Judith Hartwick Essen


Judith Hartwick Essen, age 86, died on Saturday, September 10, 2022. 

Judy was born on June 9, 1936, in Springfield and had lived the last five years at Ridgeway Senior Living in New Ulm, close to her daughter, Jayne, and son-in-law Chris Jensen. After graduating from high school, Judy attended the Minnesota School of Business in Minneapolis and worked at the Minnesota and Ontario Paper Company where she met Larry Essen. They married in 1961 and moved to Mankato in 1971, where they raised their children, Jayne and Jon (also known as Chad). Larry was a funeral director and co-founded the Mankato Mortuary in 1987, and Judy was the office manager for the company until Larry’s death in 1993. She became co-owner of the company until 1995. Over the years she did volunteer work for her church, Centenary United Methodist, and the Blue Earth County Library. She grew up with lots of books around, and an emphasis on reading, as her mother, Arlene Hartwick, was the library director at the Springfield Public Library. She enjoyed spending time with her family and friends. In addition to Jayne and Chris, and Jon and his wife Stacey of Mendota, MN, she loved being “Nana” to her grandchildren, Catherine and Peter Jensen, Emily, Sam and Erik Essen and Autumn and Wes Shively. She enjoyed being involved with their activities, keeping tabs on them and baking their favorite treats. She loved spending time at the lake, especially the sunsets at Gull Lake. Birdwatching and shelling on Sanibel Island. And she never forgot her many good memories of small-town life in Springfield, which she was always happy to share with others. 

Her sister, Sharon, and brother-in-law, Tony Antonios, of South Kent, CT, and nieces and nephews, also survive her.  

In addition to her husband Larry, she was preceded in death by her parents, Arlene and Lowell, and sister Pamela, and in-laws Verna and Clifford Essen and sister-in-law, Loretta, and husband Sheldon Mayclin. Services will be private through the Mankato Mortuary.

Springfield Advance-Press

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