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Sad heartbreaking news

I found out this morning that my dear friend Judy passed away from cancer this weekend. I've spent most of the morning crying and reminiscing with co-workers about her. Thinking about the sweet thank you gifts she gave me, for the words of gratitude and support, for the dedication she felt towards the citizens and public water systems in the state of Texas. Her dedication was so strong that she put her chemo treatment on hold for a few weeks to handle recon to assess public water systems in the aftermath of Rita. Her words and pictures of "The Forgotten Storm" as she called it serve as a reminder of the hard work we put into that major and catastrophic event.

I'm sad that I hadn't seen her in months, as she'd been in too much pain to have me over for dinner. Sorry that we never had the chance to sit down and document several of her experiences, including the aftermath of Oklahoma City, Luby's in Killeen, and Hurricane Rita.

Of all the selfish emotions I'm feeling, what I feel the most is relief -

That she is finally at peace, and out of the pain that she had experienced for so long. The doctor had given her three months last spring, and yet she kept working until May 2007.

She will be deeply missed by many.

***********************
From Natural Resource, June 2006:

The Exceptional Customer Service Award is presented annually to one employee.

2005-2006 Winner Judy Rogers—OPRR, Water Supply Division

With Hurricane Rita bearing down on the Texas coast, Homeland Security coordinator Judy Rogers had just received treatment for her recently diagnosed cancer. But she went to her management and requested, in no uncertain terms, to be allowed to be part of the disaster team, and, after she received a doctor's OK, they agreed.

Despite the treatment, Rogers made a significant contribution to the TCEQ's preparation, response, and recovery efforts for the water systems in the area of Texas affected by Rita. Before the hurricane struck, she produced preparedness and response documents for the area's water systems. On the same day the hurricane made landfall, she was performing reconnaissance flights to assess the structural damage to water and wastewater systems.

Later, she developed recovery plans for systems damaged by Rita, suspending her medical treatments so she could provide the best plans for helping systems produce adequate and safe drinking water. Her management said no one else in the agency could have done a better job pulling together such a program, under the stress and confusion created by the hurricane, to help water system operators.

Rogers received her bachelor's degree from Texas State University, her master's degree in forestry from Stephen F. Austin, and her Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas. She loves to travel, to camp and hike, and to study weather patterns and events ... particularly hurricanes!

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
ginger931
Feb. 4th, 2008 08:24 pm (UTC)
oh Debbie, I have tears in my eyes...

Thank you for sharing just a little of this wonderful lady's life with us here,
you are a great friend.
decibel45
Feb. 4th, 2008 08:51 pm (UTC)
I'm glad she's at peace, and sorry for your loss.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )