OBITUARY: Judy McDiffett

Judy (Long) McDiffett was born Sept. 28, 1945, at St. Francis Hospital in Wichita.

She was the daughter of Elbert O. and V. Ruth Long of Potwin.

She is survived by a sister Janet Gibson of Hutchinson, her husband Richard McDiffett of Newton, daughters Holly McDiffett-Mahaffey (Terri) of Half Moon Bay, Calif., and Adrianne Hultman of Newton, and a son Tyler R. McDiffett of Wichita. She leaves two granddaughters (Jessi and Kelly Coleman) and two grandsons (Dylan and Connor Hultman) and many special friends.

The Longs were farmers in the Potwin area, and one of Judy’s earliest memories may have been sitting on the lap of a German POW who was assisting her father with harvest. She attended Potwin schools and graduated in 1963 from Potwin High. She started to work at Wilson Drug, then Axtell Christian Hospital in Newton. Her life changed dramatically at Axtell when A.L. Orton fell under her spell and asked her to write a letter to his neighbor boy, Richard, stationed at Fort Carson, Colo. They met on Flag Day 1964, engaged on July 4, and were married on Oct. 11, 1964.

In 1972-74 she was a resident director of Goering Hall (men’s dormitory) at Bethel College. She finished her education at Wichita State University in the spring of 1980, graduating magna cum laude, and was hired by the State of Kansas as a court services officer a month prior to receiving her diploma. She served the state 28 years retiring in 2008. She seemed to be loved and appreciated by many of her clients and colleagues.

After retirement, Judy was asked by Barry Lehman, owner of The Breadbasket in Newton what she was going to do? She said I want to care for some babies. He said call my daughter-in-law (who was expecting). Judy spent the last 11 years caring for Ashley and Reid Lehman and being their surrogate grandma. Her bond to the Lehman family was very close.

Judy passed into mortality to spend time with her many friends in Heaven on Sept. 15, 2020.

Services will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11, at the Reformation Lutheran Church, 7601 E. 13th, Wichita. Memorials may be designated in her memory to the Shriners Hospital for Children –

Baker Funeral Home Valley Center is handling arrangements. Condolences may be left for the family at


Tags from the story
0 replies on “OBITUARY: Judy McDiffett”