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The Passing of a Community Champion

December 5 - Reidsville, NC: Team Reidsville Loses Valued Member Yarbrough on Monday


City Marketing Director and Penn House Manager Judy Yarbrough passed away unexpectedly Monday morning.


Yarbrough was first hired by the City of Reidsville in April of 1999 to take over management of the City-owned Penn House, which had been closed since November of the previous year. The Greensboro native, who had extensive experience in sales and marketing, turned the Penn House into a popular wedding venue and business meeting location.


1920s Lawn Party at the Penn House
Judy and husband Harvey at the 1920s Lawn Party event at The Penn House.

In later years, Yarbrough’s background in promotion led to the expansion of her City duties. At the time of her death, she was Director of Marketing for the City of Reidsville.


“We all knew if you wanted something done, ask Judy,” said Mayor Donald Gorham. “She took on many challenging projects for the City and made them happen. She loved this City and her co-workers and wanted only what was best for Reidsville and its residents.”


City Manager Summer Woodard agreed.

“I loved Judy’s no-nonsense style and tell-it-like-it-is attitude,” said City Manager Summer Woodard. “She was passionate about the City and her dedication and love for Reidsville was only second to her love for her family. Judy was a true cheerleader and advocate for the City.”


Yarbrough’s influence and dedication to the City and its residents can be found in the many projects she has been a part of over the years.


She was part of the City and Chamber delegation that went to Tampa, Florida in 2008, securing Reidsville its All-America City designation. That same year Market Square was built in downtown Reidsville and opened the following year. Yarbrough oversaw the opening celebration for the new outdoor park and performance venue as well as managing the Downtown Farmers Market, which was housed in the facility.


When City leaders wanted to appeal to active retirees, Yarbrough spearheaded the City’s successful attempt to become the first municipality in North Carolina to receive the coveted American Association of Retirement Communities’ “Seal of Approval” in 2017. She traveled with State leaders not only in North Carolina but elsewhere to promote the State with Visit NC officials.


Team Reidsville Fall Photo
Judy with Team Reidsville Community in front of one of the many photo backdrops she helped to organize during the holiday season.

Yarbrough worked behind the scenes to help bring the Reidsville Showcase to downtown Reidsville and to expand housing opportunities in the City. She coordinated a variety of social events for the City and worked with an area marketing team to launch the riseupreidsville.com and rockitinreidsville.com websites for the City as well as daily updating the City’s social media sites.


More recently Yarbrough played an integral role in the Sky’s the Limit All-Inclusive Park, the nearly completed new venue at the Penn House and the Splashpad that will open in 2024. She also had been working on securing grant funding for one of the cornerstone projects of the City’s planned Depot District, the rehabilitation of the former Lawsonville Avenue Elementary School into a makerspace and community kitchen facility. She also served on the City’s Sesquicentennial Committee and was the City of Reidsville’s “Employee of the Year” for 2021.



Entrance to Sky's the Limit All-Inclusive Park
Entrance to Sky's the Limit All-Inclusive Park

The City has placed black bows in Yarbrough’s memory at City Hall and at the Penn House.

A private memorial service will be held at the Penn House at 2 p.m. on Monday, December 11, 2023. Among the survivors are Judy’s husband, Harvey, and daughter, Carly.


Judy and daughter Carly
Judy and daughter Carly


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