Cover photo for Judith R. Monson's Obituary
Judith R. Monson Profile Photo
1940 Judy 2024

Judith R. Monson

May 24, 1940 — June 17, 2024

St. Paul, MN

Judith Rochelle Monson, 84 years old, of St. Paul, Minnesota, passed away peacefully at Regions Hospital on June 17, 2024 surrounded by her sister, friends, and her beloved Tibetan terrier, Percy.

Judith (aka Judy, aka Jude) was born May 24, 1940 in Oakland, Nebraska, to John and Ethel Monson and 3-year old sister, Myrna. She was proud of her Swedish heritage and her Nebraska farm roots and how they influenced the person she became. Her mother passed away when she was 6 years old, a loss she reflected upon often in later years. While in her teen years her father and step-mother bought the Dairy Queen and a cabin in Park Rapids, Minnesota, where Jude spent many of her favorite summers. She became a lifelong DQ customer, and was proud of her dad's role in co-inventing the Peanut Buster Parfait.

Upon graduating from Oakland High School as valedictorian of her class, she attended college in Nebraska, Hawaii, and eventually graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor degree in Humanities. She later received a graduate degree in English from Claremont Graduate University in California, and still later a degree in Counseling from St. Mary's University of Minnesota. She had several careers in her life. She was a professor of English at Northern Illinois University and then at Northern Iowa University. In the early 1970's she moved to Minnesota to be close to Myrna, and worked for the postal service in St. Paul for 25+ years, first as a letter carrier, then as the first woman to manage a branch office in St. Paul. Later she became a tax preparer for H&R Block. She loved all 3 of these careers in different ways.

Judith LOVED SO many things, including: 

-Her sister Myrna and husband Charlie; cousins Elaine Chamberlain and Carolyn Nordberg in Nebraska; and cousin Don Monson and his wife Judy and son Jon in West St Paul. And, she loved knowing, through Myrna, that she had many third cousins in Sweden. And she had many, many friends. She attracted people to her from all walks of life. She loved and was in turn loved by people she encountered randomly. She was appreciative of everyday kindness and heroism.

-Animals of all types, most especially Percy and his predecessors in the "Tibetan Tribe": Snus, Ben, Blossom, Molly & Babe. She saw them as teachers and guides. Percy was her spiritual companion and they created their own harmony which continues.

-Her pink and purple house and the trees and plants surrounding it, near Como Park in St. Paul, where she lived for 50+ years. She loved her rhododendrons, transplanted from Nebraska, each one named after a significant woman in her life. Several of her neighbors were close friends. She enjoyed living on a corner with a fair amount of foot traffic and watching people and dogs walking by the living room window.

-Laughing. At anything. She was tuned in to the ridiculousness in situations. As her health deteriorated in recent years she often found humor in the frailties of her body, extolling to visitors on the amazing virtues of incontinence underwear. She loved slowly rolling her walker into doctor appts along with Myrna, stopping to loudly announce "Here come the Monson sisters!"

-Writing of all types. Books on any subject. Her favorite gifts were books that she sensed the recipient would like. She loved writing letters, including long emails and texts. Sometimes on serious deep subjects, sometimes on silly things. She loved writing to people she didn't know but had read something about, just to encourage and support them. She was tickled when people wrote back, and some of her long friendships resulted from these letters to strangers. She read the Star-Tribune daily and was a frequent contributor of Letters to the Editor. But her favorite writing of all was poetry, her own and that of so many others. Her Beverly Poets group was a source of inspiration and sustenance for decades.

-The Tibetan Buddhist faith, along with a deep respect for all faiths and spiritual practices. She was aware of and active on her spiritual journey in a way that few are. She felt the positive and loving presence of spirits all around her. She communicated with animals, trees, and with loved ones who had passed on, sustaining bonds beyond our life here on earth.

In January 2020 Jude was diagnosed with interstitial lung disease and told that she was dying. She used that wake-up call to prepare herself for death practically, emotionally and spiritually. She was not afraid of death. She was confident she would be reunited in the spirit world with those she loved, and that she would continue to be connected with those she loved here. She was ready for this next adventure.

Judith was so appreciative of the excellent and compassionate health care she received in these last few years from her doctors and the staff of Health Partners and Regions Hospital. She counted many of her health care professionals amongst her everyday heroes.

Judith's Celebration of Life Garden Party will be held at 1499 Holton Street (backyard), St. Paul MN 55108 on Saturday July 27, 2024 from 2:00 - 5:00 pm.  A program (sharing of poems, memories, etc.) will begin at 3:00 pm. Light refreshments will be served.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Judith R. Monson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Upcoming Services

Celebration of Life Garden Party

Saturday, July 27, 2024

2:00 - 5:00 pm (Central time)

Sharing of memories and reading of poetry to begin at 3:00 pm.

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