Hastings resident Judith D. “Judy” Kopke, 81, passed away Saturday, November 5, 2022, at Mary Lanning Healthcare, Hastings, NE.

Memorial Services will be 11 a.m. Saturday, November 19, at Butler Volland Chapel in Hastings with Dr. Jim Keck officiating. Private family burial will be at Lincoln Memorial Park in Lincoln. A book signing will be one hour before the service at the funeral home. Memorials may be given to the family for a memorial to be established at a later date. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.lbvfh.com. Livingston Butler Volland Funeral Home & Cremation Center is serving the family.

Judy Kopke who meant so much to so many was born on August 28, 1941, in Pender, NE to John David Lay and June Evelyn (Houdersheldt) Lay. She was raised in Thedford and Ulysses, NE where she attended school and graduated from Ulysses High School in 1959. She moved to Hastings in 1960.

Her mother June passed away when Judy was nine years old and from that time on she lived with her grandparents, Frank & Marie Houdersheldt in Ulysses during school months and with her dad and her bonus mom, Helen in the summer months.

She married on October 2, 1960, and later divorced. There were two children born of that marriage, a son Rick, and a daughter Linda.

She loved her God and her country and was devoted to her family and her friends. She loved animals, traveling, and had a great love of camping which always made her feel closer to God and the wonders of nature. She was also an avid reader of non-fiction books.

She was very active in her grandchildren Kara and Patrick’s lives and loved attending their activities, from their music programs, plays, drag racing, football, etc.

She was a member of the First United Methodist Church, was a member of the American Red Cross board for over 20 years, and helped out where ever she could during disasters. She belonged to Extension Clubs and did volunteer work for the Red Cross and at Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital for many years. She worked for 10 years at Fidler Insurance Agency and then in the office of the Clerk of the District Court.

She is survived by her son, Rick Kopke; daughter-in-law, Sally (Story) Kopke; daughter, Linda (Kopke) Nellson; and son-in-law, Corey Nellson all from Hastings, NE. Granddaughter, Kara (Kopke) Danforth and her husband, John Danforth of Lincoln, NE; grandson, Patrick Kopke and his wife Mia (Schaaf) Kopke of Omaha, NE; great-granddaughters, Lillian Danforth and Charlotte (Charlie) Kopke; sister-in-law, Vicki (Mudd) Lay of Russellville, AR; sister, Debra (Lay) McDonald of Benton, AR; nieces, April (Lay) Crouch and Brooke (Lay) Baker; nephew, Jacob McDonald and their families.

She was preceded in death by her mother, June; father, John; bonus mother, Helen (Conner) Lay; brother, Dave Lay; brother-in-law, Randy McDonald; and grandparents, Frank and Marie Houdersheldt.