Judith Middleton Kroon was a lot of things to a lot of people throughout her life: a kind-hearted nurse to her patients at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI, a member of Mensa, a unique and beloved sister and daughter, and luckily for farm animals — a devoted and inspirational lover of animals and Farm Sanctuary member.
"Animals were her lifelong passion," says Judy's sister, Sue Conboy. "She adopted many dogs, cats, and other pets — including an abandoned baby fox and even a caiman!" Like many animal lovers, Judy was the type of person who could not simply look away when faced with animal suffering. Her family recalls memories of a time when Judy and a girlfriend stayed up all night trying to save the life of a baby bird who had fallen out of its nest, of incidents when Judy pulled over to the side of the road to move a turtle she saw in danger of vehicular traffic, and of Judy taking spiders outside rather than killing them when found in her home. They fondly remember that Judy was almost magnetically drawn to stray dogs — as if the many she brought home over the years could somehow sense that she was a "protector" of those who could not protect themselves.
That fierce, protective spirit expanded to include farm animals, and Judy became a member of Farm Sanctuary in 1997. "If Judy could have kept farm animals in her own backyard, she probably would have!" muses Sue. "But since she lived in town and had neighbors and codes to abide by, she gave money instead to people who were in a better position to give hands-on care to these farm animals in need."
Before Judy passed away in 2012, she arranged to carry on her lifelong commitment to animal welfare by including Farm Sanctuary as a beneficiary of her estate. If only we had known, we would have loved to thank Judy for her commitment and welcome her to our Legacy Society during her lifetime. Knowing that even after she was gone her help would continue to make a difference for farm animals gave Judy peace of mind and a sense of purpose. Like most of us, Judy longed for a world where love abounded more naturally and pain didn't cut so deep, a place where all of God's creatures live together in peace and harmony. During her life, she lived those values to the core and became a champion to those in need, a defender of the underdog, and a truly optimistic, joyful and giving person. Farm Sanctuary is so grateful to be a beneficiary of Judy's kindness, and we are dedicated to honoring Judy's wonderful life and compassionate spirit by using her legacy gift to create a better future for farm animals across the country.