Judith Roberta (Pearce) Puma R.G.N., O.N., R.N.
On March 4, 2022, Judith Roberta Pearce Puma died peacefully, in her home after a 2 and 1/2-year battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 82 years old. Mum was preceded in by death by her husband Albert “Dick” R Puma (2019). They had 3 children.
Judith is survived by her three children son, Dominic Puma of Clearwater, FL; her daughters Caterina L, (Puma) Mann of Oklahoma City, OK and Diana Puma of Defiance, OH; and her 4 grandchildren Elyssa, Miranda, Vincent, and Giovanni; her sister Elizabeth White and her husband Robert of Grantham, England; her 4 nieces/nephews Catherine, Charles of England, Anya and Jaimie of Scotland; and her 3 great nieces/nephew Isabella, Jonah, and Seren; her brother-in law Joseph Puma of St. Clair, MI; her niece Jennifer (Puma) Landers, spouse Andy Landers; her nephew Joseph Puma, partner Maureen; and 4 great-nieces/nephews Olivia, Zak, Xander, Isaac.
Judith is preceded in death by her mother Nancy (Stewart) Pearce of Scotland; father Roy Pearce of England; sister Joan Louise of England; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins throughout Scotland, England, and Canada.
Judith born May 13, 1939 in Southampton, England. After becoming a Registered Nurse from Edinburgh University/ Edinburgh School of Nursing, Edinburgh, Scotland in 1961, Judith went on to complete 2 years of advanced studies in Ophthalmic Nursing from Oxford University/ Oxford Eye Hospital, Oxford, England in 1963 where she met and married her husband Albert “Dick” Puma while he was stationed at the USAF base outside of Oxford, England. Their lifelong “adventure” began soon after and continued for more than 55 years.
Nursing was her passion, and she devoted herself to the calling. In order to continue her career in the United States she studied diligently to receive RN certification for Ohio. From Ophthalmic Nursing, Geriatric Nursing, Unit Supervisor/Charge Nurse to Family Practice, Urgent Care and Industrial Nursing at Defiance General Motors Plant. Her desire to help others is well reflected in diverse nursing career of over 43 years. Stories of laughter, woe, triumphs and frustrations often filled evening conversations at home and with the multitude of friendships and the comradery she shared with fellow co-workers.
As with all mothers, Judith actively supported all of her children’s interests, encouraged them to strengthen individual talents and of course, frequently reminded them that a person’s education was the number one priority. She raised her children with the love only a mother could give with a touch of sternness coated with a proper Scottish temperament that would give Mary Poppins a run for her money-giving a new twist to “practically perfect in every way.” Judith did this by joining the PTA when needed. Became a Den Mother when there were few volunteers. Her love of music and opera had her becoming DHS Booster member/Chairman of Band Banquet where she first showcased her love of cooking.
Perhaps her most significant contribution to her children’s lives was her involvement in their interest in swimming. She became a Booster member for the Defiance Blue Dolphin Swim and Dive Team from 1973-1985 and was elected to the Executive Board from 1977-1985, holding every exec position at least once. It was theses experiences that eventually led to a special appointment to City of Defiance Task Force for Parks and Recreation in 1989. After successfully completing that appointment, Judith was elected to the City of Defiance Park Board for a 3-year term for 1989-1992.
As an avid reader of practically anything, especially mystery/detective and science fiction novels her accumulation of books could fill a small library! No exaggeration. She tested her knowledge of the written word by writing a book for her eldest granddaughter, began rough drafts for several other children’s book, and was in the process of writing a murder mystery with 13 chapters successfully and was reviewed by several enthusiasts.
Judith’s love for family and friends was boundless. She created many family traditions throughout the years, such as not allowing us to put up the Christmas tree until Christmas Eve! In conjunction with that tradition was not taking down that Christmas tree until January 6th because to do so would cause bad luck the following year. She always had shoulder to cry on for her friends and enjoyed listening and getting updates on her family’s and friends’ lives.
Judith’s most memorable tradition without a doubt was her “gift” giving in Decembers to honor family, friends, co-workers, and service providers such as healthcare providers, pharmacists, the mailman, the paper delivery person, the trash collectors, etc. Her “gift” was her made by hand (and a mixer!) Scottish Shortbread. Giving her Scottish Shortbread to all who were a part of her life, no matter how brief, was her way of saying Thank you! or I love you!
Otherwise known as “the Shortbread Lady”, she will be sorely missed!
We love you!
Judith and her family would like to thank CHP Home Health/Hospice nurses and support staff that made her final days as comfortable as possible, her doctors, specialists, nurses, and all other medical personnel in her community that helped fight her battle with pancreatic cancer. As well as a heartfelt and special thank you to Dr. Okuley, Daisy, Jada, Dr. Mostafa, Cara, Kate, Dr. Shahid, Ann, Melissa, Jaimi, and Julie.
A celebration of life for Judith will be held on Thursday, March 10, 2022 from 5:00 to 9:00 pm at the Defiance Eagles. Schaffer Funeral Home in Defiance was honored to assist the family with arrangements. Please visit www.Schafferfh.com for details. The family asks that donations be sent to the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation in lieu of flowers. Online:
National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation