Judith [Catherine] Adams Kraybill, age 79, passed away Friday, January 8th, 2021 in Overland Park, Kansas due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease. Judy was born on December 14th, 1941 to Benjamin Clarke Adams and Betty May Iler Adams in Derry, New Hampshire. Judy attended Derry schools through her freshman year at Pinkerton Academy. She then attended Kents Hill Prep School through her senior year, graduating in 1959. Following her formative years, Judy attended Colby Jr. College and received a degree in History from the University of New Hampshire. Judy was proud of her New Hampshire heritage and often told stories of growing up on the Adams farm in Derry where she spent much of her youth with her paternal grandparents.
Judy met Fred Corbett at UNH, they were married in 1963 and later had their daughter Anna [Corbett] Oliver in Portland, Oregon. In those years, Judy was an exceptional grade school teacher, and especially enjoyed helping her students excel in reading; a lifelong passion of her own. Judy was also an avid photographer. After her divorce in 1971, Judy met William “Bill” Kraybill, who was to become her loving husband of 46 years. They liked to tell the story of how they met at a bar/restaurant, named Ryan’s, in Portland. Judy often described seeing a “great big, tall man” standing next to her. She was attracted to Bill when they met, but her feelings grew when he showed his care for her daughter, Anna. It was then that Judy realized she had found a partner for life. Bill and Judy were married in 1974 and in the following years had their daughter Lindsay and son, Jake. The young family enjoyed hiking and camping, and all the beauty Oregon had to offer. In 1978 they embarked on a new adventure and moved to New York City while Bill completed a fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, at which point Judy took a break from her career as a teacher to focus on each of their three kids’ New York City experience. New York held many adventures for the family including parks, zoos, and trips home to New Hampshire. New York led to Columbia, Missouri, where Judy decided to continue her education and Bill went to work for Ellis Fischel Cancer Center.
With a Masters in Education from Portland State University and years of teaching experience, Judy decided to pursue a second Masters and eventually completed her PhD in Educational and Counseling Psychology from the University of Missouri, Columbia in 1991. Judy practiced as a therapist in St. Louis, Missouri and later as a therapist and Executive Coach in Buffalo, NY, and Western New York while Bill worked at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Judy retired in 2006 to spend more time with their grandchildren in the Kansas City area.
Judy was a driven scholar, constantly in search of new and better methods to help her patients, further her own learning, and be a better mother and partner. This intellectual rigor was evident in every conversation with her. Judy was a progressive thinker and a steadfast feminist. She had a radiant, contagious, and undeniably caring smile. She instilled in her children a deep independence with a loving kindness. One might note that her hair was as distinctive as she was, from her long braids in the 70’s to her perfect grey framed bob in her professional years. Above all else, Judy was a fierce advocate for all who knew her including, of course, her husband, her children, her grandchildren, and in her younger years, her siblings. Her deep and loving care will be forever missed.
Judy is survived by her sweetheart Bill; daughters: Anna (Brad) Oliver of Overland Park, KS, Lindsay Kraybill (Aaron Koressel) of El Cerrito, CA, and son Jake Kraybill (Katy Till) of Rochester Hills, MI, and her seven grandchildren: Corbett, Delaney, and Elianna Oliver; Weston and Eli Koressel; and Henry and Rowan Kraybill. Judy is also survived by her four siblings, Jean Ricker, Janice Rioux, John Adams, and Jill Sonja.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Judy’s honor to the KU Alzheimer’s Disease Center and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.