Judith Evenson

Born: Tue., Dec. 19, 1939
Died: Wed., Apr. 10, 2019

Funeral Service

10:30 AM Sat., Apr. 27, 2019
Location: Bethesda Lutheran Church

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Judith Joan Evenson (Ungrodt), born on December 19, 1939 in Medford, WI, lived a life that surpassed every one of her expectations. She often said, and with typical elegance, "What a fortunate life I have had." And, anyone who knew Judy was indeed fortunate to experience her kindness and joy for life.


From humble beginnings, she went on to earn a PhD in Music Theory from the  Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, always hoping to perhaps get to Europe one day.  She and her husband, Bob Evenson, (Agricultural Economics Professor at Yale) were married in 1967 and had a lovely honeymoon in Europe. They settled in New Haven, CT and Judy lived a wonderful, big life of adventure and much travel.   


Judy loved teaching music theory to college students and using the nurturing Suzuki piano method to teach her young students. She was an intelligent, caring and generous woman who enjoyed sports and wine – best served together. Judy gladly hosted many people from around the world for various Yale and other events, often with about eight minutes notice. She was a beautiful and devoted choir singer with the extraordinary Bethesda Lutheran Church choir for many years.


Judy and Bob had two children, Joseph Evenson and Sarah Ward (husband Nathan Ward). She was proud of her husband and children, with whom she lovingly included Bob's daughters, Nancy Bogue (husband Derek Brigham) and Patsy Opsal (husband Rod Opsal). Her eight grandchildren and one new great grandchild will miss her tender laugh. She always enjoyed chatting with her younger brother, Jim Ungrodt, along with many dear friends and family. Somehow, she never forgot anyone's name. Judy is preceded in death by her husband and parents. 


She enjoyed the last years of her life at the exceptional Whitney Center in Hamden, with wonderful staff and friends she called "good people". We would like to thank the Whitney Center staff and Seasons Hospice for guiding us so gently through the past years.


Judy knew, with utter certainty, that there is a God, and that one day she would meet Him. Dearest Judy, may your meeting exceed every expectation.


Please consider donations to any Alzheimer's Research Foundation or to the Bethesda Lutheran Church's Music Series program. Services will be held at Bethesda Lutheran Church 305 St Ronan St, New Haven on Saturday April 27 at 10:30am followed by interment at Grove Street Cemetery. (There will be a visitation from 9:45-10:30 at the church.) Arrangements are with the Hawley Lincoln Memorial, 424 Elm St., New Haven. Cards may be sent to Sarah Ward in care of the funeral home. To sign the online guestbook please visit hawleylincolnmemorial.com. and please share your memories of Judy.


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Condolence Booklet

Doug Gollin
   Posted Wed April 17, 2019
Cheryl, James, Simon, and I send our love and sympathy to you all. Judy was a wonderful, kind, and cheerful presence in our lives for many years. We knew her, of course, as Bob's tireless partner. Wherever you were in the world with Bob (and sometimes in some strange places!), Judy would pop up, full of laughter and enthusiasm. She always seemed to be driving somewhere impossibly far. And she would always manage to set another place at the table, to find another seat in the car, to make space of all of us who were Bob's students and assistants. She truly was one of the most welcoming and accepting people I have ever known.

We had the pleasure of knowing Judy in another context, too -- through her love of music and support for James and Simon as they studied music (or perhaps it's more honest to say, as they struggled through music lessons). She introduced us to the Bethesda music series; Amahl and the Night Visitors is now a cherished family tradition at Christmas because of Judy's encouragement. And Judy introduced us to Neighborhood Music School, where we all spent many hours.

We are grateful to have had the chance to know her, and after the struggles of her last years, we wish her (and all of you) peace. We will mourn her loss, but we will hold on to so many fond and happy memories.

Suthad Setboongsarng
   Posted Thu April 18, 2019
Judy was a very kind and joyous person. She took good care of me when I stayed at their house during one of my trips to Yale. She seemed to be very busy with her schedule for teaching, taking Joseph and Sarah to various classes. Cannot imagine that such a person can have Alzheimer's.

I will inform others Bob's student in Thailand of this sad news.

   Posted Mon April 22, 2019
My friend Judy.
I will miss our time together. You were always kind to me. we laughed together. And you had the most BEAUTIFUL SOUL! I will never forget you. And I will forever hold our memories in my heart. Sleep in peace my friend. Till we meet again.

Shermininka Strong
   Posted Tue April 23, 2019

SPATHIPHYLLUM was sent by SherMininka Strong.

Joseph and Family, We send our deepest condolences for the passing of your loved one. Alight Solutions (Starbucks Team)

Sally Werner Hauser
   Posted Thu April 25, 2019
Judy Ungrodt was my childhood friend, two years older than me, but nonetheless willing to play with someone younger. We also had younger brothers about the same age whom we tried to avoid when we went out to our play houses in the "forest". That famous "forest" was really only clump of trees behind our adjacent houses on Clark Street in Medford, Wisconsin, but to 4 and 6-years olds it seemed much more daunting. And we spent hours setting up shop, sometimes playing school. (Guess who was the teacher!) These are the memories that came flooding back to me when I read about Judy's passing. She was everything that has been said about her. Gracious, funny, dedicated, adaptable, fair, modest, tenacious, smart, and most of all loving. We reconnected 2 or 3 times a few years ago when her daughter Sarah moved to Piedmont, California, just across the bay from me. She came to dinner, we met for lunch and each time we picked up where we had left off all those years ago. At that point in our lives travel was the common denominator and we had both done plenty of trips that took us well beyond the outskirts of Medford. I will cherish those memories as you will cherish yours. I'll go back to Medford this summer and I'll walk past the Ungrodt house (my family's abode is no longer there as it had to be moved to accommodate a highway rerouting and a mall). I'll then go to Main Street where Judy's father Keith owned the IGA store and probably gave away more than he sold. Next stop will be the Carnegie Library on Perkins Street to remember my favorite librarian, Dagmar Ungrodt. (Dag and my mother Fern were also golfing and bridge buddies.) And finally to a house on Second Street where Judy's grandmother Nonnie (Carrie Ungrodt) lived. She was the most talkative, feisty 80-year-old I'd ever met and to this day I still have a Bavarian dinner plate she gave me 50+ years ago when she moved to a flat above my grandfather's house. Around the rim are the words,"Give us this day our daily bread"; the center is filled with roses. It is a beautiful keepsake that I use occasionally.
I have a feeling Judy will now be directing some sort musical event and that's the way I'm going to picture her: directing the show, doing what she loved and giving her audience the benefit of her talent.

Brian D Wright
   Posted Sun April 28, 2019
Marguerite and I send our condolences to all of you. After Bob and Judy returned to Yale in the 1970s they were among our closest and most generous friends and confidants. We spent many a delightful evening at their home in St Ronan St. Judy was a wonderful, elegant, wise woman. No matter how dire the situation in any part of the globe, when Judy was around life was just more fun. And I have never met a more centered person. On the other hand, never travel with her in a large old American car from New Haven to Elmore, Minnesota in February!

Brian Wright

Judy was one of the kindest, most generous and joyful people I ever knew. She and Bob welcomed students and colleagues from all over the world to their perpetually-under-construction home. She always had room at their extensive table, and in her heart, for one more friend. Rest in peace, Judy, the world is a brighter place because of you.

Marguerite Wright