Judith DeTienne was born to Hazel and John Lambert on October 29, 1939 and passed away peacefully on February 23, 2020. She was the last to pass of 5 children. She was the middlemost child, between two sets of twins; Barbara and June, then Joan and Dan. She is survived by her husband Dennis, her children, David and Dan, and Michelle, who the family took in for a time.
She was a devoted wife to Dennis for 57 years. She loved him deeply without reservation. In good times and in bad, they stuck together.
She was an artist. From a strikingly realistic drawing of her son as a young mom to a bright, happy acrylic painting she made as a senior, she had a creative spark throughout her life that made her work special.
She was a gifted writer. The mix of her creativity and wit made her a powerful author. Whether she was writing in her journal, composing a pithy story, musing about a pedicure, or filling out a greeting card, her writing talent shone through.
She was a talented cook and a great seamstress. Whether cooking a family feast or a simple weekday meal she had an uncanny ability to put the right ingredients together, with or without a recipe. As a seamstress she could tailor clothes and do intricate details with impressive patience.
Judy was imaginative. Whether writing a creative story or reading a conspiracy theory she could imagine it. Her fanciful imagination and love of whimsy ran through her life, peeking through in everything she did, from including a touch of whimsy in her home décor to writing a compelling story.
She loved all kinds of puzzles and games, and a 500-piece puzzle was her favorite size. The cryptograms from the daily paper provided a fun challenge each day.
She loved with all her heart. Whether you were a family member or a friend, if she loved you, you knew it. She enjoyed giving things to her loved ones, whether that was a thoughtful gift for a grandchild or cash for a new friend who was in need.
Judy was proud to call herself a hillbilly. She told us this came from ____. She loved her hillbilly food, music, and language. She could interpret obscure hillbilly lyrics from the holler to the ___.
She spoke her mind. Whether she was telling you about her concern for your mole or reminding you to read the Bible, you knew what she was thinking.
She had a beautiful voice and loved to sing harmonies. Growing up she loved to practice harmonies with her sister June. She taught her children to love music from the day they were born. She enjoyed every note and every instrument in a song. And she played her music loud—not because she was hard of hearing, but because she was spunky and fun. In her later years she taught her grandchildren to love a variety of music—from hillbilly to bluegrass to pop. When her son David learned to play guitar, she quickly picked up few chords to play, too. She purchased a piano and enjoyed figuring out how to play without any outside instruction.
She was an interesting person because she was interested in a variety of things—lots of new and different things. One week she would study race horses and the next week Russian history. She always had interesting new things to discuss.
She loved to explore, whether it was canvasing Newport or San Elijo Beach, visiting a new shop, or taking a trip in the motorhome, she loved it all. She took her family camping and traveled to see her grandkids.
She was a tea connoisseur. Her love of tea ranged from Earl Grey to Assam. Her choice of coffeeshop changed regularly, ranging from Starbucks, to Peets, back to Starbucks, and then back to Peets.
She made friends easily. She could go to a coffeeshop and return home with new friends. Whether you were her contractor or her doctor, you became her friend.
She sacrificed as a mom to make sure her kids had what they needed. From scrimping and saving to taking a job delivering newspapers at 5 am, she did what it took. She took a new job to send her kids to private school. She put her kids first and it showed throughout her life.
After being a devout Protestant for her entire life, Judy fell in love with Eastern Orthodoxy and she became an Antiochian Orthodox Christian in the 1990s. A quick historical note is Russian, Greek, Antiochican, etc. Orthodox and the Catholic church spring from common roots. During her first few Orthodox services, at St. Lukes and the church in Santa Barbara, she fell in love with the holy architecture in the Divine Liturgy. She loved everything about the church: how everything in the liturgy has meaning, the focus on Christ and the Christian life, the greetings, the icons, incense, the meaningful baptisms, the choir and singing, the vestments, the iconostasis in front, EVERYTHING. She liked the Church calendar, the feasts and celebrations of major events in the Christian calendar. Lent was deeply meaningful. She loved how everyone carries the candles and process around the church in the dark. “Open ye gates” was a powerful statement for her. The fast periods were important. Finally, after many years as a Protestant, she was so happy to find her church home in Orthodoxy. She loved not only the words, but the crosses and symbols, as well. She liked the fullness of Orthodoxy and loved how it goes back to the beginnings of Christianity. She enjoyed discussing the depth of Orthodox theology. Our family will be forever grateful to Father Basil for his encouragement and to Father Jon for his weekly visits and spiritual nourishment and guidance at the end.
Mom was very bright, and you could not get away with a story with even a single inconsistency – we learned to be very honest very early! She was always happy to patiently help with homework – this included French, a language she didn’t know but learned alongside her son David so she could help. Dan often said “Mom is so smart!” Michelle said she never would have finished school without her help. Dennis said she would have been more capable of getting a PhD than he (please note that Dad is very smart!).
She could be wildly optimistic and impressively realistic.
She had a knack for landscape design. She could make a space look natural and beautiful.
In her later years, she had some health challenges and used a wheelchair. She didn’t seem to mind and enjoyed life despite a wheelchair’s limitations.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Judith Elizabeth Detienne, please visit our floral store.