Judy Skovlin was a participant at Timberline, who was beloved by our staff and other participants. Everyone at Timberline misses her warmth and happy disposition. Please read on—Judy was a special woman—a dedicated wife and mother, entrepreneur, crafter, and artist. Special thanks to Judy’s husband, Rich, for providing so much information about Judy’s life.
Judy was born May 4, 1940 in Salinas, California, located near Monterey. She attended Sacramento City College for 2 years before attending the prestigious California College of the Arts in Oakland, California. She earned her BA degree in 1962 in Junior High Art Education with a minor in English.
Judy met her husband, Rich, at a dance and they soon discovered they had many things in common. Rich and Judy tied the knot on October 16, 1965—6 months after they met.
In 1968 the two moved to Lexington, Kentucky. It would be a whole new experience for them, culture-wise and weather-wise, but they very quickly adapted to their new surroundings. They visited most of the state parks in Kentucky and learned a lot about the people, the culture, and the beauty of the state.
On Judy’s birthday, in 1970, their first child, Bonnie Jean, was born! Three years later, in 1973, Judy and Rich’s son, Jay, was born. Incredibly he was born on Rich’s birthday! So the family would have only 2 birthdays to celebrate, but they were 2 very special birthdays!
In1974 the family moved to Boulder, Colorado. They lived in a development with other young families and had an active social life. Judy was instrumental in establishing a day care center in their neighborhood. That was one of the ways Judy gave back to her community.
In 1975 the couple bought a condo in Breckenridge, where they spent many weekends. They loved the mountains and learned to ski. Both Judy and Rich spent a lot of their childhood in the mountains and they wanted their kids to have the same experience. Those weekends also made them closer as a family.
Judy began to flourish as a watercolor artist. She got great inspiration from the beauty of the mountains. She and two other artists founded the Women of Watercolor organization in Summit County around 1995. That organization is still active today.
Judy was always a proactive and creative person. Around 1980, as the kids were getting older, she started a home business—Beaver Brook Creations—creating dried flower arrangements. She used colorful weeds, grasses and teasels in her arrangements and Rich was responsible for collecting them. On weekends Rich would walk the fields and roadsides, wherever there were interesting growth, to get specimens for his wife. Their basement was full of dried things. Eventually Judy had to close her business.
Judy eventually migrated to painting with acrylics. She became recognized as an artist and had many art shows in Summit County and Boulder County over the years. She also exhibited her artwork at the National Mining Museum gallery, in Leadville.
Judy sold a painting to a woman who liked her artwork in the late 1980s. That person got diagnosed with terminal cancer. After she passed away, the woman’s daughter told Judy and Rich that in her mother’s final days, she requested that Judy’s painting— hanging in the woman’s living room—be moved into her bedroom so she could better enjoy it.
Judy and Rich moved to beautiful Sedona, Arizona in 2008. Judy started to exhibit some small signs of dementia at that time. It was a gradual process. By 2012 her behavior was more erratic and she was diagnosed with vascular dementia. Many people who knew Judy were surprised by her quick demise. Judy was always positive and had a cheerful outlook on life. This was the case up to the end, which made Rich’s life as her caretaker much easier. It was a lot of work for Rich, but his support for his wife was unwavering.
Judy always had a cheerful outlook and never got depressed, even when beset by dementia. Her smile was infectious and she had a little giggle in her laugh. She seldom spoke negatively about others and was very spiritual and selfless. Judy passed away September 30th of last year, just short of her and Rich’s 53 wedding anniversary. RIP, Judy Skovlin. We miss you!
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