“We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6a-8). After over four and a half years of battling metastatic cancer, Judith Therese Schmoeckel left behind her worn out body. Her walk of faith on earth turned to heavenly sight as she entered glory on October 14, 2022. She is now more alive than ever and at home with the Lord.
Judy was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI, the youngest of five children of the late Anthony and Kathryn (Mayer) Niggemann.
Judy embraced life. She enjoyed sports, especially basketball and football. One summer as a child, she wore out five basketballs shooting hoops in the driveway of the house her parents built. Throughout life, Judy used football analogies to impart life lessons. When she was not referencing sports, she utilized historical war analogies. After graduating high school as valedictorian, she earned a Business degree in Human Resources from Marquette University. Judy worked for ten years in the Employee Relations department of Astronautics Corporation of America.
On the Ides of March in 1978, Judy met Joe Schmoeckel at a Marquette University Commuter Student Association meeting. Their relationship grew from CSA cohorts to best friends to lovers. They were married on June 20, 1981. Their loving commitment lasted through good times and bad, in sickness and in health for 41 beautiful years.
The core of their marriage was Christ. Starting early on, they read the Scriptures together. Through the truth of Scripture, Judy chose to trust Christ alone for her salvation. Scripture played a central role in Judy’s life. She memorized several passages including the book of Philippians which she loved.
Judy poured her life into her family. She gave up her career to be a stay-at-home mom to daughters Katie and Ann. She then further invested in them through years of dedicated home education. She cultivated in them a love of learning and a love for the Lord.
Judy loved history, geography, and traveling with her family. For Judy, some of the highlights included standing on the Prime Meridian in Greenwich, exploring the Churchill War Rooms, walking the World War 2 beaches of Normandy, standing at the furthest point east in the US, crossing the Arctic Circle in Alaska, and hiking the lava fields in Hawaii.
Judy lived a life of ministry to her Lord and others. Along with her family, Judy served in many ministries of a church plant in New Berlin including hospitality and women’s ministry. After moving to Kenosha, Judy served with the Gideons International as chaplain for the Ladies’ Auxiliary and through Scripture distribution. She also served as a moderator and table hostess for the Kenosha Ladies Heart Luncheon. For her local church, Judy wrote and led several series of women’s Bible studies. In addition, she helped coordinate many church events including the annual Ladies’ Tea. Judy spoke at ladies ‘events, spent countless hours counseling, and touched hearts through the book she wrote during her first cancer journey—A Choice of Teas.
Judy was a woman of strong FAITH, who saw life as a Fantastic Adventure in Trusting Him. She was a fervent prayer warrior, selfless listener, excellent wife, loving mother, and faithful friend. She will be greatly missed by those who loved and knew her. Truly, though, for Judy, to live was Christ and to die is gain as it says in one of her favorite verses—Philippians 1:21. She is free from the suffering of this life and is rejoicing now in the presence of her Lord and Savior.
Judy is survived by her husband, Joseph; daughters Katie and Ann; siblings Patricia (Lee) Hribar, Charles Niggemann, Mary Reining, and Kathryn Murray; numerous nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.
The Schmoeckel family would like to thank the incredible doctors, nurses, care providers, and countless others at Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Zion, IL, who ministered to all of us but especially to Judy with kindness, compassion, and a commitment to excellence over her years of treatment. You truly gave “The Mother Standard of Care,” and we so appreciated your community of support.
Visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 29, 2022, at Southport Baptist Church, 13266 Wilmot Road, Kenosha, WI with services commencing at 11:30 a.m. Interment will take place at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 30, 2022, in Ebenezer Moravian Cemetery, N8095 High Road, Watertown, WI (south of the church) followed by a dessert reception at Calvary Baptist Church, 729 Milford Street, Watertown, WI.
In lieu of flowers, those desiring may make a contribution to The Gideons International https://www.sendtheword.org
or the designated “End of Year Scholarship” at MBU https://www.mbu.edu/give/
For scholarship donations, please specify “In Memory of Judy Schmoeckel.” Scholarship donations will go toward the Psalm 78:4 Scholarship for teachers and the Jude 22 Scholarship for nurses.