The family of Judy Bird announces her peaceful passing on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, at Riverside Health Care Facility in Fort Frances with family by her side.
Judy was born in Seine River First Nation, Ontario, on April 26, 1949, to Joe and Irene (nee Melrose) Whitecrow.
Judy was born and raised in Seine River First Nation with loving parents, grandmothers, and seven siblings. She lived a traditional lifestyle as a child. Her first language was Anishinaabemowin. She attended day school in Seine River First Nation from the age of 9-16. Her first job was at Mudge’s Camp as a housekeeper. Judy spent the majority of her career employed for Weechi-it-te-win Family Services for over 20 years where she worked as a residential counsellor and life skills coach while creating lifelong friendships with coworkers.
Judy loved to listen to music. She enjoyed many hobbies and past times such as camping trips, TV/radio bingo, picking berries, harvesting wild rice, boating, gardening, cribbage, being at the cabin, fishing. When she played crib, Judy had her own set of rules which for some reason always resulted in her winning.
She met her lifelong partner Ernie in Fort Frances and married in the Catholic church. Judy and Ernie built their life together and raised their family in Fort Frances. Judy was also a foster parent and babysat for many children. They later built their house and cabin in Coochiching First Nation where they created lifelong memories with their family and grandchildren.
No matter who she met Judy could make them laugh, everyone loved her. Judy was a great teacher and shared her traditional knowledge and life skills with her family and the youth she worked with such as harvesting rice, cooking, baking, fishing, and gardening.
In her later years Judy enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and was thrilled to welcome multiple great-grandchildren into the family. She frequently attended their sporting events and activities and looked forward to all family gatherings. Judy’s welcoming heart, sense of humour and love for her family will forever be missed.
Judy will be greatly missed by children Carolyn Henderson (Mike) and their children Aaron, Caitlyn, Elizabeth (and her children Lily and Dahlia); Rodney Whitecrow (Maria) and their children Brandon, Claudia, and Keal; Denise Cousins (Brock) and their children Brendan, Shaina, and Nicholas; Dean Whitecrow; Kyla Savage (Jeff) and their children Aric (and his children Novalee and Nolan), Ben, and Ayanna; step-son Greg Bird; and her siblings Celina Whitecrow (Norman), Howard Whitecrow, Sue Ann Whitecrow (Rob); and numerous nieces and nephews, too many to mention.
Judy was predeceased by husband Ernie Bird; step-daughter Janice Cullen; parents Joseph Whitecrow (Sr.) and Irene Whitecrow; siblings Leonard Whitecrow, Doris Willie, Joe Whitecrow (Jr.), Cecilia Whitecrow; and many nieces and nephews.
Visitation took place at Northridge Funeral Home on Friday, March 31, 2023, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
The funeral service was held on Saturday, April 1, 2023, at Our Lady of Lords Roman Catholic Church, Couchiching First Nation, Ontario, at 10:00 a.m. It was officiated by Father Gino.
In lieu of flowers, the family request donations in her memory be made to the Diabetes Foundation.
Arrangements entrusted to Northridge Funeral Home Ltd. Emo, Ontario.