Judith Arlett Woerner
(1/19/1940 – 7/24/2022)
Born in Tampa in 1940 to Joe and Grace Fernandez on her father’s birthday, January 19 th , Judy was a little princess in her extended Cuban-Spanish family.
She graduated from Wimauma High School at 16, then attended the University of Tampa for a year. She met Charles at work where he noticed her beautiful legs. Their first date happened after she said, “Meet me at Walgreens if you want to take me to the fair,” and the rest is history. They married after about a year of courtship and started their family. Charles’ pet name for her was “Judy Bird.” She dedicated herself to raising the kids, then went back to school once the youngest reached middle school. She obtained a BS in Medical Technology in her early 40s and went on to manage the lab at Tampa General Hospital for 22 years.
During that time, she became an accomplished artist with installations in multiple places including Tampa International Airport. Her creativity extended to photography, textiles, and her enduring passion, art quilts. Judy was a founding member of the neighborhood group of friends affectionately known as both “The Crackpot Gang” and “The Totem Pole Gang.” They had raucous parties and supported each other through the years. In recent years, she was an avid member of a quilting guild where she made many friends and had wonderful weekend getaways full of sewing and fellowship. She modeled a love of reading, belief in education, and “no limits” for her kids who were raised to believe they could be anything they
wanted to be.
“Queen Mamala” was supremely confident, fiercely protective of her brood, and a complex mix of compassion and bluntness. She was generous – she designed and sewed a quilt for each child and grandchild, brought countless meals to friends in need, supported children and grandchildren through college, sewed and donated quilts to veterans and NICU babies, and more. She had a scientist’s mind and stayed curious her entire life.
She is survived by her devoted husband, Charles Woerner; daughter Stephanie Woerner, her husband David Chase, and children: Max and his wife Chris; Jack; and Zoe Son Charles (Charlie) Woerner Jr., his wife Mary Woerner, and children: Alex and his wife Hayley; and Tim; daughter and loving caregiver Susan Woerner, and the puppy princess of the household, Hazel
Daughter Mary Woerner and her child Marlena Fleck; daughter, Teresa (Tess) Devore, her husband Joseph Devore, and children: Melissa Richards and her wife Ashley Richards and
children: Jade, Sara, and Koleyna; Nicholas Devore and his children, Adam, Grant, and Leo; Austin Parry, Joe Daniel Parry, Samuel Parry, and Claire Montney Devore; daughter Ruth Farrar, her husband Bret Farrar, and children: Camille and her spouse Naveen Kundunmal; Miranda; Jess; and Landon; sister, JoAnn Merrell and her husband Frederick, daughter-in-law Stephanie and her children: Grace and Lacy; child, Trevor and his wife Denise, and their child, Jesse.
She is preceded in death by her parents Joe and Grace Fernandez, nephew, Frederick Merrell, son-in-law (Mary’s husband) Robert Fleck.
Judy will be missed and remembered fondly by all who knew her.
Her beautiful life will be celebrated on October 31 st , 2022, with a
Funeral Mass followed by a reception. Judy loved colorful flowers, but also cared about helping others. If you prefer to honor her
memory with a donation, please consider The Spring or Metropolitan Ministries which she supported for years.
Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church
2348 Collier Parkway
Land O’ Lakes, FL 34638
Celebration of Life Reception
Noon (Following Mass)
Plantation Palms Golf Club
23253 Plantation Palms Blvd.
Land O’ Lakes, FL 34639