Cover photo for Judy Houghton's Obituary
Judy Houghton Profile Photo
1940 Judy 2018

Judy Houghton

December 12, 1940 — January 13, 2018

Judy K. Houghton, age 77, of Detroit Lakes, MN, formerly of Vergas, MN, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, January 13, 2018, at Essentia Hospital in Fargo, ND, surrounded by her family.

A Celebration of Judy’s Life will be held 11 a.m., Friday, January 19, 2018, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Vergas.  Visitation will be held 5-7 p.m., Thursday, January 18, 2018, at St. John’s Lutheran Church with a prayer service to take place at 7 p.m.  Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Friday.  Burial will be made at St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery.

Judy Karen McDonald was born December 12, 1940, in Gardner, ND, to Harold and Lillian (Johnson) McDonald.  Judy attended St. Anthony’s Catholic School in Fargo, ND. Following her schooling, Judy lived in Moorhead, MN, and worked several jobs.  She was blessed with 5 children: Brian, Mark, Michael, Brenda and Carmen.

In 1974, Judy and her children moved to Vergas, MN. Judy met Duane Houghton and the couple married November 18, 1975, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Loon Lake.  The family made their home on Duane’s farm in rural Vergas.  Judy enjoyed life on the farm and worked right alongside Duane doing whatever work needed to be done.  She loved the outdoors and tended huge flower and vegetable gardens. She was a great cook and enjoyed preparing meals for her family.  She also canned the produce she harvested from her huge gardens each year, and will be remembered for her famous dill pickles.  Her children learned well from their Mom and continue her legacy of cooking and canning.

Judy was an avid bird watcher and had several bird feeders in her yard.  She also enjoyed watching the other animals that made their homes on the farm, especially the rabbits.

Judy was always up for an adventure and she and her sister, Jean, and their families, took trips all over the country.  They visited the ocean, the mountains, and even made a trip to Thunder Bay to dig for amethysts; trips Judy thoroughly enjoyed.

Judy loved to dance, mostly to Polka music, and encouraged her children to dance with her.  She treasured the time she spent with her family and loved living so close to her siblings.  The family gathered together often, especially during the holidays, to make lefse and other family favorites.

She was an active member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Vergas, helping out however she could, and enjoyed volunteering in the kitchen.

Judy is survived by her husband, Duane Houghton of Detroit Lakes; 5 children: Brian McDonald of Bradenton, FL., Mark (Pam) McDonald of West Fargo, ND, Michael McDonald of Bradenton, FL., Brenda (Chris) Johnson of Port Charlotte, FL., Carmen Johnson (Tim) of Fargo, ND; 17 grandchildren; 6 great grandchildren;  siblings: Jim (Charlotte) McDonald, Jennifer (Larry) Jensen, Joyce (Vic) Stach, Jerry (Linda) McDonald, Joan (Lon) Zimmerman; sister-in-law, JoAnn McDonald; along with numerous nieces and nephews.

Preceding Judy in death were her parents; siblings: Joe McDonald and Jean McDonald; brother-in-law, George (Lucille) Houghton and sister-in-law, Lillian (Adolf) Lange; and nephew, Ronald Lange.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Judy Houghton, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, January 18, 2018

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, January 19, 2018

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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