The Valdosta Daily Times
Her family called her “Mom”, her friends called her “Jud” and on May 3, 2013, she received a new name, “Good and Faithful servant” when the Lord called her home after a lengthy illness.
Mary Judson was born on March 19, 1929 to Paul Rex Lilly Sr. and Mary Etta Clark Lilly in Valdosta, Georgia. She was a 1946 graduate of Valdosta High School, where she was also crowned “Miss VHS” and later attended Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri where she earned her degree in Fashion Merchandising. While at Stephens, she also earned her “MRS” degree by marrying her life partner of sixty-five years, Frank Eldon Eye.
Mary Judson was a wonderful gift to her husband and to her children and she was a woman who was gifted in many ways. She was a devoted mother to her five children and very active in her church and community. She was instrumental in helping to plant a new Baptist church in Lancaster, Pa. and was the director of the Women’s Missionary Union at Northside Baptist Church of Valdosta. She taught Sunday School at Baptist churches all over the country and hosted countless church functions.
Mary Judson was a gifted decorator and could almost turn “a sow’s ear into a silk purse.” She was the consummate corporate wife, which meant frequent moves as her husband climbed the corporate ladder. Each new house quickly became a lovely home though, as she devoted her time and talents to decorating. Each move was an adventure and an opportunity to experience a new city or town. She shared her gift of fun with her family, and also to young college girls that she mentored. She opened her home to all, including international students.
She loved to read and she loved her dogs. She wanted to travel and did. She and her husband toured the “Holy Lands” and China as well as various places in the U.S. She even managed a trip to Cuba in her youth. She loved people and seeing new sights.
As Mary Judson moved around the country in support of her husband’s job as plant manager with Jones and Laughlin Steel, she looked for ways to “bloom where she was planted.” She was her children’s room mother, sports coach, encourager and most of all, their teacher. Although she said she never was much of a teacher, three of her five children became public school teachers. She loved being a mother, and she gave her children both roots and wings. She modeled Christian charity, generosity and a forgiving spirit. She never had an unkind word to say about any-one.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Paul Rex Lilly Jr. and by a great-grandson, Aiden Kliem. Her survivors include husband, Frank E. Eye, and children, Mary Helen Eye Kliem (John), Susan Eye Wheeler (Jim), Paul F. Eye (Sally), John J. Eye, Margaret Eye Fender (Henry). Other survivors include her grandchildren, Justin (Ruggy) (Marissa) Kliem of New Castle, Pa, Jason (Dawn) Kliem of Bessemer, Pa., Claudia (Chris) Griffin of Valdosta, Virginia (William) Atkinson of Lake Park, Ga, and Eden (Riley) Gerrald of Powder Springs, Ga. She is also survived by a host of nieces and nephews, ten great grandchildren and special family friend, Mrs. RuMae Garland. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her.
The family of Mary Judson would like to extend a special thank you to Grace Hospice and also to the Memory Care Unit at Fellowship Home for their loving care of Mary Judson. She was embraced by their tender mercies as well as those of her family as she went home to be with the Lord.
Funeral services will be held Monday, May 6, 2013 at two p. m. in the chapel of the Carson McLane Funeral Home with Reverend Charlie Scarbrough and Reverend John Eye officiating. Burial will follow at Sunset Hill Cemetery. The family will receive friends Sunday from four until six p. m. at the funeral home. Condolences to the family may be expressed online at www.mclanecares.com. — Carson McLane Funeral Home.