Judith “Judy” Baxter Polhamus entered the presence of her Lord and Savior on January 28, 2023. She passed peacefully at the Mike Conley Hospice House in Clermont, FL. Judy was born on March 21, 1943 in Pascagoula, MS to parents Walton William Baxter and Mary Louise Baxter (Reeves), who both preceded her in passing. She often told the story of not meeting her father until she was 4 years old because he was serving in World War II. In 1957, Judy moved to Winter Park, FL with her family where she graduated from Edgewater High School. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Education from Florida State University, and she loved her Noles! Judy married Robert “Bob” Polhamus on April 3, 1964, and they are both survived by their two children Robert “Chris” Polhamus (Michelle) of New Braunfels, TX and Wendy Reynolds (Johnny) of Apopka, FL.
Judy began her teaching career in elementary education and then took some time off to be a full-time mother. While not working, she actively volunteered and participated in Christian Women’s Club in Gainesville, FL. After moving back to the Central Florida area in 1987, Judy began teaching again. She ended her teaching career as a math teacher at Lockhart Middle School, but her favorite teaching years were the years she spent teaching the young mothers at Wymore Career Education Center in Eatonville, FL. Her students affectionately called her “Ms. P” as she gave her famous schoolteacher scowl, although her heart was amazingly tender.
Judy’s most prized job title was “Granny Judy” to her four grandchildren – twin granddaughters Brooke and Haley (Wendy & Johnny) and grandsons Michael and Matthew (Chris & Michelle). They were all truly her pride and joy, and she would rave about them to anyone who would listen. Some of her favorite memories were teaching Brooke and Haley math over summer break – much to their dismay. Her most cherished times were when all her grandchildren were with her, and she would recount the family trips to Sanibel Island, New Braunfels, and spending time with them over the holidays in Central Florida.
Judy lived a full and devoted life, always giving to the church she was attending and putting God first. She will be dearly missed by her children, grandchildren, brother, nieces, nephews and cousins. Judy was preceded in death by her parents Walton and Mary, her husband Bob, her brother James “Bubba” Baxter and her sisters Carol Ann Gilreath and Emma “Kathy” DeFilippo. She is survived by her brother Walton William Baxter II (Cindy) of Douglasville, GA, her brothers-in-law Franklin Gilreath (“Pete”) of Flowery Branch, GA and John DeFilippo (“Flip”) of Amherst, NH, her children, grandchildren and countless other loving relatives and friends.
Arrangements are being handled by Baldwin Brothers of Apopka, FL, and her immediate family will honor her privately as no service is planned. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in her name to the American Cancer Society or the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Judy was a three-time cancer survivor and gave generously to the Lottie Moon offering each year, so these donations will honor her memory well.
Walt and Cindy Baxter
Her favorite place to be - with all her grandkids ♥️
Judy with one of her grand-dogs, Moose ♥️
Judy with her grandkids
Judy with all her siblings ♥️