Photography

Sigrid "Judy" Nora Harris

December 29, 1936 ~ February 14, 2024 (age 87) 87 Years Old

Sigrid "Judy" Harris Obituary

Sigrid Nora “Judy” Harris was born Dec 29, 1936, in Riga Latvia. Yes, the year of birth is correct. She is survived by her loving husband, Jordan, sisters Monika and Renate, and brother Helmut.


Her mother was a farmer’s daughter but her father was a college educated biologist from St Petersburg. His father’s family owned a rubber factory which the Soviets confiscated. Ironically many years later after the fall of the Soviet Union Russia contacted her father (He was in his 80’s) to see if he wanted it back.


Russia invaded Latvia in 1940 and the family’s property was confiscated. Judy retained memories of that farm even though they left Latvia when she was 4 or 5. Her mother never spoke about Latvia again. The family lost everything and fled south to Germany (from the frying pan into the fire.) Her father was immediately drafted into Hitler’s army. Somehow he survived 4 years of war. Ironically, he spent the last year in an American POW camp and learned a little English to go with the 3 other languages he spoke.


Judy always had excellent hearing. She talked about being the Early Warning System for the little town in which the family was living. She was always the first one to hear the allied bombers as they passed over. (Crazy as it sounds as she got older and her vision became poor, her hearing seemed to get even better.)


After the war, the family moved to the village of Deisenhofen on the Danube in what became West Germany. This is where she spent her teenage years. Her educated father was to spend the rest of his employed life working as a farmhand on a large farm. The farm’s owner let the family live in the pump house that literally straddled a creek. Judy could look through the floor cracks and watch the creek beneath. In the winter the walls were covered with ice. Judy and her sister Ina slept wrapped together for warmth on a straw mattress. Eventually there were a total of 6 children, 3
prewar and 3 postwar. The three youngest, Helmut, Renate and Monika still live in Germany. Judy said those are among the few Germans she liked.


Judy’s years in Germany were not fun. Imagine being a refugee in postwar Germany. The family received the leftover Red Cross clothes that no one else wanted. She said she had one dress which she washed weekly. Americans often joke about about walking 4 miles in poor shoes through a foot of snow to get to school. Judy did it.


After Judy and Jordan married they visited her parents in Germany several times. Her parents still lived in the area she grew up. Judy took Jordan to the farm where they could see the pumphouse.


Once she came to the USA when someone wanted to speak German to her she responded in English. She was proud to be an American. Her siblings say she spoke German like an American. Jordan often joked about how he would burst out laughing listening to her on the phone talking to a sibling. Every sentence had several words of English. He didn’t know how they communicated.


Those experiences help define the woman Jordan met 20 years later in Virginia. Judy and Jordan first met at a Halloween party in 1977 (He was wearing a diaper and tennis shoes.) and were married in a Jewish/Military wedding at Ft Monroe (VA) officers club June 10, 1979. They were married for 44 years and 8 months. She was an Army officer’s wife for the first 18 years. Their military career took them to Daegu, Korea, Ft. Shafter, HI, Ft Carson, CO, and finally in 1991 to Ft Lewis WA. They fell in love with the area and never left.


For most of their marriage she did not have an outside job. Instead she served as a Red Cross Volunteer for over 30 years. She was one of the first volunteers to work in the new Madigan Army Medical Center in 1992. She said her real job was to take care of Jordan.


They did a lot of entertaining in the Army. Judy was a great cook. When Jordan ran a residency at Fort Carson she would prepare a reception for the students and teachers. Around 90 people attended. She prepared almost everything. In these last few years she could not stand very long so they would make meals together. She was the head chef and he was the sous chef following her orders.


When Jordan retired from the Army in 1997 she reduced her commitments but continued to volunteer at Madigan. They entertained periodically but no more than a dozen people (small time for her). In the last 15 or 20 years the entertaining was reduced to an annual Superbowl party with army buddies.


Since they had no children, they spent much of their free time traveling the world. They got into cruising when they came to the northwest and often took 2 or even 3 cruises a year. Their favorite place to visit was Hawaii. They would go there almost every year. In fact, they got back from their last trip to Oahu the week before Judy’s stroke (see picture). By coincidence they were with the guy who was responsible for Judy and Jordan meeting.


Then there was Judy’s fashion sense. She always looked like a million dollars. A beautiful lady in beautiful clothes. Jordan loved watching other men watching her. She was just classy. She claimed never to have paid full price for any clothing.


Judyandjordan, one word. Jordanandjudy, one word. If you saw one, you saw the other. The Army only separated them for two days during their entire career and they were never separated for any reason again.


Judy died on Valentine’s Day in the arms of her beloved Jordan. 


We would like the thank all the nurses in the neuro ICU at St. Josephs for the fantastic care they provided Judy during her final days. They were amazing.


We would also like to thank Rabbi Keren Gorbin for the wonderful religious support that helped get us through this terrible time. She knew when to speak and when not to and her words held true meaning for us. Thank you.


In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be submitted in Judy’s name to either Temple Beth El Religious School Fund, 5975 S. 12th St, Tacoma, WA 98465, or the Tacoma/Pierce County Humane Society.

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Services

Committal
Friday
February 16, 2024

1:00 PM
Home of Peace
5421 Steilacoom Blvd SW
Lakewood, WA 98499

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