Judith Karen Lathrop, 81, was born August 20, 1938, and passed away in Des Moines on Saturday, July 18, 2020, surrounded by her family. Services will be held at a later date with inurnment in the IOOF Cemetery.

Judith Lathrop

Judith Lathrop, Indianola

Judy was always full of smiles and laughter. She had a lively disposition, was a great mother and grandmother, and spent her life so fully with family and friends. Whenever we would visit she always cried at the door when we departed. She always cheered us up, regardless of the situation, and was a wonderful role model to her grandchildren. A woman we were all so proud of.

She won her first election as Warren County Recorder with hard work, determination, and by walking the streets of Indianola, Norwalk, and even Carlisle to meet with her constituents. Her first victory was against a male opponent who openly campaigned that Judy should be staying at home as a woman should. Judy was re-elected six more times, many times against tough competition. She served for a total of 28 yrs, she also served a term as State Recorder’s president, before retiring in 2006. Active in many groups and charities, she also traveled the world with her group of friends, classmates, and family. Her mind was sharp until the very last day. We miss her terribly, a light gone from our world, but realize she is in a better place, and know that she lived a grand life with many cherished memories.

Judy was raised at 911 North B Street in Indianola, where she grew up with one sister, dozens of cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and many friends. After school she often went to her father’s gas station or his bulk gas/oil plant delivery service in Indianola for an after school sweet. When she attended Indianola High School, she was very active in groups; school plays, band, and Glee Club. She attended Simpson College and pledged Phi Beta Phi sorority and continued to be active in the college and as an alumnae. In fact, she was the treasurer of Simpson’s Phi Beta Phi alumni group for 2020.

During a campus dance she was introduced by one of her sorority sisters, Gerri Lathrop, to her twin brother who was playing trumpet in the band that night. The sparks flew brightly and soon Judy eloped, married Gary Leon Lathrop and they ran off to Columbus, OH, and later to Indianapolis. A little more than a year later they had their first son, and soon returned to Des Moines, IA, where Gary joined his father who was managing Sutherland Lumber Company. After four years in Houston, her husband tragically died in an automobile accident in 1971, and she moved back home to Indianola with two young sons to begin life over in our small farm town. With little to start with, she had to be the breadwinner, the homemaker, the peacemaker, and be both a mother and father to her sons.

Judy loved sports, and her sons loved them with her. She was a longtime season ticket holder to the Iowa Hawkeyes football games, and a big high school basketball and football fan. She regularly attended the Drake Relays and loved watching her grandchildren play sports. Judy was a long time member of the Red Hat Ladies Club, NG Chapter of PEO, an organizer for the annual National Balloon Classic, and other church activities. She was an avid card player, belonged to two bridge clubs, a pitch club, and taught her family to play games, which we have all continued through our families and friends.

Some of her family's fondest memories of her are a testament to what a firecracker Judy was in life, and how much she will be missed. Judy spilled food on her shirt without fail at most suppers, we giggled at how she warshed her clothes, she made caramels for her family every Christmas, her long loopy handwriting on birthday cards, phone calls where she would talk nonstop for hours, playing go-fish with her grandchildren, the thump of her cane hitting the floor, her beauty operator appointments, the haystack cookies she would make her sons, the grace and artistry she showed in her 70+ paintings, and how we could fit every member of the Lathrop family in her small living room in Indianola. In those days spent with family, Judy would be at her happiest in the center of the room, laughing, smiling, and bringing joy and love to all who had the incredible gift of knowing her.

She is survived by her sons: Craig (Lori) Lathrop of Emerald Isle, NC, and Scott (Wendy) Lathrop of Indianola; six grandchildren: Alexandra (Curt) Bower of Kansas City, Emma Lathrop of Emerald Isle, NC, Nicholas Lathrop of St Petersburg, FL, Corey (Jennifer) Lathrop of Omaha, Shane and Josephine Lathrop of Indianola; and great-grandchildren Maddie and Marshall Lathrop of Omaha; and sister Sandy (Leo) Guest of Indianola.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Gary Lathrop; parents, Wilbur and Eloise Sacre;

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Indianola First United Methodist Church in Judy’s name. Address: 307 W Ashland Ave Indianola, IA 50125, or contribute online at https://indfumc.org/giving. Or donate to the American Diabetes Association at https://www.diabetes.org/donate. To submit an online condolence, visit our website at www.overtonfunerals.com.

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