Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

Judith Ann "Judy" Eikenhorst Colebrook, 84, Orange

Judith Ann “Judy” Eikenhorst Colebrook was born on March 5, 1939, in Caldwell, Texas and passed away on February 5, 2023, at Vidor Health and Rehab in Vidor, Texas.

Judy was the daughter of Elsie Ann and Ernest H. Eikenhorst. When she was a young child her family moved to Orange, Texas so her father could work in the shipyards.

Judy graduated from Lutcher Stark High School in 1957, and in April of 1959 she married Norman Edward Colebrook. After a few years of working and having her daughters, Cathy and Susan, Judy pursued her bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, graduating from Lamar in 1976, with certifications in geology, biology, history, life and earth sciences, and special education. She also attained her master’s degree at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Judy began her teaching career in 1976, at Little Cypress Elementary School, spending 11 years in special education and 14 years as a second grade teacher. She loved teaching and found great joy when one of her special needs students learned to read.

Judy fostered a love of learning not only for her students but for her two daughters, as well. Cathy and Susan were always encouraged to strive for excellence, and Judy promoted a love of reading in both of her daughters. That love of reading has now been passed to the next generations, Judy’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Arts and crafts were a passion for Judy. She pursued making stained glass projects, knitting, cross-stitching, sewing for her girls and grandchildren when they were young, and quilting. Judy was an accomplished quilter, especially with appliqued art quilts.

She was a member of the Quilt Guild of Southeast Texas, the Girl Gang Quilting Bee, and the Saturday Quilt Group, and spent many hours creating beautiful art through her quilting prowess. Her family has been gifted with many of Judy’s works of art in quilting.

Judy was also a member of Community Partners of Orange County and the Orange County Retired Teachers Association.

Trinity Lutheran Church was a mainstay in Judy’s life. She was raised in the church and was a member for over 70 years, at which time Trinity merged with St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Bridge City, Texas. Judy spent many hours in service to others at Trinity Lutheran and held dear many of Trinity’s parishioners.

Judy had many trials in her life, including a bout with childhood polio that affected her for the remainder of her days. However, those trials never diminished her mischievous outlook. Judy and her childhood friends were always up for a party, even if they had to create a reason, like a friend’s dog’s birthday. These same friends formed a club and promised each other that they would never share the meaning of the club’s name. To this day, the family does not know what “T.O.B.” stands for; and Judy would simply grin when asked about the name of the club and then launch into a story of the group’s adventures, laughing until there were tears in her eyes.

Additionally, her many teaching coworkers were so important to Judy; and she had great love, respect, and admiration for them.

Judy leaves behind a legacy of optimism, love, and service to others. She touched the lives of so many and will be greatly missed.

Judy was preceded in death by her mother and father, Elsie and E.H. Eikenhorst, and her siblings, E.H. Eikenhorst, Jr. and his wife, Pat; Patsy Allred and her husband, Jack; Ralph Eikenhorst and his wife, Elrita; Gary Eikenhorst; and her husband, Eddie Colebrook.

She is survived by her daughters, Cathy Colebrook McClain and her husband, Mark; Susan Beard and her husband, Tim; and her grandchildren, Matthew McClain; Kelsey Clothier; Michael McClain and his wife, Mana; Shelby Schulte and her husband, Sam; Aaron Clothier; Matt Beard and his wife, Emily; Katie Fondrick and her husband, Jason. Judy is a great-grandmother to six great-grandchildren; and she is also survived by her sister-in-law, Cathy Eikenhorst, and many nieces and nephews who she loved dearly.

Judy’s family would also like to thank Vidor Health and Rehab for the excellent care that Judy received over the last year and a half. Their compassionate and loving care made all the difference for Judy and her family. So many of the staff members went above and beyond in their professionalism and care; and in Judy’s final hours the family was shown so many kindnesses. The staff showed Judy so much affection and love while she was in their care.

Also, Harbor Hospice was of tremendous help in their care of Judy. Harbor was outstanding and a godsend.

In memory of Judy, donations may be made to the Humane Society of Southeast Texas at 2050 Spindletop Avenue, Beaumont, Texas, 77705, or http://humanesocietyofsoutheasttexas.org, or the gift of a children’s book to a local library in Judy’s name, or a donation to Orange County Rainbow Room at 2220 Gloria Drive, Orange, Texas, 77630.

Visitation for family and friends will be held at Claybar Funeral Home, 504 5th Street, Orange, Texas, on Friday, February 17th, 2023, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., with a celebration of Judy’s life held on Saturday,

February 18th, beginning at 1:00 p.m., at Claybar Funeral Home, followed by a gathering of family and friends at the Orange Train Depot Museum at 1210 W. Green Avenue, Orange, Texas. There will be a private committal service at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens at 3:30 p.m.


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