Judy McGovern

Lebanon | Thursday, December 3 2020 |

Judy McGovern of Lebanon and formerly of Granite City, Illinois passed away at 9:40 p.m. on Thursday, December 3, 2020, at St. Anthony’s Health Center in Alton.  Born and raised in Granite City, the daughter of the late William and Betty (Meinert) Hamilton.  She was a graduate of Granite City High School where she enjoyed being in the band through her high school years.  After graduation, Judy worked for Delta Airlines until deciding air turbulence and her did not go together. 

She then attended Lewis and Clark Community College in pursuit of a nursing degree.  While attending college, she worked at Fairmount Park Racetrack grooming and walking horses.  This rekindled her love of horses which she had since a young girl.  Her mother often said she wished that they had bought her a horse when she was young so she would have gotten that out of her system.  While working at Fairmount Park, Judy worked and earned a training license and trained horses for a few years until deciding nursing would be in her best interest. She cared for others in her nursing career for over 40 years.  She was a nurse who could be described as a patient advocate as displayed in her ability to assess and seek solutions for problems with competency, courage and compassion.  Her nursing career was comprised of many different medical aspects from working in the emergency room to home health.  She had worked for Illinois Oncology at Anderson Hospital in Maryville, St. Elizabeth Hospital in Granite City.  Her heart was with her home health patients and their families she served. She took them on as her own family and they in return felt the compassion and dedication from her. Judy’s passion in life was her love for animals. 

She raised many stray animals through her life, found homes for others and would not hesitate to run into a busy highway at any given notice to help an injured cat or dog.  Judy often said that many times animals have no voice and she never hesitated to take that role.  Horse racing remained her true love as she raised and raced horses for over 40 years rather successfully.  Her love for the racetrack never faded whether racing or just visiting the backside where her horses where stabled.  She hardly missed a race her horses ran, always standing by the rail clutching her prayer beads in her hand, not praying for them to win but rather for them to come back safely.  Ella Kelly, Synd and currently River Cactus and Silver Quarters are just to name a few.  Judy enjoyed looking at the moonlight while doing her nightime feeding, caring for the birds and cherished good shoulder time with her husband.   Judy’s life was filled with love and compassion, no matter the occasion, work or play.  Judy’s presence was always warmly felt with her clever wit and good humor.  She will be sadly missed by her family, friends, neighbors and the many critters, she calls her babies. 

She married Russell Dean McGovern in 1992 at The Little White Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada and he survives.  In addition to her beloved husband of 28 years, she is survived by a brother and sister-in-law, Stephen and Janice Hamilton; nieces, Erin Foley and Shannon McGovern; nephews, Christopher Hamilton and Ben Briddell; aunts, Louise Koester and Bert Abel; Goddaughter, Vicki Branding; lifelong friend, Diane Briddell; many cousins; other extended family and many cherished friends.  In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her beloved dog, Bethel.  The family of Judy wishes to thank the doctors, nurses and entire staff of St. Anthony’s Hospital Intensive Care Unit for their exceptional care and kindness through these days.  Judy was one of those very special people that you could say you were blessed to have had in your life. 

A celebration of her life will be held at a later date.

Memorials may be made to Randy’s Rescue Ranch, 1400 E. Hwy 50, O’Fallon, IL  62269 or to Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, 821 Corporate Dr., Lexington, KY 40503

Irwin Chapel of Granite City in charge of arrangements.

Obit Provided By:
Irwin Chapel Funeral Home

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