We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel
Judith Lee Folkman, 79, of Baker City passed away at her home surrounded by loved ones on June 7, 2022. She was born on October 26, 1942, in Pendleton, OR at St. Anthony Hospital to Walter and Barbara Youngman weighing a mere 2lbs, 8 ounces.
She graduated from Pendleton High School in 1961. While in high school, she worked at Hamley & Co, a western store and saddle shop, as a sales associate during the Pendleton Round-Up where her father made his career as a saddle tree maker. She fondly told stories of riding on the Hamley floats during the Pendleton Round-Up parades, ushering during the rodeo, and dancing after the rodeo with her brother chaperoning.
Judy attended Eastern Oregon University where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree of Arts specializing in Education in 1965. While at EOU, Judy enjoyed singing in the traveling choir and was a princess on the 1964 homecoming court.
Judy met the love of her life, Vaughn Folkman while attending EOU. They were married on June 13, 1964, and stayed in La Grande while Judy finished her senior year and Vaughn taught in Cove. A few years later Judy and Vaughn moved to Baker City where they welcomed their son Chris Folkman. The family then moved to South Dakota, for a year, so Vaughn could earn his Master’s degree in Education. They returned to Baker City where their daughter Amy Folkman Switzer was born.
Judy began a fulfilling, 23-year career as a beloved 2nd Grade teacher, starting at Brooklyn Elementary School and finishing her career at South Baker Elementary School. She took great pride in teaching children how to read and found joy in finding unique and creative ways to engage her students.
Every summer for 28 years, Vaughn, Judy, and their kids would travel to Sequoia National Park where Vaughn was a seasonal park naturalist. Judy would lovingly transform the family’s rustic living arrangements into a cheerful and comfortable cabin. Her times in Sequoia were some of her most cherished memories, recalling campfire programs, hiking, and backpacking in the National Park with her family.
She was a faithful member of First Lutheran Church in Baker City and taught Sunday School for many years. After her retirement from teaching in 2000, she immersed herself into the church’s youth ministry program where she continued to teach and inspire children. Judy was also an active member of the PEO AX Chapter for 18 years and enjoyed hosting meetings in her home.
Judy was preceded in death by her husband. She is survived by her brother, William Youngman of Lake Oswego, OR; her son and daughter-in-law, Chris and Carrie Folkman of Baker City, OR and her grandsons Austin and his wife Taylor Jean Folkman of Haines, OR and Taylor Folkman of Baker City, OR; her daughter, Amy Folkman Switzer of Los Angeles, CA; her sister-in-law, Marilyn Daggett of The Dalles, OR and her much loved Daggett nieces and nephews.
A celebration of her life will be held Saturday, June 25th at 11 a.m. at First Lutheran Church 1734 Third St. in Baker City. A luncheon will follow in the church fellowship hall. Memorial contributions in Judy’s memory may be made to the First Lutheran Church through Gray’s West & Co., 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.