Judith (Judy) Ann Haroz, 83, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and sister, passed away peacefully in her sleep on August 7, 2023. She was predeceased by her husband, Carl Thomas (Tom) Haroz, who died in August 2020. She is survived by her four daughters, Lezlie Haroz, Tammy Haroz (Rick Roth), Kimberly Murphy (Michael Murphy), and Carla Haroz (Michael Way); four grandchildren, Brian, Richard, Lezlie Ayn, and Ramsay; her brother Alan Dean and his three sons, Matthew, Luke, and Palmer.
Judy spent her early childhood in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where she was born. After her parents divorced, Judy moved several times with her mother, who worked as a secretary. Eventually, they settled in Dallas, Texas, where Judy attended Hillcrest High School. During her senior year, she met her future husband, Tom, and they began dating. She graduated from high school in 1957 and enrolled in Southern Methodist University (SMU). She planned to major in English literature, which she loved. After she had completed one semester, however, she switched to a secretarial school to more easily obtain work to support Tom’s aspirations.
Judy and Tom married on August 30, 1958. They subsequently moved to Houston, where Tom enrolled in the dental school of the University of Texas. During their four years in Houston, Judy worked as a secretary, while also raising two infant daughters.
After Tom joined the U.S. Air Force as a dentist in 1963, Judy became a “military spouse.” From that time onward, her life centered around managing the family during multiple moves. She and Tom had two more daughters, and for a number of years, she focused on raising her four children. Nevertheless, she always wanted to complete her college education, and she took classes whenever she could. The demands of raising children and frequent moves made it difficult to reach her goal. However, she did not give up, and she eventually graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Hawaii in 1983. Her daughters were very proud of her for persisting and reaching this personal goal.
Judy and Tom moved 10 times in 23 years, with a final move to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1986, where Tom was the head of the dental clinic on Kirtland AFB. After Tom retired from the Air Force in 1992, they decided to stay in Albuquerque, where they had built a home with a beautiful view of the Sandia Mountains. For the first time in her life, Judy felt like she had her own home and could set down roots. She obtained a teaching license and worked in a church pre-school. She also assisted Tom when he worked as a “mobile” dentist for the state of New Mexico. Together, they travelled throughout the state, along with their Scottie dog, Bonnie, to provide dental services to schoolchildren. In later years, Tom became an active member of a senior softball team, and he and Judy developed close friendships with some of his teammates and their spouses.
After Tom died in 2020, Judy made the difficult decision to sell the home in which they had lived together for nearly 34 years. She moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia, to be near her daughter Tammy. When her health declined, she moved into Tammy’s home, where Tammy worked hard to provide the best care possible for her during the last months of her life. Her other three daughters were able to visit shortly before she died.
Throughout her life, Judy’s primary focus was on her family. After every move, she tried hard to help her daughters settle into their new schools and activities. She also wanted her daughters to have a better education and better opportunities than she had had, and she continually encouraged them in their educational endeavors. She always loved reading, writing, and poetry. She often read to her daughters when they were young, and she wrote numerous letters to them when they were older. She was also a devoted grandmother, and since her grandchildren never lived nearby, she made it a priority to visit them whenever possible and to provide encouragement to them at every stage of their lives. Her unwavering love and support to them will continue to have an everlasting impact on their lives.
Family members will always remember Judy for her efforts to keep in close contact through phone calls, cards, and letters. She never missed a birthday, always taking care to select the “perfect” Hallmark card and to write a thoughtful note – her daughters often joked that she kept Hallmark in business! All those letters and cards reflected her deep love, kindness, and wisdom.
Judy’s last wishes were to be cremated and placed in the same plot with her husband at Arlington National Cemetery. Family members and friends will be notified when a burial ceremony will take place.