Judy C. Johns
July 12, 1943 – February 10, 2022
Judy passed away on February 10, 2022, at Parson’s House, after a lengthy battle with dementia. Preceded in death by parents, Mahleon and Katheryne Counter. Survived by daughter, Johnna Allen (David); son, Joel Johns (Jamie); five amazing granddaughters: Virginia Allen, Emma Allen, Josie Johns, Jacey Johns and Juliet Johns; brother, Louis Counter (Sheila); nieces; nephew.
Judy was born in McCook, Nebraska, but as part of a railroad family, spent most of her childhood in Burlington, Iowa. She graduated from Hastings College in 1966, and from there began her career as a commercial artist. She worked as a graphic artist for Northwestern Bell for many years before building her own in-house art studio in 1980.
In the early 1990s, Judy began her community activism efforts, initially through the Benson Neighborhood Association, to make her neighborhood safer for families and businesses affected by recent upticks in crime. In 1994 then-Mayor Daub hired her on in a civilian role with the OPD to assist in crime prevention and community policing efforts throughout all of Omaha. Her work with the OPD was highlighted by exponential growth in the Omaha Neighborhood Watch Program, purchase of the city’s first graffiti van, the annual OPD Safety Expo, and serving as a driving force for the City’s Problem Resolution Team to create partnerships between city agencies and services and frontline community policing efforts. Judy’s efforts were recognized by being named the 1998 OPD Employee of the Year and recipient of a 2009 United Stated Department of Justice Award for Public Service. She was extremely proud of her OPD career and highly respected by her colleagues within the OPD and city leadership.
Judy’s proudest achievements were her kids and granddaughters, shuttling them to thousands of games, meets, activities, dance recitals, cheering them on from the bleachers, and volunteering as Team Mom and at school. Her infectious laugh and quick wit brightened the days of those around her.
Judy’s family is incredibly grateful for the diligent and dignified care provided to Judy by the staff of Parson’s House over the last 3+ years. You all did God’s work.
May you finally Rest in Peace.
VISITATION: Monday, February 21st from 9:30-10:30am at St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church, 11802 Pacific Street. MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Monday, February 21st at 10:30am at St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church. Internment: Evergreen Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Alzheimer’s Association or Nebraska Humane Society.
Johnna and Family,
I was deeply saddened to hear of your mothers passing. It’s probably been 35 years since I’ve seen her (when you girls were at day care together), but she looked so happy and full of life in her picture and I hope the past few years were good ones, albeit likely difficult ones. Dementia and Alzheimer’s are such horrible diseases and thankfully we have wonderful facilities that can help us carry that burden when God chooses that path for someone we love. I am so thankful that she is now at peace and pray that God touches your shoulder with peace as well. God bless. Ruth, Missy and Robin
I am so sorry for your loss, she was a very special lady! A lot of good memories living next to her and running thru the neighborhood with Johnna and Joey. Our thoughts and prayers to Judy and her wonderful family. Dan, Karrie, James and Ella ❤️
My sincere sympathy to Judy’s family. I worked with Judy at Northwestern Bell and have admired her ever since. Now I admire her family for the good care you ensured that she received.