Cover photo for Judith (Sullivan) Sarvela's Obituary
Judith (Sullivan) Sarvela Profile Photo
1937 Judith 2021

Judith (Sullivan) Sarvela

December 1, 1937 — November 18, 2021

Judith French (Sullivan) Sarvela

Judy passed away on November 18, 2021, in Benedictine Health Center with her loving family by her side.

Judy was born on December 1st, 1937, in Duluth, Mn.  Judy went to school in Duluth including attending Stanbrook Hall and then graduating high school at Eden Hall in Philadelphia.  She then went to school in New York and Saint Louis, MO and then worked in Saint Paul and Saint Louis for many years before meeting the love of her life and her future husband of 44 years, Dr. Leonard Sarvela Jr and moving back to Duluth.

Judy was very active in local associations including 30+ years volunteering with CHUM and long-time volunteer and board member with the Voyageurs Area Council for the Boy Scouts of America. She was involved in her kids activities spending many hours shuttling them around and watching their sports.

Judy was always a devoted Catholic and a lifelong member at Holy Rosary Cathedral.  She pursued many leisure activities such as golf, bowling, tennis, and spending time at her family cabin on Sunshine Lake. Judy loved to travel and had many great adventures with her husband including years of vacations in Florida, numerous international cruises as well as other family adventures.

Even those who just met Judy would immediately call her “classy” and found her company pleasant, entertaining and knew that she was a genuinely kind person who could tell a good story. She was very independent but quick to make long lasting friendships.

Judy was preceded in death by her husband Dr. Leonard Sarvela Jr; parents Francis and Rosemary Sullivan; sister Ann (Sullivan) Houghton.

Judy is survived and will be deeply missed by sons Len III (Sara) and Dave (Anne); daughter Mary (Bob) Amrhein and five grandchildren Madeline, Owen, Emelia, Molly and Lucy; her brother Chris (Sylvia); and many friends.

The family wishes to thank those who cared for her at Benedictine Health Center, especially the 2nd floor staff. Their kindness toward Judy was incredibly heartfelt.

VISITATION will be from 5-7pm Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021 at Dougherty Funeral Home.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 11am Thursday, Dec.. 2, 2010, in Holy Rosary Cathedral. Memorials are preferred and may sent to, the CHUM Food Shelf, 102 w 2 nd Ave. W, Duluth, MNM  55802. Sign the online register book at, .  Arrangements by Dougherty Funeral Home, 600 E 2 nd St. Duluth, (218) 727-3555.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Judith (Sullivan) Sarvela, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, December 1, 2021

5:00 - 7:00 pm

Dougherty Funeral Home

600 E 2nd St, Duluth, MN 55805

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Mass of Christian Burial

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Starts at 11:00 am

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary

2801 E 4th St, Duluth, MN 55812

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 173

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Send a Gift

Send a Gift