CHESHIRE – Judith “Judy” D’Antonio, settled into a comfortable, well-earned, permanent beach chair on LBI with family and friends, on April 3, 2021, at Connecticut Hospice in Branford, Conn.
Her love of family was exemplified every day in things big, small, and in between, be they immaculately set tables for holidays to personalized birthday and holiday cards that let her artistic side shine through for all to enjoy. No one could put brush to paint to canvas and create a lasting, loving, and enduring image better than Judy. She was the first to meet guests at her door with a smile and a kind word (and maybe a glass of Champagne too) and, if you were lucky enough, her homemade clam chowder, outstanding icebox cake, and most importantly, a bear hug befitting of someone 10 times her size.
Judy was a graduate of Dwight Morrow High School of Englewood, N.J. (1954) and the Yale-New Haven School of Nursing (1958). In 1956, she met the love of her life, Ray, and they were married on April 12, 1958. Judy was an avid sports fan, attending Brooklyn Dodger games at Ebbets Field many times with her grandfather, Andy Behr of Englewood, N.J. Later, her eternal devotion to family turned her into a rabid hockey fan, enduring cold snowy days, cheering on her daughter and son (and husband, too, at Alumni games) at Loomis where all played ice hockey.
Eventually, Judy’s nursing career gave way to a bigger and better calling: her love of the arts. She studied under Edward Mullin of Wallingford and Doe Bartlett of Meriden. She became very involved in the work of the Meriden Art League and won many awards for her seascapes and paintings of people’s pets. Her greatest award came at the Cheshire Art Leagues annual show where she won “Best in Show” for her painting of “Dolphins at Play.” She embodied the saying “Art is something that makes you breathe with a different kind of happiness.”
Judy was predeceased by her parents, Katherine and Frank Burns of Forked River, N.J., as well as her sister, Suzan Gallo of Ramsey, N.J., and her daughter, Suzan D’Antonio of Hamden, Conn. Judy is survived by her husband Raymond (Ray) of Cheshire, Conn., and son Mark of Hamden, Conn., and brother Francis Burns of Naples, Fla.
So if you want to reach her, well, get your flip flops on, bring a chair and towel, and head over the Causeway to the beach, where you will find her at the warm water’s edge with her sister, daughter, and grandparents at her side, laughing, smiling, asking when the oysters are arriving, when are we picking up at Pinky’s, possibly yelling at the Dodgers on the radio, with the sun shining upon her smiling face. She’s the one in the Big Dog’s hat, always a good book in hand and instant readiness to enjoy a long, quiet, reflecting walk on the beach that could last for hours. The best person to paint this picture has taken her brush and watercolors and left us for now but, like her artwork, her impact as a wife, a mom, a sister, a daughter, and friend is one of her many ever-lasting gifts. Her pain and discomfort have been replaced by peace and love. So her place here on this earth is done now. But this is not a goodbye. It’s a see you later.
Arrangements – Visitation for Judy was held on Thursday, April 8, 2021, at the Alderson-Ford Funeral Home of Cheshire, 615 South Main St., from 10:30 a.m. until her funeral procession left for church at 11:30 a.m. A Mass of Christian Burial was held at 12 noon at St. Bridget of Sweden Parish/St. Bridget Church, 175 Main St., with committal following in St. Bridget Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please make any contributions in Judy’s name to Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital , Office of Development, P.O. Box 1849, New Haven, CT 06508 or by visiting firstname.lastname@example.org. For online condolences and to share a photo or a story, please visit www.fordfh.com.