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Judy Stehley

Judy Stehley Judith Ann Stehley, age 84, passed away Tuesday May 22, 2018 at home with her family present and surrounding her with lots of love.

Judy was born January 22, 1934 in Smith County, KS at the family home. Parents were Arden and Jo Dierdorff. She attended the one room schoolhouse in Smith County and was the only student in her class to attend college. Her grandchildren were incredulous that Nana grew up on a farm with no indoor plumbing, no heat, and rode a pony to school every day. Judy graduated from Kansas State University in 1955 with a degree in Elementary Education, and was a member of Alpha Xi Delta sorority.

She married Don Stehley on June 5, 1955 in Smith Center. They lived in Salina, KS for a brief time before moving to Manhattan, where they made their home and built a rich and fun life together. Don worked for K-State in the Alumni Department for 17 years and Judy was a great support to him in his career; attending events and games all over the state. Judy set the bar high as a mother: supportive, encouraging, creative and fun, she gave us unconditional love and challenged us to work hard.

In 1979, Don and Judy started Interim HealthCare in Wichita, KS. Not wanting to move their family, they drove back and forth every week, arriving back to Manhattan on Fridays in time for happy hour with their special group of friends. This tradition was not to be missed!

Judy was a member of First Presbyterian Church and sang in the choir for a number of years. She was also a member of PEO, Manhattan Country Club, KSU Alumni Department, and the Ahearn Fund.

Her favorite role, however, was as Nana to her 7 grandchildren: Ryan, Katie, Sam, John, Henry, Jacob and Nathan. She loved every moment with them and made every visit magical. We are so grateful for all the wonderful memories made.

Funny, highly intelligent, a trendsetter known for her big glasses, big purses, and way too many shoes – Judy was a tiny force of nature whose strong will and generous nature will be sorely missed. None of us can imagine a day without her in it.

Survivors include her daughter Jill Harrison and her husband Pat, Jay Stehley and his wife, Emie, and the seven grandchildren: Ryan Barker, Sam Barker, Katie Schmidtberger and her husband Keith, John Harrison, Henry Stehley, Jacob Stehley, and Nathan Stehley. Judy is also survived by her sisters Mary Wurster, of Prairie Village, KS, Karen Hess of Overland Park, KS and their children and grandchildren.

The family would like to thank the staff at Via Christi Hospital, Interim Home Care and Hospice, and Judy’s caregivers – we are grateful for your special attention and care.
Funeral services will be Friday, May 25, 10:00 AM at First Presbyterian Church (8th and Leavenworth) in Manhattan, KS, with the Rev. R. Cam McConnell officiating. Graveside services will take place immediately afterwards at Sunrise Cemetery, followed by a lunch reception at Manhattan Country Club.

Judy loved attending the Manhattan Municipal Band concerts every summer, where she could be found in the front row every Tuesday evening. A memorial has been set up in her name to benefit the band. Donations may be sent to: Manhattan Municipal Band c/o Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Ave. Manhattan, KS 66502.

Online condolences may be left for the family through the funeral home website at

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