Julia Marie Shepherd Wharton

Judy Wharton, age 74, of Alabaster, Alabama, passed away peacefully on November 16, 2023, with her family at her side.

Judy was born on April 29, 1949 in Sylacauga, Alabama, to Eugene Taylor Shepherd and Ellen Beatrice McKay Shepherd.  She attended Shades Valley High School, and graduated from Misses Howard’s School For Girls in 1970. She received a BS in Communications Engineering from UAB in the 1980s.  She worked for several local video companies, and contracted with ESPN doing sports videography.

She is predeceased by both her parents, and survived by her husband, Ed Wharton, son, Wayne Sullivan (Lisa), daughter, Heather Sullivan (Rich Vanchina), step-daughter, Sharon Wharton (Jared Gricoskie), step-son, Sam Wharton, grandchildren, Emmaline Welch, Nilah Wharton, Phineas Wharton, Seamus Wharton, and great-granddaughter, Violet June Welch.

Judy and Ed celebrated their 30th anniversary in October, 2023.  Judy enjoyed photography, videography, gardening, cooking, and traveling.  She and Ed especially enjoyed seeking out waterfalls, lighthouses on the east and gulf coast, and Ireland.  They made several trips to the Emerald Isle, focusing on the Dingle Bay area where several of her ancestors called home.  She also had a special place in her heart for Voices of the South Barbershop Chorus, where supported Ed, as he was a member and the Music Director for several years.  She was especially involved for many years in the chorus’ Singing Valentines program preparing the flowers and videographing many of the deliveries, creating lifelong memories for the recipients.

A Celebration of Life service for Judy will be Saturday December 9 from 3:30-5:30 at Saint Mark United Methodist Church, Vestavia Hills, in the Fellowship Hall. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Judy’s memory to Trini Foundation (trinifoundation.org), Harmony Foundation International (harmonyfoundation.org), Pulmonary FIbrosis Foundation (pulmonaryfibrosis.org), or the charity of your choice.


  1. Ramona Vincent on November 26, 2023 at 11:50 pm

    One of the sweetest neighbors anyone could hope to have. Judy spoke her mind and you always knew where you stood but there’s nothing she wouldn’t do for you.
    Here advice and knowledge was priceless
    I know as she transitioned she was welcomed with open arms hearing the words “Well done thy good and faithful servant”
    Till we meet again my sweet Judy