Dyson, Judy Carolyn Wheeler, 75, of Chesterfield, passed away on Sunday, November 7, 2021, surrounded by her family. She was born on July 12, 1946, in Hampton, VA. Judy was recently diagnosed with cancer that proved to be extremely aggressive and had been receiving care from the team at the Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Johnston Willis Hospital. She is survived by her beloved and devoted husband of 52 years, Jim; her daughter, Jennifer Dyson (Joe Lerch); her son, Andrew Dyson (Kelly); and her grandchildren, Chloe and Emma Lerch, and Brady, Colby and Wyatt Dyson. She is also survived by her sister, Brenda Lively (Dan), her sister-in-law Jenny Wheeler (Doug), her in-laws June and Bob Brown, JoAnne and Bob Hudson and Janice Dyson, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, many other family members and a multitude of friends. She was predeceased by her brother, Doug Wheeler, and her parents, Jeanette Flythe Wheeler and Travis P. Wheeler.
Judy, or Carolyn depending on where you knew her from, grew up in Hampton, VA, also spending significant time with her family in Conway, NC. She graduated from Hampton High School in 1964 and attended Chowan College from 1964-1966 where she was chosen by her classmates to be their May Queen. She then graduated from Old Dominion College (now University) in 1968 and began her love-filled career as an elementary school teacher. She began teaching in Hampton, VA, soon after graduation, and then once she and Jim, her Chowan College sweetheart, were married in 1969, she moved and continued teaching in Chester, VA, at Salem Church Elementary. After a teaching hiatus as an at-home mom to Jennifer and Andrew, she returned to the classroom teaching at Harrowgate Elementary and then at Marguerite Christian Elementary. After working for 23 years between 1968 and 1996 with and for children as an inspiring and active leader in the schools, Judy retired due to an injury.
Judy was also a passionate and talented crafter. She excelled in both cross stitching and quilting (almost to the point of obsession!) creating and sharing a multitude of treasures. She loved to decorate her home for the seasons and various holidays, creating a festive and joy-filled environment for all who visited. Of the many hats that Judy wore, her most treasured roles were as a wife, mother and grandmother. She was immensely proud of her family, loving them fiercely with her whole being. Her radiant smile shone brightly, not only because she was filled with joy and light, but also particularly if ever a camera or photo opportunity was directed her way. Judy’s welcoming personality and gifts of love and attention fueled her abilities as a teacher as she celebrated with her students through their learning. Her focused attention with whomever she was with also allowed her adoring grandchildren to feel like they were the most important people in the world, at least in her world.
Judy, Carolyn, Mama, Grandmama, will be greatly missed. Her love has spread far and wide and we will carry her in our hearts always.
A Celebration of Judy’s Life will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, November 20, 2021, at Chester United Methodist Church, 12132 Percival Street, Chester, Virginia 23831. A visitation will be held at at the church prior to the service from 10:00 am to 11:00 a.m. A luncheon reception will follow in the church fellowship hall. A graveside service will be held at 3:00 p.m. at Wood’s United Methodist Church Cemetery, 7200 Hickory Road, S. Chesterfield, Virginia 23803.
Flowers are being coordinated by Petals and Bows of Chesterfield and may be sent to E. Alvin Small Funeral Home, 2033 Boulevard, Colonial Heights, VA; or if you prefer, a donation in her memory can be directed to The Children’s Museum of Virginia Book Bank https://www.
childrensmuseumofrichmond.org/ community/book-bank/ the local Ronald McDonald House https://rmhc-richmond.org/ or the charitable organization of your choice.
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