Thursday, September 26, 2013

Judith Ann Weatherwax Burke, BHS 1958

Judith Ann Weatherwax Burke, BHS 1958

Our beloved mother, and our father's wife of 51 years, passed away Monday, May 20, 2013. Her husband and two daughters were at her side when she left the world she loved and enriched. Born in April 1940 in Glendale, Calif., Judy was the oldest of three sisters, with whom she was very close and for decades shared an annual "three-sisters vacation" at the Little Sister Resort in Sister Bay, Wis. These trips brought her great joy and were the highlight of her year as they were filled with late night laughter, endless craft projects and friendly competitions at the paintball shooting range or baseball batting cages.

Our parents met in high school when they were 15 years old. They married on July 28, 1962, and settled in San Luis Obispo in 1968, where they raised their family and watched their daughters grow up in the community they loved. Mom and Dad's life of 58 years together included many wonderful family vacations, lots of movies and Sunday crosswords, and in recent years, unforgettable world travels.

Our mother's talents and accomplishments and examples of her kind nature cannot possibly be condensed into a short sketch such as this; however, her passion for designing and making beautiful quilts, her amazing piano playing, the trips she took around the world with our dad, and the pride she felt for her daughter's and grandchildren's achievements would be the starting point of outlining what was important to her.

Mom was also a lifelong learner - after her children were grown, she went back to school. After finishing her bachelor's degree at Stephens College, she continued on to earn two master's degrees from Skidmore College. Our mother was an active member in her community and enriched the lives of others through service with the Monday Club, Civic Ballet Performing Arts Center, Law Wives Group, and many other volunteer positions throughout the years.

Judy leaves behind her husband, Jeffrey Burke; two daughters, Brooksley (Burke) Williams and Meredith (Burke) Lawler, sisters, Marjorie Baldwin and Nancy Carlson.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Mary Lee and Robert Chandler Weatherwax.

As our mother was especially passionate about women's education and its vital role in shaping young women to become well-rounded, compassionate members of their community, contributions in her memory can be made to your favorite charity that supports education or the arts. Or, in lieu of a charitable contribution, consider also simply "paying it forward" with an act of kindness toward another, as our mother did on a regular basis. She knew how far an encouraging word and a warm smile could travel, and it would bring us great comfort to know her legacy of kindness, good will, and wonderful humor will endure.

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