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Judith Bortolussi, age 81, passed away peacefully Monday, December 12, 2022, after a brave battle with Parkinson’s Disease.  Judie was born August 12, 1941, in Melvindale, Michigan, to Harold & Beatrice (Girard) Race.
Judie grew up in Lincoln Park, MI and moved to the Grand Rapids, MI area with her husband in 1970 to raise their family.
Judie was very proud of her time spent working at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel as a Banquet Captain.  She was part of the team that opened the hotel in the 1980’s, training the banquet staff and helping to create their 5 star team.  Judie made lifelong friends with her staff at the AGPH and thoroughly enjoyed working with all of them.  Through her love and skills of the hospitality industry, Judie was able to touch many lives and created happy memories.   Even in the end, she loved telling the stories to her caregivers and nurses, remembering the events she managed and the people she met.
Judie lived a very full life with family and friends.  Many memories were made on trips to her parent’s cottage in Tobermory, Ontario Canada; camping every year with her husband and children; and making lasting friends while living in N. Ft Myers, Florida for several years before returning to Grand Rapids in 2014.
Judie leaves behind her husband of 59 years, Edward G. Bortolussi; three children – Lisa Bortolussi, Anthony (Marcie) Bortolussi and Laurie (Glen) Lillie; grandchildren Rhayna Lillie, Giada Bortolussi, Parker VanEss and Marina VanEss; sister Beverly (Thomas) Coffee, along with numerous nieces and nephews.
Judie will forever be missed by her family and all that knew her.
No formal services will be held.  A private Celebration of Life will take place at a later date.

To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Judith’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:

Cremation arrangements are entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids, 616-452-3006.


Let the family know you care by sharing this tribute.

9 Condolences

  1. Sheryl Veneklas on December 14, 2022 at 2:23 pm

    Dear Lisa, I’m never on Facebook anymore but Kay sent me this from you. I worked at the hotel with your mother for many years. So many wonderful memories of her, all those Ada out of the hotel events for those distributors. And how we always loved those events working with her. The hours were brutal and the work was hard but because of your mother we all turned that into so much fun. She made all of those 2 day events which was once a month I believe so much dare fun. She knew the business inside and out and her leadership will always be remember. She and Mario were some of my most cherished and they both shaped my life. I know for a fact that her children and your dad was her everything! Remember that! At some point I hope you would consider a celebration of her life! Because all of us banquet servers that worked under her leadership would have a ton of moments to share. My most heartfelt condolences for you and your family. This wonderful soul will be deeply missed! Much love and hugs sent, Sheryl Veneklase.

  2. Meegan Joyce on December 15, 2022 at 9:17 am

    I worked with Judie at the Grand Plaza. She was always so full of energy and what a sense of humor!! She worked hard but always had a smile or kind word for us. She left an impression on me and will remain one of the best people I know.

  3. Kristina Hall on December 15, 2022 at 5:35 pm

    Judy was a beautiful woman both inside and out. She immediately found a special place in my heart. May the peace of God cover your hearts as you continue be be the light that she put in you!

  4. Sharon Blaskis on December 19, 2022 at 12:42 pm

    Ed Lisa Laurie Tony and family

    My deepest sympathy! I am praying for Jesus to wrap His loving arms around all of you and give you His peace, strength and healing!
    Judie was a beautiful and caring lady inside and out! She will be missed but thankful that you all have wonderful memories to cherish!
    Love and prayers,
    Sharon Blaskis

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