GUYTON, Ga. (WSAV) – Her home is tucked away down a Guyton back road. It’s teeming with guineas, goats, and aging horses. And according to Judy Shearouse, most call the place her “geriatric farm.”
When Shearouse shows off her collection of animals, she does so proudly. Save for a few roaming ducks and cats, each animal has a place inside a stall or a fenced, grassy area.
And once a day, during feeding time, she says it is the most peaceful place.
“That’s my time. So I get out there and I talk to my animals. And they don’t talk back,” said Judy with a smile. “But that’s a special time and I enjoy that.”
Shearouse’s backyard farm is bordered by a home she has lived in since 1967. She moved there with her husband, Charles. The two have been married now for nearly 60 years.
“I asked her for a date and we got it and then we had a date the next weekend and after that it’s been me and her from then on,” said Mr. Shearouse.
For the past few years, Mrs. Shearouse says she has been taking care of her husband. After a work-related accident and other related medical complications, doctors say Mr. Shearhouse will not again be able to walk.
“Don’t know what we’d do without [Judy],” he said.
Mrs. Shearouse thinks back to her vows.
“For better or for worse,” she said. “Sometimes we have good days and sometimes they’re not so good, but the majority are good.”
A Christian woman, Shearouse thanks God for those good days. Close friends say she is to thank for many of theirs. They say she lives by the “Golden Rule.”
“You know what the Golden Rule is? Do onto others as you would have others do onto you. That’s what she always does,” said Barbara Russell, a neighbor and friend.
Shearouse may not be in the limelight, but she is there when friends like Russell want fresh blueberries and eggs.
And she is there when childhood friends like Jane Henshaw are recovering from surgeries.
“I love her completely and I trust her completely and she blesses my life. That’s the kind of friend I have. Truly,” said Henshaw.
Further, Sherouse’s grandchildren say she is there when they need a long talk.
“I know not everyone has someone like her, so it means so so much to have someone who I know loves me unconditionally and just does everything,” said Shearouse’s granddaughter Casey Weredyk.
And though, as Shearouse noted previously, her animals “don’t talk back,” if they could, they would agree that she is always there, especially in the mornings when they need breakfast.
“I just love her. Always will,” said Mr. Shearouse.
Others who love Mrs. Shearhouse say that when you live a life like hers, eventually, you may also get what she has: everything from a geriatric farm to a yard full of people who are awed by a life of selfless deeds.
“Love…that’s what our family is based on,” she said. “Everybody loves everybody, so I guess in the long run, that’s what we all live on.”
“They do everything they can for the world by being good people,” said Henshaw. “I think that’s something to aspire to? Don’t you?”
WSAV News 3’s Kelly Antonacci has featured Remarkable Women every Tuesday of March, Women’s History Month.
Four finalists were chosen from more than 100 nominations from people throughout the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry.
The winner of WSAV’s contest will be announced on April 1 and will be considered for the “Nexstar Woman of the Year” award.