Judith Jenkins

Obituary of Judith Louise Jenkins

Judith L. Jenkins, 78, passed away in the early hours of November 6th, after battling dementia for the past several years. Judy, also known as Miss Judy and the Grammar Goddess, was born September 1, 1943 in Philadelphia, PA to Sarah Israel (Castle) and Dr. Raymond Israel, and the family subsequently settled in York, PA, where her father had a successful medical practice and general surgery career. Her young life was a happy one, attending Elmwood Elementary School and spending time with her Irish and Lebanese grannies. She worshipped her parents and loved every moment of their summers in the little cottage in Ocean City’s southend. Judy graduated from York Country Day School and then received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Wittenberg University in Springfield, OH. While at Wittenberg, Judy was a member of their choir and toured Europe, singing concerts, staying with local families, and taking in all the sights. Following the Wittenberg Choir tour, Judy traveled Europe again, this time as a performing member of the USO. These were experiences that shaped her life. Music was extremely important to her; she played the piano each day and sang professionally when she was younger. Upon graduation from college, Judy began teaching in the Middle Township Public School District. She started in the middle school, which she described as “an age only a mother could love” and then settled in the high school where she taught English in Room A6 for nearly 40 years. Judy was a tough teacher and, for most students, you either loved her or you didn’t. Many students came to understand all that she taught them much later in life, even though there might have been a lot of red pen along the way. Her “7 Steps to Grammar Success” were legendary, replete with song and dance. She was born to be a teacher. In 1970, Judy was blessed with a daughter, Debby, who was the greatest joy of her life. She was always in the audience of her performances, no matter where it took her, but her favorite place to see Debby perform was the Gateway Playhouse. In 1994, Debby married Jim Dalfonso, of Valparaiso, IN, and Judy was elated. She considered Jim to be as close to Prince Charming as anyone could be, comparing his patient, kind nature to that of her father. Judy was always a part of Debby and Jim’s gang, vacationing with them, hosting them, and helping with all of their “cockamamie schemes”. Judy loved shelling the beaches of Sanibel, pet sitting all of her “granddogs” over the years, cooking amazing food (especially Lebanese), reading, knitting, crossword puzzling, and cheering on her Philadelphia sports teams and Indiana Hoosiers. She had an extensive vocabulary and continued to be a mentor and supporter of students, beyond her 2006 retirement. Judy is predeceased by her parents and survived by her daughter, Deborah Dalfonso and son in law, James Dalfonso of Mays Landing. Also surviving are cousins Charles Castle (Nancy) of Naples, FL; Sally Rose Israel of York, PA; and Barbara King (Raymond) of Lancaster, PA. Though an only child, Judy was a true believer in logical, not just biological, family. A testament to that is her 74 year friendship with Bertha Spahr of Spring Grove, PA, who is truly a member of her family, along with her children, Matthew Spahr (Renee) and their daughter, Olivia; and Michael Schaeberle (Cheryl) and their daughter, Kassie. Judy will be sorely missed by the other members of her logical family who are too many to list. Information regarding her Celebration of Life is available from the family. Donations can be made to the Gateway Playhouse (PO Box 427, Somers Point, NJ 08244) or the Atlantic City Rescue Mission (acrescuemission.org). For condolences to the family, visit www.godfreyfuneralhome.com
A Memorial Tree was planted for Judith
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at The Godfrey Funeral Home
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