Judith Lynn Whittington Buchanan
February 16, 1947 – March 12, 2018
Judith Lynn Whittington Buchanan of Raleigh passed quietly away on March 12, 2018 at the age of 71. She was born in Hagerstown, Maryland on February 16, 1947 to Henry Lyle Whittington and Marguerite Hewett Whittington. She was a graduate of the Washington County Hospital School of Nursing, where she graduated at the top of her class. Entering the U.S. Air Force as a Second Lieutenant, she was assigned to the USAF Regional Hospital at MacDill AFB in Tampa, Florida in 1968. As charge nurse in the ICU, she provided exemplary and caring nursing to her patients and cheerful leadership to her coworkers. While in Tampa, Judy discovered bell bottoms, rock and roll, seafood, and the love of her life, Gary W. Buchanan, 1st. Lt. USAF. Gary remembers Judy as a tall, tanned, lithe blonde with blue eyes and a smile that lit up the sun. Married in late 1969, Judy and Gary were married 48 years at her death. After Judy and Gary left the Air Force, they moved to Raleigh with their young son, Brandon. Judy entered N.C. State University as an adult student and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1983 with a B.A. in Psychology. Judy was inducted into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi at NCSU in 1981 and was a life member.
Judy was an avid reader. She was particularly fond of Flannery O’Connor and Anne Tyler. She loved the study of history. She was extremely well read on Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt and the history of World War II. Judy was a lover of art, music and film – especially film. A student of movie making, she could have taught a class in film appreciation. Her favorite movie was, fittingly, “Places in the Heart”. She was a Patron of the NC Museum of Art and particularly loved the Dutch Realists and French and American Impressionism.
Judy loved a good fair or festival. Judy attended the first Festival for the Eno, the first Apple Chill festival and the initial First Night in Raleigh. She never missed the NC State fair during the 70’s and early 80’s. Judy loved NCSU and was a proud contributor to the NCSU Foundation. She loved to travel and dreamed of getting well enough to travel more. She adored Asheville, Wrightsville Beach, Nags Head and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Judy loved to picnic, garden and take long nature walks. She loved a good meal and a great conversation. She loved her family with all her heart.
Judy was a passionate fighter for Women’s Rights and Social Justice. She was a charter member of the National Women’s History Museum as well as a member of the American Association of University Women. Judy was a proud card carrying member of the Southern Poverty Law Center, NOW, Emily’s List and the ACLU.
Unable to participate in charity work due to her medical problems, Judy donated to a number of charities, including the Interfaith Food Shuttle, SMCI, NAMI, the SPCA of Wake County, the American Cancer Society, The American Heart Association, Oxfam and the Nature Conservancy. She was also a charter member of North Raleigh Presbyterian Church.
Tragically, her life was limited by a series of medical problems that started appearing as early as 1974. The problems became worse when Judy developed Chronic Fatigue/ Immune Dysfunction Syndrome in 1983. After an extended hospitalization at Duke in 1999, Judy’s life became more and more circumscribed. She never really recovered from the stroke and seizure she suffered in early 2017. Although her life was filled with physical pain, she fought valiantly to live her life to the fullest. The fact that she died quietly with no pain has been a great blessing to her family.
Judy used to say that her poor health kept her from doing anything with her life. Look at what she loved and was involved in – this was a life well lived.
Her parents and her brother, James D. Whittington, predeceased Judy. She is survived by her husband, Gary W. Buchanan, her son, Brandon C. Buchanan (Kathryn) of Wilson, NC and two grandsons, Grant and Grayson Buchanan.
The family would like to thank the staffs of the Duke Pain Clinic, Duke Primary Care, Duke Raleigh Hospital and UNC Rex Hospital for their expert and loving care to Judy, particularly over the last 15 months. We would especially like to recognize Jennifer Parsons, NP and Dr. Miriam Feliu of the Duke Pain Clinic and Melissa Fike, FNP of Duke Primary Care for their extraordinary care and empathy.
Memorial arrangements by Brown Wynne Funeral Home, 1701 East Millbrook Road, are incomplete.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made either to SMCI – Solve ME/CFS Initiative or to the Interfaith Food Shuttle.
- Her parents and her brother, James D. Whittington, predeceased Judy. She is survived by her husband, Gary W. Buchanan, her son, Brandon C. Buchanan (Kathryn) of Wilson, NC and two grandsons, Grant and Grayson Buchanan.
- The family requests that donations be made either to SMCI – Solve ME/CFS Initiative or to the Interfaith Food Shuttle.