Jewell R. “Judy” Distefano
June 9, 1925 – January 13, 2019
Preceded in death by husband, Carl J. Distefano. Survived by children: Carl S. DiStefano, Jean Hastings (Art), Laura Hall, and Janet Evans (Scott); grandchildren: Aaron, Reid, Brooke, Scott and Adam Hastings, Ashley Brooks, Brian Culler, Holly Duffin, Ryan, Lee, Shane, Jonathan and Connor Evans; eleven great-grandchildren.
The family will receive friends on Thursday, Jan. 17th from 5pm to 6pm at the West Center Chapel, followed by VIGIL SERVICE at 7pm. MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Friday, Jan. 18th at 10am, St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church, 11802 Pacific. Entombment, Calvary Mausoleum.
Jewell Odell “Judy” Russell was born on June 9, 1925, in Decatur, Alabama and grew up in nearby Huntsville. She was the fifth and youngest child of W.S. and Leeby Russell. During WWII she met her future husband, Carl Distefano, on a blind date while he was stationed with the U.S. Army in Huntsville. They were married in 1944, and after the war they moved to Carl’s home town of Omaha, where they lived the rest of their lives. They were married for 71 years until Carl’s death in 2015. They had four children: Carl, Jean, Laura, and Janet, 13 grandchildren, and a still-growing number of great grandchildren.
Judy had a definite artistic talent and enjoyed working with her hands. She was an accomplished seamstress, master gardener, floral arranger, and oil painter. As principal cook and welcoming hostess at family gatherings, her holiday pies and Southern cornbread were only a few of the recipes savored by all. Over the years she sang in church choirs, led garden clubs, participated in golf and bowling leagues, and enjoyed dancing, particularly at the German-American Club. She was active in the Engineers’ Wives Club during her husband’s career with the Army Corps of Engineers.
She was a lovely person: warm, friendly, courteous, organized, and conscientious. Her legacy is that of a life well-lived. She did best as she saw it, and she will be missed by all who knew her.