Judith Ann Manchester
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Published in November 2021
January 7, 1942 – November 1, 2021
Judith “Judy” Ann Manchester passed away peacefully on November 1, 2021 at her family’s home in North Falmouth. She was 79. Although small in stature, Judy had an enormous heart that she shared generously with family, friends, and the community of Falmouth.
Judy was born in Wilmington, NC on January 7, 1942 to Elizabeth “Betty” G. Bailey. Judy’s birth father was Thomas Nelson of North Carolina. Following her parents’ divorce, Judy relocated with Betty to Woods Hole, MA. Here, Betty met and married Warren Eldredge Bailey in 1946. Warren filled the role of Judy’s true and loving father. The family joyfully welcomed Judy’s younger sister, Susan E. Bailey, in 1948.
Judy spent most of her childhood in Woods Hole. In the summers, she enjoyed vacationing on Nantucket at the home of her beloved grandparents, Alice and Arthur Gibbs. Her childhood was interrupted when she was diagnosed with Polio at age 14. Her mother taught her how to sew, knit, and crochet as therapy for the muscles in her hands. Little did she know at the time, Judy would grow up to be a master of the craft.
Judy graduated from Lawrence High School in 1959. Upon graduation, she worked at New England Telephone and Telegraph in Falmouth. Later that year, she married Thomas D. Manchester Jr. of Falmouth. The couple had four children. They lived in Falmouth and divorced in 1982.
In the late 1960’s, Judy began her career as a seamstress and tailor for private clients. She had a sewing machine in her basement and eventually used her skills to provide for her family as a single mother. Her first full-time tailoring job was at Malchman’s on Main Street in Falmouth. She worked at Malchman’s for many years before briefly moving to Marty Sullivan’s Clothing Shop. It was here that she met Dan Maxwell. Dan opened his own clothing store, Maxwell & Co., on Main Street in Falmouth, and invited Judy to become one of his founding employees in 1983. Judy spent the next 38 years, up until the time of her passing, as a seamstress, tailor, and honorary family member at Maxwell & Co. She created and altered thousands of wedding gowns, prom dresses, suits, and fine clothing.
Outside of work, Judy dedicated much of her life to teaching Sunday School. She taught for 35 years at John Wesley United Methodist Church in Falmouth, MA and most recently for 8 years at Cape Cod Church in East Falmouth.
In 1989, Judy welcomed the first of her 11 grandchildren. Her grandchildren, who affectionately called her “G,” became her pride and joy. She attended as many of their school and athletic activities as possible. She also took time to pass down her love of cooking, crafting, and gardening. Her holiday recipe for “peanut butter balls” is legendary among the grandchildren.
Although Judy was deeply committed to her family, she treated everyone she met as if they were her own children. When she hosted family gatherings, she often invited members of the community who were lonely or less fortunate to sit around her table. Her love for the town of Falmouth and roots in the community ran deep. She gave abundantly and served as a volunteer for Wings for Falmouth Families, Carriage House Shelter, and The Big Brother-Big Sister Foundation.
Judy is survived by her children: Thomas and Barbara Manchester of North Falmouth; Robin and James Wilson of Plymouth; Kristen and David Walsh of Plymouth; and Michelle and David Eddy of Sandwich. She will be missed dearly by her grandchildren: Allyson Manchester, Kristen Manchester, Jacob Wilson, Zachary Wilson, Timothy Wilson, Elijah Wilson, Sean Walsh, Matthew Walsh, Cameron Quinn, Kylee Quinn, and Cian Quinn. Judy also leaves her sister, Susan Bailey of Falmouth; nephew, Michael Bailey and his wife Veronica of Worcester; uncle, Richard “Dick” Gibbs of Colorado, and many cousins on Cape Cod and Nantucket.
A celebration of Judy’s life will be held Saturday, November 20th at 11am at Cape Cod Church: 1205 Nathan Ellis Hwy, East Falmouth, MA. For live stream: www.capecodchurch.com
A private burial service will take place at Oak Grove Cemetery.
To share a memory or offer condolences, please visit the online guestbook at www.chapmanfuneral.com. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made to Compassionate Care ALS, P.O. Box 1052, West Falmouth, MA 02574 or www.ccals.org