Judy Whitman Elliston

judy elliston
Judy George Whitman Elliston, 63, died Friday, November 6, 2009 at her residence. Mrs. Elliston was born in Atlanta, Georgia to Martha Lloyd Whitman and the late George P. Whitman, Jr. Mrs. Elliston is survived by her husband, Dr. Bruce Elliston of Asheville; three sons, Jonathan Elliston, Brian Elliston and Joel Elliston; a daughter, Jennifer 'Jeni' Mayer and her husband, Greg; three sisters, Suzanne Dildy, Lucia Whitfield and Lynda Cockrell and a brother George P. Whitman, III. A memorial service will be held at Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 1:00 pm with Erin Miller officiating. The family will receive friends from 12:00-1:00 PM at the funeral home on Wednesday. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Foster Seventh Day Adventist Church Community Services, 375 Hendersonville Road, Asheville, NC 28803. A gathering with food will be held following the service on Wednesday at 3:00 pm at Foster Seventh Day Adventist Church. The family would like to express their appreciation and support from Care Partners Hospice and the ALS Society

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Memories Timeline


  1. Dear Bruce and Family,
    Our hearts are aching for you and wishing you didn’t have to go through this earthly trial. What a remarkably sweet lady Judy was. We will remember her with great fondness. May God give you an extra measure of peace in the days ahead.
    Our love, Larry and Dianne Kroll

  2. Bruce & Family,
    So sorry to hear of Judy’s death. We extend our deepest sympathy and offer our services in any way that we can be of help. Our prayers are with you.
    Warm Regards,
    Elaine & PJ

  3. Dear Bruce and family,
    We were so shocked to hear about Judy’s death. On behalf of our entire family, we extend our deepest sympathy. I’ll never forget the good times we had when we all “interned” together. Judy was always such a wonderful hostess. We are so sorry for your pain and look forward to seeing Judy again one day soon.

    Our love,
    Bill, Linda, Scott & Chris Lewis and families.

  4. Joel,I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your Mother. Although I no longer work at AFHC,I think of you often. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  5. Dear Bruce & Family,
    I’m so sorry for your loss.
    I started cleaning for the family about ten years ago. It was far beyond going to a job every day, it was the ‘high light’ of my week. What a ‘wonderful’ employer!It was then,Judy’s family became mine.I thoroughly enjoyed our morning talks about the family.It was evident that she loved you all dearly.She always had a smile on her face & a kind word to say.She will always have a special place in my heart. She was quite an inspiration! I count it a great blessing, that I got to know her.
    Know that our thoughts & prayers are with you all.
    Love the Gillespie family

  6. Dear Hearts,
    I am so terribly sorry. I cannot imagine how painful this ordeal has been. What can I do to help you?
    Please know you are in my prayers.
    Love, Melanie

  7. Dr. Elliston…You were always so kind and patient with me when you were my doctor. I fondly remember the day a couple of summers ago when I was working at a small restaurant in Hood River and glanced over and saw you and your wife seated at a table on the patio. It was then that I met Judy and took such pleasure in seeing you again. In that moment, I could feel the energy and love between you two. I am so very sorry that you will not be able to share the remainder of your life on earth with her. You were enjoying it so much on that beautiful sunny day in Oregon. God bless you and your children as you grieve and heal.

  8. Bruce-
    The love and commitment that you and Judy shared for each other and your family has been an inspiration for me since we have met. It is hard to believe Judy is not here sewing or baking something and adding her wit and humor to the world.
    I love you and Alan and I are here for anything you and the family might need. Please call on us.

    Judy Hoffman

  9. Dear Bruce and Family,

    Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers and have my most heartfelt condolences. Judy was truly a remarkable woman that left a lasting impression on everyone that ever knew her. She will be greatly missed.

    May you find comfort in the memories that you shared and may God give you peace in the difficult days ahead.

    Beverly Morgan

  10. Dr. Elliston and family,

    Our prayers go out to you during your time of mourning. I (Amanda) was only able to meet her one time, but she was a great help to the transcription team and was very sweet and caring.

    Our Prayers,
    The McElrath Family

  11. Bruce,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We will miss her every Christmas when we remember the reideer magic food that she used to send to my children every year.
    The Gonzalez family

  12. Bruce,
    I’m so sorry about your loss of Judy but I am so happy for her that she is not suffering anymore.
    Please accept my sincerest condolences.
    Ellen Kaczmarek

  13. Bruce
    I want to express my deepest sympathy with your loss.Judy was such a wonderful, loving person.
    Bob Wells

  14. Sending my deepest sympathy to your family. Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers.

    When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. ~K Gibran

  15. Dr. Elliston,
    May thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I’m so sorry for your loss. May you find comfort in the memories you have shared.

  16. Dr. Elliston, My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time, I am so sorry for your loss. May you take comfort in knowing Christ is with you through it all. Pam Suarez

  17. Dear Ellistons, My heart is broken after hearing of Judy’s passing. She was a treasure and hero to me. I love you all and share in your sadness.


  18. Dear Bruce and Family, I was so sorry to here about Miss Judy. She was my inspiration so many times. She always had words of encouragement for me, she always was so considerate of others. She touched my heart so many times and ways!! I consider you all my family, and I want you to know I am as close as my phone for any and all of you. Judy will be missed, but she will ever live on in so many hearts. Deb and Darrell Fox

  19. Dear Bruce & family,

    Judy was an inspiration to me during our roles as ‘mom’s’ when hosting the girls from Honduras.I have never met a woman with such grace and spirit.She was so elegant and strong against the odds she faced. I will miss her and her kindness.I will always remember our talks and her words of wisdom and encouragement to me. I appreciated her trust of me and that she felt comfortable talking very openly to me about what she was facing as I shared with her some of my personal struggles. I loved her and want you to know that she touched my life deeply! Her relationship with Christ was so strong and He was not only her Savior but her Friend.She has inspried me and challenged me to strengthen my trust in Jesus.I also want you to know, there was never a talk we shared that she did not mention her love for her husband,her boys and Jennifer. You filled her heart and life with happiness and joy. My prayer for you now is that you will allow Jesus to bring you comfort and peace in this time of sorrow.

  20. Mrs. Elliston always lovingly opened her home to me when visiting Asheville. I will remember her kind and gentle nature. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.

  21. Dr. Elliston,
    I am so sorry for your loss. It was a true honor of mine to meet her and get to know her a little bit. You and your family are in my thoughts.

  22. I am very sad to hear of Judy passing, she was a beautiful person and I have very loving memories of Judy and how she loved her children. I will never forget Brian spending time with my son Brad over the years. She will always be remembered as a person I will never forget. Much Love To All of Judy’s Family.

  23. Dear Bruce & Family,
    Judy was one of the finest people we knew. We are remembering each one of you in our thoughts and prayers. Judy will always be remembered for the Christ like life she lived. We love each one of you and ask God to comfort you during this most difficult time.

    With love,
    Eddie & Betty Haas

  24. Dear Bruce, Jon, Brian, Joel, and Jennifer,
    We are so sorry for your loss. Judy was such an incredible, loving, and beautiful lady. She gave so much to others that her acts of kindness could have filled up many lifetimes of the average person. She was a million times more amazing than average in every way. I will never forget her and everything that she has done for me–from teaching me so much about being a lady to her encouragement while I was getting through college and her advice during my recent wedding. Judy is most definitely an angel now and in a much more peaceful place. May God be with you all through this difficult time and if there is anything at all that Tommy and I can do to help you now or in the future, we will be there.

    God bless you,
    Shannon Watkins Cure’ and Tom Cure’

  25. Dr.Elliston & Brian & Family
    There are no words for this loss but please know that my thoughts and preyers are with you and your family.

  26. When Judy passed away last Friday, October 6, 2009, I lost a very dear friend. Judy has been my friend since the early 1980’s, and I will miss her compassion, thoughtfulness, openness, creativity, hospitality, wonderful cooking, beautiful voice and great sense of humor. Judy loved people, was genuinely interested in how others were doing, and spent so much time and energy giving to, sharing with and loving not just friends and family, but strangers and those in need.

    Judy loved her church, and freely shared her many talents at church and church functions. I accompanied Judy on the piano for her to sing for church services, funerals and other services, and Saturday afternoons at a nearby nursing home. Many years ago she loved to occasionally assemble a choir, choose the music, conduct choir practices, and lead the choir for special music for a church service. Judy thoughtfully chose songs for each occasion. She sang with emotion and conviction, usually with tenderness that would touch my heart. For Judy, singing wasn’t just about hitting the right notes at the right time; it was about communicating the message of her song in hopes that her listeners would also learn to love the God she loved and served.

    Judy was also a great kitchen general, and I loved to serve in her army. She was a wonderful cook with huge hospitality and leadership gifts. She could organize and orchestrate huge church-wide meals, which is still very impressive to me. She was organized (assembled everything that was needed), delegated cheerfully, gave clear directions with humor, worked hard, and made sure that all her helpers felt appreciated. It was fun to work in the kitchen with Judy!

    She would also prepare delicious snacks or meals for our children’s ministries, such as Vacation Bible School, Pathfinders and Asheville Kids, Inc (AKI) – usually for about 80 kids. Judy would also initiate celebrations for wedding showers, baby showers, birthday parties, etc. to help friends and family celebrate important milestones. She did this not only for friends and family, but also for church members who she did not know well. She served with a spirit of infectious joy and warm hospitality. When Judy could no longer work in the kitchen, she offered to greet guests to be sure they felt welcomed. She knew how to make anyone feel at home and was genuinely interested in people.

    Judy frequently visited my mother and me while my mother was dying of cancer in our home. Towards the end of my mother’s life, I hauled my keyboard into my mother’s room so Judy and Billie could sing the songs planned for her funeral at her bedside. This was so touching and meaningful – an encouragement for both of us.

    In June, 1992, Judy and Billie Scott drove all the way the Charleston, SC for the weekend so they could sing at my mother’s funeral. Their music made the funeral service so special. They also helped and supported me through a very tough weekend and were part of my family.

    Judy, Josiane Dalton and I have had regular breakfast or lunch “meetings” since our children were young. We have laughed and cried together, shared our problems, brainstormed solutions, prayed for our children and for each other, and shared our joys, fears and sorrows.

    A year or more after my mother’s death, a big stack of my mother’s boxes dominated the center of my basement. This bothered me not only because they were in the way, but because I knew that needed to sort and store my mother’s things. I’m ordinarily a pretty strong person, but didn’t have the emotional strength to deal with these boxes. During one of my breakfast meetings with Judy and Josiane, I shared my feelings of stress and conflict about the boxes. Judy immediately said, “OK, get out your calendar. What day can I come over to help you?” And she showed up to help me sort and clear the boxes out of my basement, which was a huge relief to me.

    In the spring of 2004, during another breakfast meeting, I told Judy and Josiane that Jill (our daughter) had called us the night before to share that she had just gotten engaged. But both Jill and David were full-time dental students, Jill would have to sell her condo and move her stuff, and they didn’t know when they would have time to plan a wedding. Judy immediately said, “Then we will have to help them so they can have a wedding. I’ll help with the packing.” Josiane said she’d love to have the wedding shower. I called Jill that evening and shared this conversation. Jill said, “We could do it if we had help.” And they had a lovely wedding four months later, thanks to the help of sweet friends.

    Judy’s awful illness was horrible beyond belief, especially for a person who likes to be in control and give (not accept) help from others. I understand, because I am cut out of the same cloth. Judy and I would talk about how hard it is to need and ask for help from others. She was so worried about being a burden to Bruce and her family. But, as Judy needed more help from others, she learned to graciously accept it. It was never easy for her to lose another function or ability to do something, but her faith kept her strong. She loved Jesus and knew that He loved her and would come back to take her to heaven to live with Him forever. Reading from the Bible brought comfort; when I visited, she would ask me to read Bible verses to her to strengthen her hope and peace.

    Judy loved her ladies’ Bible study group which met on Monday mornings at our church, and made the effort to get there whenever she could – which was most of the time. Last year she asked our group to pray over a letter which she was writing to her children. She wanted so much for them to know the God that she had learned to love and trust and to understand God’s free gift of grace. She wanted to communicate in a loving, respectful, but candid letter which would not offend her family. Our group prayed for her, for the letter, and that her family would receive the letter with the same loving spirit that she was writing it. Judy loved her family, enjoyed every minute spent with her family, and hoped to be reunited with her family and friends in heaven. At Judy’s request, our group has continued to pray for Bruce, their children, and all of our children – and, of course, we’ve been praying for Judy.

    As Judy became weaker, our group offered to meet at her house; however, she insisted on getting herself to the church. On the Monday before she died on Friday, she got up early and asked Bruce to get her ready to go to group. She was ready to go by the time Barbara, her nurse, arrived. She was weak from respiratory crises and was having trouble speaking and breathing, but she was determined to go to group. She arrived on time, listened to others, spoke her opinion several times, and made some humorous comments. During our prayer time, sitting in her wheelchair with an oxygen canula in place, only able to say a few words between labored breaths, Judy thanked God for all of her blessings and prayed for all of our children. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room. She made a superhuman effort to get to her group to say goodbye and to remind us to be thankful despite our circumstances.

    In this life we have friends who can be placed along a continuum or line of intimacy. We have superficial “Activity Friends” who we do things with, but with whom we do not share our heart secrets. They are real friends, but not close friends. At the other end of the continuum from our “Activity Friends” we have our “Heart Friends”. These are friends who know your warts, scars, fears, neuroses, values, beliefs, faith, weaknesses, strengths, and family and love you anyway. In your whole lifetime, you are blessed beyond measure if you have the privilege of having 2 or 3 “Heart Friends”. Judy was one of my cherished “Heart Friends”, and I will miss her terribly. I loved Judy and she loved me. I loved her family and she loved mine. It doesn’t get any better than that.

  27. Bruce,

    My daughter Lisa shared the sad news with me earlier this morning of Judy’s death. Being a part of your and Judy’s lives, both professional and personal, during those early days of the residency program was a priviledge and a delight. I learned so much from you both about how to care for and about patients as people.

    My thoughts are with you and your children…..God bless.

  28. Typically, people are encouraged that they will find happiness if or when some course of events occur. For example, I will be happy if I get the girl, buy the car, win the next award. When I think about losing Judy, I think it will be impossible to ever find happiness again because the variable in this case will be unattainable. I will miss her always.

    Jennifer Mayer

  29. Dear Bruce, we are saddened to learn this morning of Judy’s death. May the peace of God be with you and your family at this time.
    Robert and Lynell Bell

  30. Dear Dr. Elliston,
    I am writing to you on the laptop of a dear friend, Liz Cheek. Perhaps you will remember me. My name is Suzanne Wilson. I was Suzanne Davis years ago when I worked for you at your office. I was so very sorry to learn of Judy’s death. I remember her as such a bright and happy person, always so very kind to the staff at AFHC and always doing such special things for all of us. She always made the holidays so nice with her wonderful cooking and sweet gifts.
    Please know I am very sorry for your and your family’s loss. May God’s love surround you, may His angels keep charge over you, and may the memory of the love you and Judy shared sustain you in the difficult times. God bless you and your family.
    You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    In Faith,

  31. Dear Bruce and family,
    We are so sorry for your loss. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Joe and Juanita Ball

  32. Bruce,
    I am so sorry. I can’t begin understand but please know that you and you family are in my prayers. I am so glad of the promise of a day with no more tears, sorrow, or death and that there will be day of reuniting when you and Judy can once again be together – be of good courage.

    David Kidder

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