MANTI—California native Judy Chantry continues to bring smiles and kindness to Manti, providing services and to all types of residents.
Although she is not a Manti native, she has been serving the community for more than 20 years through her former business, Kopy Katz, and volunteering at the elementary school.
For her kindness and service, she has been named the grand marshal for the Manti Fourth of July celebration. “It’s an honor,” she said. “This is such a great community.”
She will speak at the patriotic program at 10 a.m. at the city park.
Chantry, 81, was born in Sacramento, and was the youngest of seven children. After the passing of her mother, her father decided it would be best if she moved to Utah with her older brother.
Her brother was attending Brigham Young University and living in Provo at the time. It was the middle of eighth grade, and Chantry had to face moving to a brand new state at 13 years old.
Chantry lived all over Utah, including in Spanish Fork, Midvale, Murray Riverton and Layton, before settling in Manti.
She married her husband, Gene, in 1995. They moved to Manti in 2002. He died in December, 2021.
She and Gene opened up Kopy Katz in Ephraim in 2008 and ran the business for 14 years. They sold it last year.
She volunteered at the Friends of the Children’s Justice Center for seven years from 2015 to January of this year, helping fundraise and keep the center going.
The center, which Chantry described as a “one-stop-deal,” is where children who are in compromising situations go to for healthcare, counseling and help from the police. Its gives the children a sense of security and a place to feel safe, she said.
Many people, especially Manti residents, recognize Chantry as the friendly crossing guard on 100 South and Main.
Last October, she decorated traffic cones with pumpkins and witch hats. She enjoyed the response so much that she continued to decorate every month.
She followed up her Halloween inspired décor with an elf and a Christmas tree. Alongside decorated orange cones was a green, child-shaped safety sign that she named “George.”
To start the New Year, she turned a cone into a snowman and gave George a hat and scarf. In February, the traffic devices received valentine decorations, followed by gnome and St. Patrick’s Day- inspired decorations in March.
In April, the cone and the “George” sign received flowers, while in May they were decorated with American and Ukraine flags, along with a countdown to the last day of school.
Her cones got so popular that passersby would stop and take photos of her next to them.
“People would stop and tell me, ‘Thank you for making me smile every day,’” Chantry said. “If you can be kind to people, they’ll be kind back to you.”
In addition to her job as the crossing guard, she volunteered for the kindergarten classes. “I admire the teachers so much. They work so hard and they were so kind to me,” Chantry said.
“That was a lovely experience. I love kids.”
Now Chantry has taken a position at the city library, but don’t worry about missing her cones.
Chantry said, “That was my one stipulation to accepting this job; I need to be able to work as the crossing guard.”