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Judith Ann Alward Laney (1946-2018)

Judith Ann Alward Laney

SKOWHEGAN - Judith Ann Alward Laney, 71, passed away on May 10, 2018 after a series of serious illnesses over many years. None of these illnesses kept Judy from being thoughtful, cheerful, loyal, and kind in her roles as wife, daughter, mother, grandmother, relative, coworker, and friend. Judy was an especially compassionate person who will be greatly missed.

Judy’s interests included crafts, reading, spending time at camp, and listening to music, but her greatest interest and love was other people. She had a tremendous skill at making friends. She maintained several lifelong friendships from her early years, and her genuine interest in others led to new friendships all the time. Judy remembered the smallest details about others and showed empathy to everyone she met, especially those who others might overlook. Her love of people extended beyond simply socializing, and at various times she was a Sunday School teacher, a Cub Scout leader, a literacy volunteer in the Somerset County Basic Skills Program, and a helpful friend to older neighbors and shut-ins. In her final 16 months while receiving dialysis treatments she became a passionate supporter of her fellow patients.

Judy had a profound sense of loyalty to family. As a young wife and mother she made it a priority to visit and care for older relatives, and in her later years she was frequently seen at local sporting events cheering on her nieces and nephews, and eventually their children, too. She was an integral part of her immediate family in Maine yet kept strong connections with family members who had moved away. Not even the language barrier with her daughter-in-law’s parents in Japan kept Judy from establishing a warm relationship.

Judith Ann was born in Hartland, Maine, on July 16, 1946, to Harry Clifton Alward and Betty Jane (Gardner) Alward. They raised her in Skowhegan with her younger sister and eventual closest friend, Jan, and their youngest brother, John. She graduated from Skowhegan High in 1964 and then trained as a medical laboratory technician. Prior to marriage she worked at hospitals in Connecticut, New Hampshire, Waterville, and Skowhegan. She married Robert J. Laney on October 5, 1968, at Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church in Skowhegan, and put her career on hold to raise her two sons. She eventually returned to the field to work at hospitals and two medical practices in Waterville until retiring.

Judith is survived by her husband of 49 years, Robert; son Samuel and his partner Krista Longnecker; son Matthew and his wife Reiko; one special granddaughter, Kimberlee; her brother, John Alward and wife Frances; her mother-in-law, June Laney; six brothers-in-law: Brian Maddocks, Stephen Laney and wife Linda, James Laney and partner Carole, William Laney and wife Cindy, Michael Laney, Timothy Laney and wife Suzanne; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives, and friends. Judy was predeceased by her parents Harry and Betty, her loving sister Jan Maddocks, her brother-in-law Peter Laney, and her father-in-law Anthony Laney.

Judy was very grateful for all the help and comfort she received over the years from family, friends, doctors, nurses, and other caregivers.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held for Judy at the Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church in Skowhegan on May 25 at 11 a.m. A reception will follow in the Parish Hall.

In lieu of flowers, Judy has requested contributions be sent to either the Armand Breton Scholarship or the Jack Fortier Scholarship, through the SAHS Guidance Office, care of Jane Bigelow, 61 Academy Circle, Skowhegan, ME 04976.

Arrangements under the direction and care of Dan & Scott's Cremation & Funeral Service, 445 Waterville Road, Skowhegan, ME 04976.

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