In 1911, her father’s parents homesteaded and ranched in the Niarada area and this was to be Judy’s home for the rest of her life. Judy attended school at Lonepine, Battle Butte, and Hot Springs. On Sept. 24, 1958, Leigh Gordon Herman and Judy Adelaide were married in Polson. This was the beginning of their 56-year journey together. With Leigh she found love, someone to talk with, celebrate with, travel with, dance with, laugh with, cry with, and someone to share the joys of her life and children. As Leigh’s ranching partner, she took on the role of working cattle, baling hay, driving a 1966 Ford truck hauling livestock to and from Kalispell Livestock Auction, and raising children. During this time, she belonged to the local Home Extension Club and worked at the election primary. Judy was a natural born leader. She served as secretary/treasurer for the Niarada community ladies “Adarain Club” for as long as there were members. In August of 1959, the Western Montana Cowbelles were organized, and she was elected second vice president and later served as their tenth president. She became a Director of the State Montana Cowbelles and in 1976 served as the Montana State President. There were many miles traveled and a couple highlights were National Cattlemen’s Convention in Atlanta, Ga. and being invited to the British Columbia Cattlemen meeting as their guest speaker.
In March of 1976, Judy and Leigh purchased “Tee Pee Westwear,” which she managed for seven years. She was a member of the Polson Soroptomists and was involved with the Port Polson Chamber of Commerce. In 1980, she was presented “Key Woman of the Year” for outstanding community service to our community. On Dec. 28, 1983, she began working for the BIA. Thirteen and half years later the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes compacted BIA, Flathead Agency programs, and she became Manager of the CS&KT Central Mail Center. She retired in April of 2007. At the time of her death, she was treasurer of the LaRue Hot Springs Museum.
Judy enjoyed taking pictures and put together fifty or more photo albums of family events and places the family visited. The friends who were dear to her in high school still had a spot in her heart until the day she died. She was a gift and blessing to all of her family and friends, an organizer of huge family and social gatherings, an adventurer of life, and a provider of unconditional love; she was the color red in a room of gray.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Patricia Mullen. She is survived by her husband, Leigh; daughter, Patti Clairmont; sons, John (Rae) Herman and Bob (Denise) Herman; daughter, Kay Herman; and sister, Eileen Mader, thirteen grandchildren, six great-grandchildren; cousins; and numerous nieces and nephews.
There will be a viewing at Lonepine Hall from noon until 2 p.m. Saturday, December 6. The Celebration of Life Service will begin at 2 p.m. with reception meal following. Burial will take place Monday, December 8, at 11 a.m. at Conrad Memorial Cemetery in Kalispell. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to LaRue Hot Springs Museum.
Arrangements are under the direction of Grogan Funeral Home and Crematory. Memories and condolences may be sent to the family at groganfuneralhome.com.