Judy M. Vasconcelos
Judy M. Vasconcelos 40-Year Gig Harbor resident, Realtor, Mother and Grandmother, passed away in Tacoma.
“Judy Vasconcelos was a force of nature.” That’s what people said about her; Even if they only knew her for a little while. Throughout her 72 years, she lived fearlessly and loved unconditionally. She passed away Nov. 5, and we will never see her like again. Judy grew up on Long Island, in New York. She was the daughter of milkman, carpenter and German immigrant, Gerhard. In the 70s, while she was on a hard-earned trip to Europe with her friends, Judy met the love of her life, George “Jay” Vasconcelos. They were married in 1973. When she moved with him Washington, the lifetime New Yorker, Judy, was not thrilled she was moving to “the sticks” of Kirkland. But Judy soon fell in love with Washington and quickly got involved. Everywhere she went, she helped to build up community around her. In Kirkland, she took on the self-made job of community reporter, creating a neighborhood newsletter, The Firlock Flier. She wrote and printed each issue and delivered it by motorcycle to her neighbors. She moved to Gig Harbor in 1980, which would be her home for the next 40 years. She helped found the Tacoma Children’s Museum in 1986, starting with a modest display of a hula hoop bubble maker and a donated dentist chair. The museum grew in its original downtown museum to host spectacular exhibits enjoyed by children all over the area. She also was instrumental in getting Gig Harbor’s first skateboard park created.
In her retirement, she and Jay saw the world together, traveling Egypt, China, and Norway. In 2009, she was diagnosed with cancer. She fought the disease with optimism. In spite of the toll cancer and kidney failure took on her body, Judy was a bright spark and source of encouragement. She beat the odds, and outlived all expectations. She went home Nov. 5. She leaves behind two children, Jaime and Jason, and two grandsons, Gibson and Aiden. She leaves a huge hole in our hearts and in this world. Her service will be held, Sunday, Nov. 17 at Haven of Rest at 1:30. A Celebration of Her Life will follow at 2:30 at the Gig Harbor Yacht Club.
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