Blue collar 1965 WHS grad Judy Rabideau dies at 74

“You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” — Bob Dylan

Judith Ann Rabideau, age 74, of Dorr, died of cancer Tuesday, Sept. 21.

A 1965 graduate of Wayland High School, Judy was born Sept. 4, 1947. She was a member of the well-known Morgenstern family that lived just west of Wayland and referred to herself as a bit of a black sheep of the group. She even sent nephew Joey Miller Christmas cards signed “Your Libtard Aunt Judy.”

Judy was a blue-collar woman who toiled at many manufacturing jobs, but indicated she particularly enjoyed her work and comrades at Perrigo in Allegan. She also was an unbashed supporter of progressive political causes.

Judy is survived by her children Donald Lee Rabideau Jr., Jennifer (James) Hicks, and Jason Rabideau. Judy is also survived by her sisters Joan (Joe) Miller, Marsha (Bill) Presser and Mary (Phil) Iciek; several nieces, nephews, cousins; honorary granddaughter, Taylor Gaugler; and great-grandson, Elijah Stolzenburg.

Judy worked hard her entire life as a single mother to provide for her children. For many years she worked at Kessler’s in Wayland, including a proud stint as union steward. After Kessler’s closed, she tried her hand at Davenport University for a short time. She found her way back to factory work at Perrigo, retiring in 2014

Some of Judy’s hobbies included being a faithful U of M fan, reading a wide variety of books (twice if she really liked them), putting together puzzles (but only if they were at least 1,000 pieces), feeding the birds and squirrels, playing the penny slots at the Gun Lake Casino, grad class luncheons at Salvino’s, scratcher tickets, and planning family dinners big enough to feed an army.

Some fond memories were spent at the cottage on Payne Lake, where she could proudly be heard announcing “Anything two bites is a keeper.” Most of all, she was extremely proud of her family. Her last instructions were “Tell everyone I love them, and I am OK.”

Judy was predeceased by her parents Frederick G. and Eleanor C. Morgenstern; and great-niece, Mackenzie Miller-Welch.

A celebration of life will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30,  at the Wayland VFW, 735 South Main St., Wayland. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the family to help with funeral expenses.



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