Judith Ann Widdicombe
unknown - November 3, 2011
Judith Ann Widdicombe, 73, of St. Louis, died Thursday, November 3, 2011, at her home. Trained as a labor and delivery nurse, and after taking one too many suicide hotline calls from women in crisis, Judy helped form Clergy Consultation Service to assist women with crisis pregnancies. In 1973, immediately after Roe v. Wade was decided, Judy opened Reproductive Health Services (RHS), a non-profit abortion provider committed to offering all women full options counseling and abortion services on a sliding scale. In 1990, Judy's 'full options' dream was finally realized when RHS formed Adoption Associates; she fostered "Adam", the first newborn to come through the agency. After retiring from RHS, Judy advocated for reproductive health, and maternal and child health services in Jefferson City and DC, then moved to Florida where she returned to nursing as a hospice nurse. Judy came back to St. Louis in May. Judy was immensely generous as she opened her home and heart to infants and children in need of a loving family. She was a visionary and a risk-taker, but also an implementer and a formidable foe. "It can't be done" was not in her vocabulary. If anything, it made her double-down to get it done. Judy trod where so many feared to go. While her style rankled some, many more have openly acknowledged how she transformed their lives and provided the broad shoulders on which they could stand and become better, more empowered, and more passionate in their own lives. Judy will be truly missed by her family and close friends, but also by the many individuals and organizations she touched both here and abroad in her quest to make sure women could equally participate in society. She was the loving mother of David (Theo) Widdicombe, Mark (Diane) Widdicombe, and Cindy Kronauge; dear grandmother of Zach, Josh, Matt and Stephanie Widdicombe, Tony and Nick Gee-Salter; dear sister of the late John McWhorter; dear daughter of the late Herbert and Helen McWhorter; dear aunt of Jay (Lorraine) McWhorter and Angie (Glynn) Roberts; and a dear friend to many. Memorial services will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations to RHS of Planned Parenthood, 4251 Forest Park Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63108, are appreciated.