Judith Toppings


April 28, 2021

Judith Toppings

January 06, 1944 - April 22, 2021

Judith Toppings, age 77, of Elbow Lake Village, MN, died Thursday, April 22, 2021, at her home under the care of Hospice of the Red River Valley with family by her side.

Judy Murray was born January 6, 1944, to Edward and Mary (Bellanger) Murray in Pontiac, MI. As a young girl growing up, her family moved several times including out west to Washington State, then North Dakota and Minneapolis, MN, to name a few. They returned to the Rice Lake, MN, area when Judy was a teenager and she helped dig a basement by hand for the house her dad would build. When she was 18, Judy moved to Minneapolis to attend beauty school. While living there, she met Lowell Hillbrand and the two were united in marriage and blessed with three beautiful daughters: Janet, Lisa and Anita. The couple would later divorce in 1971. Soon after, Judy met Dan Toppings and they were married in 1974. After parting ways in 1978, Judy moved to Bemidji, MN, and attended BSU. While attending college, she would also independently raise her three girls. She taught them to be independent, generous and trustworthy. Judy was very resourceful and despite hardships, she would always make a way to provide for her family. Upon receiving her industrial arts degree, her education would take her to teaching at Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School as a student teacher. Judy later taught at Red Lake, Circle of Life, Heart of the Earth, Naytahwaush, Detroit Lakes and Nay-Ah-Shing Schools.

Along the way, Judy took up quilting and pottery. She won awards at art shows for her quilts and some of her works have even been acquired by museums. Judy was very knowledgeable with her heritage and had a passion for the outdoors. She enjoyed gathering sweetgrasses to make her art and jewelry as well as making beaded regalia for others and herself. Judy loved dancing Jingle Dress whenever she could. She loved teaching the younger generations language, pottery and sewing. When Judy wasn't teaching others, she liked to play Scrabble and go berry picking with her best friend, JoAnne, and any other adventures that came along.

Judy is survived by her three daughters: Janet (Darren) Klarer of Ogema, MN, Lisa (Kenny) Anderson and Anita (Brad) Gall both of Crystal, MN; six grandchildren; one great-grandchild; one sister, Vera Murray of Minneapolis, MN; one brother, Dan Murray of Hawley, MN; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; one grandson, Ian Kalk; two sisters, Donna Jones and Grace Hagen and one brother, Leo Murray.

Blessed be the memory of Judy Toppings.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 1p.m. on Saturday, May 1, 2021 at the White Earth Community Center, White Earth, MN.

Following all Covid-19 safety protocols, social distancing will be practiced, and all must wear a mask to participate.

Celebration of Life

White Earth Community Center

Saturday, May 01, 2021

1:00 PM

Crane Road

White Earth, Minnesota 56591


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