Traveled around the world, avid reader and loved country music 


WAKEFIELD — Judith F. MacPherson, of Salisbury, and formerly of Wakefield and Melrose, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, May 10 at Country Center for Health & Rehabilitation in Newburyport, at age 83. 

Judith was born in Cambridge on March 11, 1940, the daughter of the late Philip Benson and Virginia (Carleton) Jahnle. Raised in Melrose and Wakefield, Judy graduated from Wakefield High School and married her best friend and the love of her life, Ronald MacPherson on July 8, 1959. They started a family in Melrose, before moving to Wakefield for over 20 years. Judy was the happiest of homemakers, took great joy in raising four children and being a loving, positive wife to Ron. 

Raised by the Vitagliano family, Albert and Nina, Judy was always bubbly, joyful and never complained. When her children were young, she enjoyed yearly camping trips to the Eastern Slopes in North Conway, NH, teaching Sunday school at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Melrose and was a member of the Kappa Swap Shop. She was an avid reader, enjoyed her bowling league and loved country music, especially going to many concerts with Ron over the years. She held a special place in her heart for her friendships shared through weekly social gatherings with her dearest ‘Club Girls.’ 

Judy centered her activities around being with family. She and Ron enjoyed trips with family to the Lakes Region in New Hampshire for many years and traveled extensively together around the world. With her easy smile, she was always ready to host a holiday or host friends for a dinner party. She loved entertaining and always had an open door and something baking in the oven. 

A special woman, Judy lit up the room with her smile and bubbly spirit. She cherished her time spent with Ron and instilled the love of family in her children and grandchildren. Her lasting legacy will be her unfailing commitment and love for family and her positive nature that she shared so freely. She will be deeply missed, but always lovingly remembered. May she rest in peace.

Judy was the beloved wife of Ronald E. MacPherson with whom she shared nearly 64 years of marriage. Devoted mother of Ronald MacPherson, Jr. and his wife Cindy of Peabody; Rhonda Maserian and her husband Lee of Haverhill; Debra Vetrano and her husband Frank of Meredith, NH; and Jodi O’Connor and her husband Tim of Methuen. Cherished grandmother of Jenna Kirmes and her husband Mike; Kayla Tonello and her husband Alex; Jay Maserian; Craig McMahon; Katie McMahon; Kevin McMahon; Jessica Vetrano and her partner John Caruso; Michael Vetrano and his partner Abby Lines; Meghan O’Connor and her partner Jake Wesoja; and Danny O’Connor. Proud great-grandmother of Kenzie Kirmes, Lucas O’Connor and Dominic Wesoja. Also survived by many Swartz family members. Predeceased by Albert & Nina Vitagliano and her siblings, Annette Swartz, Ed Vitagliano and Al Vitagliano.

Family and friends are respectfully invited to gather in honor of Judy’s life during visiting hours at Robinson Funeral Home, 809 Main St., Melrose on Tuesday, May 16 from 4 to 7 p.m., and again on Wednesday, May 17 for her Funeral Service at 10 a.m. Interment in Puritan Lawn Memorial Park, Peabody. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 309 Waverley Oaks Rd, Waltham, MA 02452. For online tribute, please visit