Judith Ann Bottiger
Judith Ann (Irwin) Bottiger, 68, of Lewisburg, crossed over to the care of her Lord on Friday, April 25, 2014, at the Evangelical Community Hospital, Lewisburg. Her husband of 42 years, Steven E. Bottiger, and her Pastor, Paula Gustafson, were at bed side in prayer with Judy during her final moments of life.
Judy was born in Williamsport on April 1, 1946, to Laura (Yohe) Irwin and Charles O. Irwin, of South Williamsport, as an only child. She and her lifelong childhood friends attended local grade schools together. She graduated in 1964 from the South Williamsport High School. Judy was very athletic in YWCA events where she competed in inter-scholastic diving and swimming competitions. She attended Lock Haven University and The Williamsport Area Community College graduating in 1968 with a degree in practical nursing. She became an LPN and worked at the Williamsport Hospital and then at the Children’s Hospital of Washington, D.C. in 1968 during the civil unrest of that year. Judy returned to Williamsport Hospital and worked there in the Physical Therapy Unit until she married Steven in September 1972. They moved to State College until he finished his architectural degree at Penn State University in 1974. Judy worked in the Physical Therapy Department at the Bellefonte Centre Crest Nursing Home for 6 years. She also was a licensed realtor from 1979 to 1986 and did private duty nursing before joining the Nestlerode and Loy Investment/Securities firm in State College in 1987. There she found her second profession by working with owner Dan Nestlerode. She quickly earned numerous state and national investment and insurance licenses. Judy retired from the firm in 2007 after 20 years of service. She was very popular with her clients and office co-workers at the investment firm with whom she continued to maintain a close relationship until her passing. Preceding her in death were her mother Laura in 1985 and her father Charles in 1988. Surviving her are many cousins throughout the nation.
Because they had no children to raise, Judy’s true calling in life was to become a world traveler. After tent camping everywhere they could in Pennsylvania, she and her husband visited all 50 states, Canada, and the Caribbean on numerous trips. In 1985 they toured Europe for over a month. Judy made friends in Switzerland and returned there twice for extended vacations plus tours of Eastern Europe. She had planned more extensive trips after retiring in 2007 but her escalating health conditions confined her travels to wintering in Florida in their RV, and visiting Cape May every fall. Eventually travel was confined to summers at the Raystown Lake in Huntingdon where they kept their fifth wheel. Ever the tourist at heart, she and Steve would map out different routes to the lake so she could see the back country, turning a two hour trip into the day long adventure ride.
Judy’s other interests revolved around people and animals in that order. She kept in close touch with her school classmates who continued to be some of her best friends. She attended most of her class reunions and dinner meetings for the class of ’64. The holidays were always spent with her close friends and relatives. Steve and Judy had many full house holiday gatherings in their rural home in State College and their hunting camp at Troxelville, where everyone was welcome. She was an active member in the Penn’s Creek UCC and Lewisburg St. John’s UCC churches where she developed a strong personal faith in God and the teachings of Jesus. She belonged to the Lewisburg Red Hat Society and the internet Virtual Tourist Travel Society. Judy’s birthday dinners were famous for growing into friends and family gatherings with up to 10 or more people showing up unannounced at the restaurant just to be with her.
Her love for animals is well documented in the 10 dogs, five cats and two horses they cared for over the years. Stray animals were always welcome at the door, and she was always fascinated by the deer that visited their suburban back yard. Judy could walk up to any domestic or zoo animal and it would immediately come to her with tail wagging. Her husband claimed she must be the female St. Francis. Judy supported and donated to the local SPCA. She leaves behind her beloved dogs, Quincy and Rusty.
Arrangements for a private burial at Wildwood Cemetery are made through the Sanders Mortuary in Williamsport. Notes of condolence, stories and narratives about Judy can be sent by email to an electronic memorial booklet condolence site at www.SandersMortuary.com. A public memorial service to celebrate her life will be held Saturday, May 3, 2014, beginning with visitation at 3:30 p.m., followed a service at 4 p.m. at St. Johns United Church of Christ, www.stjohnslewisburg.org, 1050 Buffalo Road, Lewisburg, 570-523-0162.
In lieu of flowers, tax deductible donations in Judy’s name can be made to the Judith and Steven Bottiger Scholarship Fund c/o: Central Susquehanna Community Foundation, 725 W. Front St., Berwick, PA 18603, 570-752-3930.