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Judy LeHardy

Judy LeHardy

CROZET—We celebrate and honor Judy LeHardy. Devoted wife, loving mother, very proud Mema to her many grands and great-grands, and dear friend to so many. 

She was born Judy Powell to Ruth Clevenger Powell and Frank Milton Powell in Plainfield, New Jersey, on June 28, 1937. She passed away on November 22, 2023.

After losing her father when she was just 3, her mother remarried widower Joseph H. Nevins, a longtime friend, naval officer and member of the Naval Academy Class of 1925. 

Ruth and Judy moved to Belle Haven, (near Alexandria) and joined Joseph and his two children, Joe and Maude. Judy’s time as a “Navy brat” commenced and she quickly formed life-long bonds with her new siblings. 

Judy attended St. Agnes Episcopal School for Girls, graduating in 1955. Her connections to her Clevenger and Powell relatives in New Jersey remained strong as she spent summers in Seaside Park, New Jersey, sailing on Barnegat Bay with cousins. She met her husband, Ward, when he was a cadet at West Point. After a yearlong courtship, she left Sweet Briar College when Ward asked her to marry him. They were wed at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Alexandria on November 10, 1956. 

Judy was just 19 when she began her new life as an Army wife. With Ward at his first assignment in South Korea, Judy stayed in Annapolis with Ward’s mom Sara nearby…providing her support as she waited for the birth of their first child, Sara (Sally). This young Army family would grow and move over the next 35 years while Ward and Judy served their country. Throughout their time in the Army, Judy managed 21 household moves with style and grace. Stops along the way included Annapolis, Maryland, where Judy would live while Ward served two separate tours in Vietnam; Fort Campbell, Kentucky (where son Ward Jr. was born); Camp Zama, Japan (where Marcel was born), Ft. Lewis, Washington; West Point, New York (enter Peter, the final child and first redhead); Norfolk and Fairfax; Berlin, Germany; Mainz, Germany; Vicenza, Italy; Carlisle, Pennsylvania; the Panama Canal Zone; Fredericksburg; Ft. Carson, Colorado; and finally Ft. McPherson, Georgia. 

In every location, she made each house a ‘home’ for her family. The Army was as much Judy’s career as it was Ward’s. She worked hard to attend to the needs of military wives and their families as they adjusted new Army posts. She regularly volunteered with the Red Cross and served as Den Mother and Girl Scout Leader. She hosted countless dinner parties, teas and coffees. Ward’s eventual promotion to brigadier general was recognition of her contributions as well. 

Judy was a lifelong learner, reader and lover of the arts. In whichever country they were living, she would apply herself to learn the language. She took college courses at different postings, and in her mid-40s proudly finished and received her bachelor’s from Austin Peay State University in 1982. 

Judy was intentional in being physically fit. An accomplished golfer, she made a hole-in-one at Ft. Amador in the Panama Canal Zone. She was a runner and in later years won a race in the over-50 age division. She carried her love of sailing as a youngster into life with Ward, owning a sailboat whenever they were stationed near water. After their Army life ended, Judy and Ward embarked on an adventure of a lifetime in 1991…circumnavigating the globe together on a 39-foot sailboat. It was her utmost confidence in her husband that removed all fear for Judy as she set sail with him for a five-year, 33,000-mile epic adventure aboard their trusty cutter Cormorant. Old friends joined them, and new ones were made worldwide as they went. She and Ward eventually documented their epic journey in a book entitled Once Around: Fulfilling a Life-Long Dream to Sail Around the World

Ward and Judy’s final chapter together was lived out in Kilmarnock, on the Chesapeake Bay, where they lived for two decades, their longest running address. They were both active in the community, endearing themselves to many more friends. The waterfront home would be filled at holidays and during the summer with their kids and their families. Through it all Judy was at the center of the action. 

While in Kilmarnock, Ward and Judy celebrated 60 years of marriage in 2016 with their entire family. Judy worked alongside Ward to help establish the Light of Christ Anglican Church in nearby Heathsville. Following Ward’s death in 2019, Judy moved to Crozet to be near her daughter Sally. During these years Judy remained actively engaged with her community and enjoyed many wonderful gatherings with family. 

Judy was a strong, born-again Christian. She was baptized, confirmed and married in the Episcopal Church, and later joined the Anglican Church. Her faith sustained her for a lifetime. 

Judy is survived by her four children and their spouses, Sally (Mark) Barstow of Crozet, Ward (Debbie) of Arlington, Marcel (Nancy) of Roanoke and Peter (Becky) of Annapolis. She was also the beloved Mema to 15 grandkids and eight great-grandchildren (including one on the way). 

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, January 12, at the Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis, followed by a brief graveside service at the Naval Academy Cemetery and a reception at the Naval Academy Club. An online guestbook is available at www.compassionatecremationva.com.

Compassionate Cremation Services of Ruckersville is handling the arrangements. 

Rappahannock Record Staff
Rappahannock Record Staffhttp://www.rrecord.com
From the Rappahannock Record news team
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