Peaceful 09

Judith Lynn Fair

February 2, 1940 ~ March 2, 2024 (age 84) 84 Years Old

Judith Fair Obituary

Judith Lynn Fair aged 84, crossed over from this life peacefully on March 2, 2024, at her home in Elkhart, IN. She was born February 2, 1940, in Racine, WI to Herbert Milus Scott and Barbara Ann Scott. Thus began the vagabond lifestyle which included commuting between families that were split between Dardanelle, AR, and Chicago, IL.

Never concerned with the transient nature of her upbringing, Judy always felt at home with loving families regardless of whether she was in the small southern town of Dardanelle or the "Big City" of Chicago. Indeed, she felt the experiences allowed her the best of both worlds and afforded her a remarkable sense of independence in being able to travel back and forth at times as an unaccompanied child. One day she could be on a tree taunting bulls in the pasture of the family farm and the next she could be riding the “L” in Chicago. However traveled she was, she always felt loved from all members of her family and had the support of her parents in Chicago and her grandparents and aunt and Uncle in Dardanelle. During a transition back to Chicago in the sixth grade, they held her back a year fearing her “southern education” may have setback her learning. Within the first semester, they learned the contrary and promoted her to the seventh grade allowing her to skip the sixth grade entirely.

By high school, she chose to stay in Dardanelle as her primary residence. There she experienced what could only be described as "Happy Days" in real life. She learned to drive at an early age driving the family farm truck and when she appeared before the local sheriff to receive her license, he asked her with a wink how long she had been driving she replied 2 years. He replied, "Well we better make this official". At Dardanelle High School, she was incredibly proud to have made the cheerleading squad along with her lifelong best friend Betty McConnell. Highschool also included cruising the small town and frequenting The Old South drive-in restaurant, and the occasional drag race. After returning to school late one afternoon with a group of fellow students who had all attended a race, the principal called them all to his office. When he asked for the reason for their tardiness, the only reply came from Judy. "I attended a drag race." The principal asked, "Who won?". Judy quipped, “We did of course!”.  She was granted a pass, and the others got detention. In 1956 she attended her first Elvis concert at a small venue in Little Rock during Elvis's first tour. The King was on her radar long before the mainstream world including her friends in Chicago who had not yet caught “Elvis fever”.  That changed with his airing on the Ed Sullivan Show in Jan 1957. The next time she was in Chicago, she went to see Elvis again, but under much different circumstances. Everyone knew Elvis and the line to attend wrapped around the city block multiple times. Judy and Betty attended their senior prom together with the Crow Brothers, with each couple arriving in 1957 Corvettes. The Crow family owned the local Chevy dealership. Drag races, drive-ins, cheerleading and Elvis, it sounds fit for a movie.

During high school and after graduation Judy worked as a legal secretary for her grandfather’s law practice in Dardanelle. After a stint of working in Chicago and Dardanelle, her mom convinced her to move to Elkhart which held a lot of promise for jobs and so that she could be closer to her family which included her siblings Cathy and Tommy. So, Judy packed up her 57 Chevy and drove solo to Elkhart. Little did she know that this would be her home for the rest of her life.

For years, Judy would cross paths with the eventual love of her life. In ’57, Jim was her paperboy who delivered to her mother’s home each day. Then, when Jim stared to work at Wilts grocery, Judy would divert to the checkout line with “the boy with the pretty eyes”.

In the fall of 1961, Jim came calling for one of her roommates. He was a young college student the time. In the brief meeting, Jim was convinced that Judy was the better prospect and fended off his friends in pursuit of Judy. And so began Judy and Jim's everlasting love affair. 

Marriage followed on January 20, 1963 during the biggest snowstorm of the year.  The near blizzard conditions didn’t stop the party and Judy and Jim made it safely to their honeymoon hotel at the 50th on the Lake in Chicago. The next morning the couple returned to the car to find it remarkable warm compared to the frigid temperatures and “windy city” winds.  However, the car failed to start. Due to obvious "distractions," Jim had forgot to turn the car off and summarily it had run out of gas by morning. A gallon of gas and the help of a Good Samaritan got them back on the road. They couple laughed as the car could only achieve 30 mph on Lakeshore Drive due to the carbon built up in the exhaust. Eventually the carbon cleared, and they enjoyed the rest of the honeymoon.

Life in the 60s for Judy was a mix of work and expanding the family. Scott (James Scott Fair) was born in Aug 1963 and she continued to work part-time while Jim began climbing the ranks of the restaurant business. By the late 60's they partnered with another party to open Lumm’s Restaurant together. It was a popular spot in downtown Elkhart. Soon after, in July 1969, Mark (Jason Mark Fair) was born and Judy moved into homemaker mode. Jeremy Kent Fair was born a short time later in January 1971. Thus completing the immediate family unit.

Judy returned to work part-time with Air Equipment Sales and Service where she worked from 1977 until she retired in 1997. During this time Jim had secured a position at Prudential Insurance. Company conferences and events allowed Judy and Jim to further their wayfaring around the country and the world. During this time Judy expanded her love of the arts, a family trait. She embraced oil painting with friend Liz Smith and eventually returned to ceramics painting as a form of artistic expression and social interaction with her sister-in-law Cooky Bailey and other close friends. Judy was also a mainstay at numerous school sporting events, choir events, school plays and associated ceremonies supporting the kids and their endeavors. If it was happening, Judy was there to cheer. This was also the case in supporting local service organizations with Jim like Kiwanis, Family Services and The American Lung Association.

In the early 1990s, Judy and Jim also chaperoned an annual high school field trip for summer school students taking American History. Each summer they would travel and experience the historic sites of the eastern United States including Washington, D.C., Boston, MA, Philadelphia, PA, Gettysburg, PA, and many others.

Judy and Jim’s intrepid lifestyle continued throughout their lives together and they took opportunities to travel whenever possible including many trips overseas to Europe and the Caribbean. Spurred by their travels to historic places, Judy and Jim set a goal to visit every state capitol in the United States which they completed in 2019 with a trip to Juneau AK. No small feat.

Judy was preceded in passing by her parents and her brother Thomas Moll. She is survived by her husband, sister Cathy Lancaster and her husband David, sister-in-law Cooky (Alice) Bailey and her husband Dan, and a brood which she was incredibly proud of and insisted on mentioning them all. Her three previously mentioned sons and two daughter-in-laws, Tonya Fair (wife of Scott) and Madeline Fair (wife of Jeremy). Included in the clan are 13 grandchildren and their partners or spouses, Ashley Fair and her partner Eddie Miller and their daughter Lyric, Jarred Fair and his wife Lindsay Fair, Ryder Fair and his wife Michaela Fair, Chase Fair, Haylee Henderson and her partner Jesse Tindle, Milus Fair, Eli Fair, Kean Fair and Layla Fair.

The family is hosting a “Celebration of Life” event Saturday, March 30th from 1-3:00 pm at the Omega Center 2130 Middlebury Street, Elkhart, IN 46516. In lieu of flowers, donation may be sent to Trinity United Methodist Church, 2715 East Jackson, Elkhart, IN 46516.

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