“Duty, Honor, Country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.” Douglas MacArthur
Until his death, after a short illness, on May 10, 2021, Ret. LTC. Alan Lee Judson lived those words in his service to his God, his family, and to his beloved country. With the rigid countenance of a career soldier coupled with his New York elocution, Al’s soft inner core was only seen by those privileged to know the true nature of his heart.
Born on October 3, 1932,”the Colonel”, as he was affectionately known by friends and family alike, was raised in Long Island, NY, graduating with a BBA degree in Marketing from Hofstra University in 1956. While at Hofstra, Al distinguished himself on the soccer field, playing on Hofstra’s first soccer team, and in the music halls as he played the saxophone and demonstrated his love of classic songs that would last his entire life. The fulfillment from belonging to a brotherhood also began for Al at Hofstra with his membership in the Epsilon Sigma fraternity. After college graduation, Al married the love of his life, Petie, in 1959 while stationed in Germany.
Through a military career that began in Maryland in 1957, and concluded with his retirement at Fort Hood, Texas in 1978, Al served the United States Army with dedication and distinction for over 25 years. Harkening the call of duty, the Colonel’s service took him around the world and, in addition to multiple assignments across the United States, included tours of duty in Germany, Korea, Turkey, Brazil, and Vietnam. Though at times physically far from his precious wife, Petie, and beloved daughters, he always let them know they were top of his mind and brought them remembrances from his duties abroad, jewelry for Petie, and dolls for his three girls. During his army career, the Colonel was awarded a number of military honors including the Bronze Star, Two Meritorious Service with Oak Leaf Cluster awards, the Joint Service Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Vietnam Service Medal with Two Service Stars, and numerous other decorations and commendations for his dedication and bravery. The discipline and patriotism he learned in the military never left him, as friends and family will attest.
After his retirement from the Army in 1978, Al continued to fulfill his duty to his country and spent 16 years in the employment of Pantex in the Planning and Scheduling Department.
Al valued the camaraderie of the military life he led and carried it with him after his retirement through his longtime membership in the Texas Retired Officers Association, the Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite Bodies, and Khiva Shrine Temple. He understood fellowship was a key element in life and he thrived in times shared with friends whether they were in a bowling league, bridge group, men’s Bible study, on a fishing trip, gambling excursion, or simply hanging out at the doughnut shop.
An active member of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Amarillo for over forty years, it was through his ordination as an elder, that Al found the channel to actively live his faith as he explained that worship and study at Westminster “… provide me with a peace of mind, reassurance of faith, and (fulfill) my continual need to be spiritually fed and nourished.”
Whether he was known as AJ, the Colonel, Dad, Grandpa, Alan or Al, he was always a man of honor and known to do the right thing, and while every girl believes she has the best father, Vickie, Val, and Gina know with great certainty that their father truly was the “best Dad”.
The Colonel is deeply missed and lovingly remembered by his daughter, Victoria Blumhagen and husband, Guy, of Austin; daughter, Valerie Cochran and husband, Glenn; daughter, Virginia Judson, all of Lubbock, Brother-in-law, John Rice, and wife, Ronna of Amarillo, Grandchildren, Kelly and Allison Blumhagen, Kelsey and Teal Holeman, Thomas and Luke Cochran, and great-grandson, Tegan McIntosh, Sister-in-law, Ann Judson, and her family, and nieces and nephew, Kelly Miller, Lisa Sunberg, and Curtis Judson and their families.
Al was predeceased by his loving wife of over sixty years, Elsie “Petie” Ann Judson, his sister, Valerie, brothers Willard and Robert Judson, his nephew, Steven Judson, and his father and mother, Javes and Violet Judson.
The life of this beloved gentleman will be celebrated with military honors at a memorial service at 2pm on Friday, May 21, 2021 at Westminster Presbyterian Church (2525 Wimberly Road, Amarillo, Texas). A reception, featuring a few classic songs of the 50s and 60s chosen by Alan himself, will follow. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Westminster Presbyterian Church Facilities Committee or to your favorite charity.
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