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A Mother’s Day Tribute for my Mom

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Mom 1942-2014


My mom passed away on Friday.  She was 71 years old.  She had been quite sick for the past few weeks, but it wasn’t expected.  I’ve decided to dedicate this Mother’s Day post to her and her legacy.

**If you knew my mom, will you please leave a comment below about a story or a memory?  It will mean so much to my sister and me and our children!

My mom Judith Louise Horton was born in and grew up in El Paso, Texas.  She married my dad Gene Kimes Boswell in 1968, had me 1972, and my sister in 1975.  I am amazed about the stories she tells of being married to a petroleum engineer.  They lived in Big Bend Texas for a while and had issues with snakes and tarantulas. Eek! She also spent quite a lot of years overseas, often flying alone with her two little daughters.  When I was 7 and my sister was 4 she was suddenly widowed.  It was an absolute shock for her–my dad had a heart attack in his sleep.  But she was strong.

Below: My mom and dad in 1968

Gene & Judy Boswell crop


Gene & Judy Boswell Wedding crop Judy Boswell Wedding Shower crop

Below is my mom with her parents, me, my sister, and my grandmother’s sister.

Mimi, Papaw, Mom crop

We moved from Anchorage, Alaska to El Paso, Texas to be near her parents and her sister’s family.  I really loved the stability she brought us to.  My grandparents were a rock for my sister and me, and it was a joy to grow up near my 3 cousins!

My mom went to business school and became a secretary.  After a few years she went to paralegal school and became a paralegal.  She worked hard for my sister and me.  We were happy.  My sister and I were able to do just about all we wanted to.  We were very involved in our church Immanuel Baptist and in music lessons and were honors students in school.  My mom gave us the support we needed to succeed.  She loved us dearly.

Below: My mom, her mom, and her sister

Mom, Mimi, A. Joyce crop

After my sister and I were in college at Baylor, my mom moved from El Paso to Houston.  I’m glad she lived closer to Waco so we were able to see her more often.

Below: Me at my senior recital in college with my mom and sister

Senior Recital with Mom & Jill crop

When my mom retired she moved to California to be near my sister.  What a blessing it was for her (and Jill’s family) to be able to spend so much time with her.  My sister has four children who love their grandmother so much!  And I, of course, have 8 children.  I always thought it was pretty amazing for her to have 2 children and get 12 grandchildren!  I’m so grateful that she was able to be here with me when all 8 of my children were newborns!  And one of my sister’s favorite pictures is of my mom meeting her adopted grandson for the first time at the airport.  (As soon as I get a  copy, I’ll post it here!)

DSC_0211 DSC_0274


I love this next picture with my mom, her daughters, her sons-in-law, and first six grandkids.  I only just wish we had been able to all get together with the next 6 grandkids.



Below is my sister’s family:

Dupras family


My mom loved music and loved to sing.  She spent many years from high school to her last year singing in choirs and in other groups.  I’m sure that my sister and I got some of our musical aptitude from her (and my dad)!


My mom had a number of health issues but has always fought through them.  (Remember the aneurism in 2006?)  But this time the Lord felt it was time to take her home.



I am most grateful to my mom for bringing me to the Lord.  I needed Jesus and she showed Him to me.  I praise the Lord that I will be with her again one day!  I love you, Mom!

I leave you with a few more pictures–hope it’s not too many for you!

Mother's Day Tribute for My Mom


Mother's Day Tribute for My Mom





Baby J:

Mom & Baby J. crop

Baby L:



B, J, and M:


The next two are my sister’s baby:



M and R:


M,R, L, and I:

NamaFourthJuly 023

B, J, and T:

Mother's Day Tribute for My Mom

Baby E. :



Robot factory 007

Bye, for now, Mom.  This life is but a breath, so it won’t be long until we are together again!



**Please leave a comment with a story or memory of my mom.  Thanks!


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  2. Joyce Boone says:

    Judy and I were such good friends before she left El Paso. I have been thinking all day about the many things we did together when our kids were in youth at Immanuel. We sang in choir together, were in an ensemble, went to football games every Friday night, went to music week at Glorieta for several years, and shared many, many holiday meals. How I missed her after she moved but knew we were still friends. I treasure the fact that she was always there for my kids – flying to Lubbock for marriages and graduations. Goodbye, my buddy Judy.

    1. You were one of her best friends, Joyce! I loved those times, too. Don’t forget Village Inn every Sunday night and the great Thanksgivings we had with the soldiers.

  3. Your mom had a beautiful smile! Thank you for sharing your tribute with us. I love learning about amazing people like your mom, although it always leaves me a little sad I missed out on knowing them. Hugs and prayers to you and your family.

  4. Gena — what a beautiful tribute to your mom. I know how hard this time must be, but I am so thankful you wrote this post and have all of these memories right here on your site. I’m praying for you and your sister – and all of your children – this weekend. Big hugs to you.

  5. Gena, this is such a beautiful tribute to your Mom. What a rich life she had with her family! When Judy was with us all, a few Thanksgivings ago, I fell down the stairs and she was so kind and concerned that I was injured…that was so loving of her…I was pretty shook up, and ended up with some dandy bruises…it surely helped a lot to have her there. I’ll miss her and her big smile! Love, Tee

  6. Kimberly Franz says:

    Dear Mayos
    I loved your Mom/Grandmom and her sweet, soft disposition from the start and cuddled up to her immediately just like one of you. You will carry on her love.
    Kimberly Franz and family

  7. Kristi Berg says:

    I remember how your Mom came to help my Mom and I after my Dad had his heart attack in the mid-80s. She made sure I didn’t miss out on any IBC youth activities and gave my Mom emotional support as she learned how to care for Dad. She was a wonderful woman who was a wonderful example for so many people. Heaven has gained a true angel.

  8. elma schwartz says:

    Your mom was my bff since 1965. When she was living with Rusty and I the year before she married your dad, there was a snow day…she didn’t have to go to work at EP Natural gas and I didn’t have to go to UTEP. So…we decided we needed to have our portraits taken downtown at Achilles studio. hers for your dad and mine for Billy. We drove down Mesa in your dad’s corvette on icy streets. That’s just one of the crazy things we did. I still remember our trip to Calif to Disneyland and all the laughs we had. All the board games we played until the wee hours of the morning at the house in EP. (Triominos) I’ll miss her smile, laugh, and love. Keeping you and yours in my prayers at this difficult time. Your tribute was beautiful.

  9. Ellen Lewis says:

    I am just heartbroken for you. Your mom was such a blessing and great example of what a godly woman is to be. She was gentle in spirit, soft spoken, always smiling, had a marvelous laugh and was so much fun. She always made me feel loved. I love you guys and will be praying for you. One of my favorite verses is Isaiah 41:13
    For I am The Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you , Do not fear, I will help you.
    What a lovely picture of our Father’s personal “hand holding ” and care for us.
    He loves you so and I know will see you through. Much love,

  10. Sylvie Julian says:

    Gena, I too applaud you for putting together this wonderful tribute (& so quickly) while caring for 8 children, etc. You & Jill still amaze me w/all that you’ve done in & w/your lives. To think that your mom was told she probably wouldn’t have any kids. I know your parents are proud of you both, as I am.

    What can I say about my/our dear, dear friend Judy (Elma, Joyce & Mason, John & Nancy Williams, et al.)? Judy was so special. Because of Judy, my life has been enriched greatly. For someone who was told she probably couldn’t have kids, it IS amazing that your parents brought you & Jill into this world & that they have 12 grandchildren. The world is a much better place because of you all.

  11. Such a loving tribute Gena. Praise God, His love endures forever. His love is so evident on your mom’s face and in her smile with these photos. May she enjoy her rewards! Surely she has heard, “well done good and faithful servant.” She has run the good race. Praying for your aching heart Gena. (((HUGS)))

  12. Jeanne Potthoff Williams says:

    Gena, This is a wonderful tribute to Judy. I haven’t seen her in years, but always remember her wonderful laugh! I am a cousin you have never met. My daddy was Leo Potthoff, his sisters were Mary ( your grandmother) and Louise. My sister is Betsy (you may remember her, she lives in Waco, went to Baylor). I love seeing the pictures of Judy, and of your family. MY thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  13. Gena and Jill – My heart is full of gratitude for and to Judy for being such a loving wife to my brother, Gene, and such a wonderful Mother to you girls. Thank you for sharing the photos, most of which I had not seen.
    I was thinking today about Judy’s laugh, which I loved so much, and that infectious smile! She was gentle, kind, and gracious. I have a wedding photo of Judy and Gene on my wall I look at every day.
    I remember some hilarious times when they were in Houston, you were born, and I went over to their house to look after the new puppy!! Oh, my goodness, what a mess. I worked fast before your Mom came home from the hospital, because I did not want her to come in and see it! Also, those stories of Terlingua – living in the trailer house. Aah – newlyweds – can do almost anything! But – that was a stretch – and Judy handled it well, as far as I remember! The last time I saw Gene was at your home in Midland, when Ashley and I drove out to see all of you – you girls had such a great time; then you moved to Alaska! Gene called me several times that summer before he died (he wasn’t one to call much, so that pleasantly surprised me).
    Judy was a rock for him and for you girls, and I treasure her memory. I am holding you all up in prayer.

  14. Gena, what a wonderful tribute to your mother! Her smile was beautiful, and what joy she showed being with her children and grandchildren! My heart is particularly tender toward the loss you now feel, my own father having gone home to be with the Lord just a week before your mom’s homegoing. I know you rise up and call her blessed, and her godly influence will always be with you. Many prayers that the Comforter will hold you and your family close to His heart and enable you to see the GLORY through your tears. -Sara

  15. Sylvie Julian says:

    Part 2 – Judy & I worked at the downtown HQ of El Paso Natural Gas. One day I told her I liked her car & asked about it (I bought the same car in white soon thereafter). We started carpooling, exchanging life stories, & became fast friends. I learned why she & the girls left Alaska & drove all the way home to El Paso to start her new life as a single mom. I so admired how Judy managed to raise such faithful, loving, compassionate, intelligent & talented girls. I went to see the girls perform
    times or more many of Judy & I started going to lunch each workday &, if we were lucky, Judy’s good friend Liz Permenter would join us. Our EPNG lunch group core became a foursome w/Rosa Jackson & Mary Sue McNeal. We had countless good meals & laughs. Judy said she needed those lunch periods not so much to eat but to just get away & take her mind off work. When Judy moved to Houston. I missed her a lot but I was able to visit her pretty often & even attend her surprise retirement party. On one visit, Judy picked me up @ Houston Hobby AP, & I saw a sign for Galveston on the interstate.

  16. Sylvie Julian says:

    I keep posting before I finish editing. I’d be a bad blogger. Anyway, the spur-of-the-moment trip to Galveston was great fun–horse & carriage sightseeing & a ferry ride, shopping, & eating. Because of Judy & her girls, I’ve seen so much more of Texas (Waco–Baylor grad., Austin, Galveston, Canyon–to see Gena in a new outdoor summer musical) than El Paso. In Waco, I remember a bunch of us @ the house of close friends who moved to Waco where we were all enjoyed watching Forest Gump for the 1st time. I’m sorry I never made it out to northern Calif. after Judy moved there. I remember her saying she almost froze to death that 1st winter when I finally caught her @ home. I’m sure the climate control is perfect in Heaven. I’ll see you there in due time, dear friend. Love, long-winded Sylvie (or Sylvette as you liked to call me for fun) (Thank you, Gena & Jill

  17. oh, sweet friend . . .how my heart aches for you. I am so sorry for your great loss, but so very grateful for the wonderful legacy your mom left behind. absolutely beautiful.

    love <3

  18. elma schwartz says:

    Beautiful tribute to a beautiful lady. I miss her so much. She was my sister from a different mother. My son always called her his second
    mom. wonderful memories living together and spending time with you and Jill. Tri ominos here we come!

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