On January 12, 1943, a beautiful force of nature named Judith Ann was born to Ed and Nora Willson in Buffalo, NY. The highlight of Judy's youth was the annual trip to the family cottage at Turkey Point, Ontario with her sisters, Brenda and Nora; and lifelong friend, Missy.
When Judy was a student at Canton College, she met Eugene Christopher. Gene married his "Gypsy Jude" on September 24, 1966, and they were inseparable for nearly 47 years. Their marriage was blessed with two sons, Darrick and David. Gene and Judy logged a lot of miles over the years, especially enjoying time spent in Italy and Florida.
Judy was born in the city but was a country girl at heart and adopted Gene's hometown as her own. Albion benefited from Judy's herculean work ethic and whirlwind of energy for over forty years. Judy was the first woman to serve on Albion's Town Council, founded Phoenix Fitness and started the Phoenix 5K at the Strawberry Festival, picked apples at Kirby Farms, was a certified personal trainer, served on the Swan library board and was President of the Albion Service Club to support Arnold Gregory Hospital. She helped found the Albion Teen Center, ran the roads as an Avon Lady, founded and was the quality maven behind Four Cs Marina, was a proud Rotarian, and the list goes on.
Family meant everything to Judy, and she devoted her life to the love and caring of her husband, sons, grandchildren, sisters, and large extended family. Judy was preceded in death by her parents, Ed and Nora Willson; and is survived by her husband, Gene of Albion; sons, Darrick (Beth) of Broomfield, CO and David (Lisa) of Albion; grandchildren, Chloe, Sam, Sophie, Ryan, Grayson, and Brayden; sisters, Brenda Palmer of Denver, Nora (Michael) McArdle of Pittsford; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and countless friends.
Judy had a great zest for life, and never shied away from new adventures, visiting with friends, and spending time near the water. She was a master seamstress, gardener extraordinaire, jitterbug queen and expert watcher of sunsets. Judy was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 47, and she beat that cancer every day for twenty-three years. Her courage, fierce determination, and sheer defiance of the disease will always be an inspiration and an example to those who loved her. Judy defeated cancer once and for all on August third on her terms, at home surrounded by her family.
Her family wishes to thank Dr. Geoff Morris, the Wilmot Cancer Center at Strong Memorial Hospital, and especially the dedicated nurses at the infusion center for their compassionate care. Also a heartfelt thanks to Hospice of Orleans County for their tender support of Judy. A special thanks goes to all the wonderful friends and family who brought meals and supported Judy and family with their love, friendship, and prayers.
Judy's Memorial Service will be held at 10:00 AM on Monday, August 12th at Holy Family Parish-St. Joseph's Church. In lieu of flowers, donations in Judy's name may be made to The Golisano Children's Hospital, Office of Gift and Donor Records, 300 East River Road, P.O. Box 270032, Rochester, NY 14627, or Hospice of Orleans County, 14080 Route 31 West, P.O. Box 489, Albion, NY 14411. Arrangements by Christopher Mitchell Funeral Homes, Inc.
To share a memory of Judy, please visit www.christophermitchell.com.