A celebration is planned for Judith Ann “Judy” Moser, 79, from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 28, at her home in Paola. Judy died at her Vinland Valley home Thursday, April 20, 2023, surrounded by her children and grandchildren.
She was born March 12, 1944, in Kansas City, Mo., the third child of Francis and Genevieve Preuitt Moser. She thrived in a joyous childhood filled with music and laughter. She had a special bond with her father, who fostered her love of nature and wildlife.
Judy graduated a year early from Southwest High School in 1961 and then earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Baker University. After graduation she utilized her talents in art and writing, taking a job with the Baldwin Ledger.
She married in 1966 and soon had a daughter, Amy. Two years later she gave birth to a second daughter, Andrea. After divorcing in 1973, Judy continued her career with The Squire, a weekly Johnson County publication. In 1975, however, she took a leap of faith to begin A Typesetter, Inc., so named to be listed first in the Yellow Pages.
With a business model of charging half as much as the competition but doing everything three times the speed, Judy was an immediate success. She celebrated in 1976 with a BMW 320i in which she, Amy and Andrea sang three-part harmony to CSNY.
Judy was brilliant, funny, and beautiful. Although she was introverted, people were attracted to her like a moth to the flame. She mingled with artists, writers, photographers, restaurateurs, and cartoonists—charming them with her wit and self-deprecation.
Never one to do anything halfway, Judy’s Prairie Village yard was eventually filled with flowers, fruits, and vegetables. After deciding she no longer wanted to fight the city for being over the six-cat limit, she set out to find a place in the country where she could live how she pleased and spend her free time planting trees.
In 1995 Judy’s friendship with Memphis nurseryman Ken “Digger” O’Dell blossomed into something greater. Within a couple of years both were living on Judy’s 80 acres in Miami County, and her gardening avocation became a full-time obsession. Together they grew every sort of plant for master gardener and arboretum plant sales, farmers markets, and (most enthusiastically) Amy’s retail nursery near Vinland. Judy was known for her high-quality herbs, and lovingly grew thousands of native plants, annual flowers, and vegetable plants every year. Her gardens are breathtaking.
Never did Judy refer to a prairie milkweed or oxeye sunflower. As a point of pride these were referred to as Asclepias hirtella and Heliopsis helianthoides.
Along with Digger, the two quizzed unsuspecting family members and each other on botanical plant names. Digger enjoyed stumping the learned while Judy entertained by sharing the more silly and suggestive terminology.
All along the way, Judy supported her daughters in all their endeavors and set a standard for strength and independence. Judy’s own tree eventually grew to include sons-in-law Doug and Lance, and grandchildren Emma, Celie, Bess, Lincoln, Max, Henry, and Ike, whom she adored. As they grew and ventured out into the world, Judy maintained a closeness and shared her hilarity through daily texts and social media banter.
She leaves behind her beloved sister, Barbara; her arch-nemesis brother, Ron, and his family; as well as Digger’s daughters, Amy O and Virginia, and their families. She will be especially missed by kitty cats Frankie, Joey, Little Audrey, Blue and Anderson Cooper. She will not be forgotten by the good friends she made throughout her extraordinary life.
Just like old times, now that Judy is out of town Amy and Andrea are planning a party at her house. For more information, please email either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
No need for condolences or flowers. Judy would want you to make a joke, plant a tree and adopt a stray cat or dog if you have the opportunity.
Messages & Condolences
Thanks for all the stories, anecdotes, and joyful pokes family. She left quite the legacy.
Condolences to all
So sorry to hear of Judy’s passing. She was such a talented volunteer at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. Her talent was unsurpassed in so many areas. I especially enjoyed Judy’s sense of humor. The tribute was so beautiful. Cherish the memories!
I will plant a Hydrangea quercifolia and remember it was inspired by Amy and Andrea’s mom, who I really only knew through her daughters. Her daughter’s personalities surely reflect their mom’s connection to the natural world and all creatures, fantastic creative, comic wit, and determination to live a life with as few compromises as possible.
Andrea and Amy, so sorry to hear about your mom. I believe I only met her once but I know what a great mom she was. The proof is in the pudding. You wrote a lovely obituary to send her out into the universe.
I will miss Judy’s wit and sense of fun, as well as her vast knowledge of plants, and with so many others, will treasure her memory.
Your writing so well captured Judy. Hope your fond memories will ease missing her. Tiny new property but the tree or shrub I put in will be named Judy.
Judy always possessed a spirit like none others. She loved life and you captured her to a tee in your tribute. I still cherish and remember everything she did for all the Arboretum events and especially the plant sales . I am sure her spot in heaven is filled with beautiful flowers and herbs. My thoughts are with all of you!
So sorry for your loss, as it is also a loss to the entire Preuitt family. Judy and I always visited at the family reunions that were held. We are cousins. Her Grandpa Cleve Preuitt and my Grandma Stella Preuitt Hackley were brother/sister. I remember going to her house as a little girl at different special occasions. Lots of memories with Judy in them. RIP
That is one of the most beautiful tributes I have ever read and it so captures the Judy I knew.
I wish i had known my sister in law better. We never had the chance to live close and get to know each other in a knowing way. However, i respected and loved the woman, mother, sister to her brother she was. She is missed by all who knew her.
So sorry that I never met your dear Mom. She left behind a great tribe!
I had three trees planted!! You’re wonderful daughters to a remarkable woman.
We’re so grateful for Judy — look at all you wonderful, hilarious, kind and interesting people — and so very sorry, she’s gone too soon. Holding you all in our hearts and sending a lot of love your way.
What a beautiful tribute. I can certainly tell where you gals got all your fabulousness. May you cherish the beautiful memories you have.
I am so sorry for your loss. It leaves a great hole when the matriarch has to go.