Judy Narcisco Childs (75) of Cibecue, Arizona went home to be with our Heavenly Father on October 12, 2022 while being surrounded by her loved ones in Show Low, AZ. Judy was born in Cibecue, Arizona November 25th, 1946 to the late Minnie and Melvin Narcisco. She was 1 of 8 siblings. She had 6 children, 19 grandchildren, and 20 great grandchildren. She lived her childhood in Cibecue and grew in the cultural traditions of the Cibecue Apache people. As a daughter of an Apache healer she learned the beauty of prayer, resilience, and how to forage the land for food and supplies. As she became a teenager, her family wanted her to have new opportunities; she moved to Los Angeles, California and there graduated from Belmont High School. In the years following high school she started her family.
In her life she worked many jobs that brought her joy and fulfillment. She became a firefighter. She at one time worked with the first, all-female fire crew, the Apache 6. Judy found her life’s calling as a teacher when she became a teacher’s assistant at Cibecue Community School. To become a teacher she continued her education while still working and raising a family. After receiving her certifications from the University of Arizona she became a bilingual teacher at Cibecue Community School. In her later years she continued to work by making and selling the Apache burden basket and teaching small classes of Apache traditions. She did cultural preservation work with the Empowering Our Spirits program, The Elders Resilience Curriculum, The Elders Council, and Celebrating Life for Johns Hopkins Center of Indigenous Health.
Judy loved the outdoors and spent most of her life in nature where she camped, foraged, hiked, fished, gardened, landscape, and just drove through the mountains. In nature is where she found her peace and it became her classroom to her family. She foraged berries, mushrooms, nuts, and a variety of plants for food, supplies, and teas. She also loved to create in nature by keeping a garden and by growing flowers. Her tulips and roses still bloom every year. By teaching and living by example she passed on knowledge of how to respectfully live in and with nature.
Judy was creative and had an eye for beauty; it was only natural for her to become an artist. She wove Apache burden baskets complete with designs passed on to her from her mother. She practiced the old teachings of basket weaving, using a variety of plants and making natural dyes. Her work became sought after for its authenticity and beauty, she sold and gifted baskets as far as Baltimore, Maryland. Judy was also a leatherworker making dressings for her baskets, Apache buckskin outfits, and moccasins. She even made cradleboards. She continued most of these passions well into her 70’s.
Judy lived a hard life however her story refined her. As a result she gained an inner strength and had a will of iron. She was a generous person. Judy and her husband Delbert’s generosity expanded across three generations of family and friends. She embodied diligence, working hard for herself, home, and family. Judy left a beautiful, lasting legacy that has shaped and will continue to shape the lives of her family and friends. She will be forever missed.
There will be a one night wake for Judy on October 27, 2022 at her residence at 1017 South Cooley Road, Cibecue Arizona. Funeral services for Judy will be on October 28, 2022 at 1:00pm at the Cibecue Latter-Day Saints branch and will be laid to rest at Sunnyside Cemetery in Cibecue, Arizona. All are welcome to attend.