Judith Marie Gray-Drower, M.S., R.N., CS, passed away peacefully on December 25, 2020 at the age of 75 after her short but courageous battle with cancer, surrounded by loved ones in her Lockport, IL home.
Judy was born on February 23, 1945 in Chicago, IL to Pauline and Raymond Neapolitan. She graduated high school from Mount Assisi Academy and continued onto Nursing School at the Oak Park Hospital School of Nursing where she graduated in 1966. She furthered her education at the College of Saint Francis where she received her Bachelor of Science in 1978 followed by her Master of Science degree from the National College of Education in 1990.
Judy spent the early parts of her career as a grammar school nurse, but as she continued her education, she embraced the role of Pediatric and School Nurse Practitioner to focus on working with special needs children. She often spoke at nursing conferences to share her knowledge as well as educate others, and in May of 2003, Judy received the distinction of being “School Nurse of the Year” by the South Suburban School Nurse Association.
In her spare time and in retirement, Judy loved to spend time working in her beautiful garden enjoyed watching all the critters and wildlife that would often visit. Over the years started to hang different sizes and styles of birdhouses so she could see which birds took up residence, but her favorite part of the day was being able to look out her window each morning to watch the birds that would come to the birdfeeder.
Most importantly, not a day would pass without her beloved Vic, asking, “Who’s my babe” to which she would always reply, “I am babe.” A fond and constant reflection of the 30 yearlong love story they shared together. Judy Gray was a passionate, caring, and incredibly remarkable woman who loved her family and friends so deeply. She touched the hearts of so many people throughout her full life, and those in remembrance will continue to honor her legacy by living their lives to the fullest.
Beloved wife of Victor Drower; Loving mother of Frankie (Kat McGill) Gray and John (Melanie Newsome) Gray; Stepmother of Deb (George) Bjurstrom, Carolyn (Ken) Nelson, Joan (Galo) Zapata, Ted (Marilyn) Drower and Ken (Elise) Drower; Cherished grandmother of Dalton Gray and Savannah Carter; Fond sister of Ray (Laurie) Neapolitan and Bob (Late Mary Lou) Neapolitan; Treasured outlaw to Pat (Late Frank) Sheehan and Nancy (Bob) Szalko; Loving cousin to Dennis Logan; Keith (Diane) Logan; Ronnie Logan; Devoted daughter of the late Raymond and Pauline (nee Filippi) Neapolitan; and to many, many, wonderful nieces, nephews, and their children.
A private interment will be held at a later date, with a celebration of life memorial service to follow. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Franciscan Ministries or Joliet Area Community Hospice.