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Obituary – Judy R. Yarnell

Judy Rae Yarnell, 76, of Springfield, Mo., passed away Thursday, November 5, 2020, with her loving daughters by her side.

Judy was born in Rolla, Mo. in 1944, the oldest daughter of Ray and Jewell (Graham) Ellis. She grew up in Licking and graduated from Licking High School. Following graduation, she was united in marriage to Gerald Yarnell. From this union they had three children, Becky, Tammy and Jerry.

Judy’s work career spanned more than 40 years. Upon moving to Springfield after marriage, she was employed at Southwestern Bell as a switchboard operator. When the family relocated to Branson, Judy worked as a teller for Security Bank. In 1978, the family moved back to Springfield, where Judy began what became a twenty-five year career with General Electric, where many of her co-workers also became wonderful lifelong friends. Judy was a charter member of Ridgecrest Baptist Church. She was also actively involved in the New Beginnings ladies small group class.

Known as JuJu by her family, she most enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren, the loves of her life. She spent countless hours cheering them on at their various activities.

JuJu had a green thumb. She was known for her beautiful flower gardens that were the envy of all her neighbors, friends and family. She was also a phenomenal cook and always willing to share a good recipe. In her latter days JuJu was praised for her witty sense of humor and kind heart. She will be dearly missed by all.

Left to cherish the memory of Judy’s life are family: daughter Becky (Marc) Herron; daughter Tammy (Shaun) Dickerson; daughter-in-law Crystal Yarnell; grandchildren: Tandee (Greg) Ferguson, Danika (Tristan) Wolf, Victory (Elisabeth) Dickerson, Riley Herron, Kayla Herron, Fallon Yarnell, Torrance Yarnell, Tristan Yarnell, Grace Yarnell; sister Jane (Herman) Hall, and countless loving nieces and nephews.

Preceding Judy in death were parents Ray and Jewell Ellis, and son Jerry Yarnell.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, November 13, 2020, in Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home. A visitation will precede the service at 10 a.m. Burial will follow with services at 2 p.m. at Licking Cemetery, Licking, Mo.

Memorial contributions in Judy’s name may be made to Pregnancy Support Center, PO Box 373, Lebanon, MO 65536.


  1. Larry "Smiley" Miller on November 9, 2020 at 1:34 pm

    Judy was my Sister’s best friend. Her mother (Jewel) was my babysitter along with Judy and Jane. Lots of memories of that family on the corner. R.I.P. Judy and hope you are hugging your Mom, Dad and your son Jerry. Peace to all.

  2. Marilyn Miller-Carty on November 9, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    Judy and I were placed next to each other the first day of first grade. We became friends by lunch. For the 70 years following that day, she has been my best friend ever. She knew all my flaws, but believed in me anyway. We always said that when we got to Heaven, I would at last know how to play a piano like her and she would be able to sing like me. I can hear her practicing. We are so different in so many ways, but we had a connection that was a blessing to us both. I will never quit thanking God for her place in my life.

  3. Pamela Rodgers Simpson on November 22, 2020 at 9:34 am

    Judy was my babysitter when she was in high school. My brother and I had so much fun at her house. She would take us to the sink hole by their home and taught us how to fish and let me turn the wringer on the washing machine. Everyday at noon a big meal was made and Judy and Jewel always made a pie. Judy was always saying silly things and we would believe her. I caught up with Judy later when she lived in Branson. I was going to the College of the Ozarks and Judy had seen my name in the local paper. She told her mom and Jewel told my mom and gave me the information needed to find her. I found her and we had a nice ‘catch up’ visit. She was a wonderful person.

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