Photography

Judith Ann CONNORS

May 31, 1935 ~ February 23, 2022 (age 86)

Obituary

Judith Ann Connors

May 31st, 1935 - February 23, 2022

Judith Ann Connors (nee Ireland) departed her loving family on February 23rd, 2022, thirty-two days after the death of her devoted husband Don. She is survived by Mike (Deborah) Connors of Nanaimo, BC, Kathleen Connors of New York, NY, Colin (Julie) Connors of Marquette, MI, and five grandchildren Jessica, Jordan, Michaela, Jack, and Elaina. Judy was known for her ability to dress with flair, her spark & spontaneity, her love of meeting new people and her captivating bonfire rituals!

Judy grew up in Toronto with her parents Dorothy and Donald Ireland, and brother Mike. She applied to study nursing in college, a dream stopped short by a birth deficit - she was born with only 6 fingers. Determined, she found a way to circumnavigate the restrictions. In 1957, she graduated as an Occupational Therapist. Upon graduation, she and three friends embarked on a journey to Europe, traveling by luxury OceanLiner. Throughout her life, she spoke fondly of this trip, sharing secrets unheard of for the time, including a midnight motorcycle ride through Rome with a man who was a complete stranger! 

Now an adventurer at heart, she drove across Canada in one of the first Volkswagen Beetles to be imported from Germany (with her mother as chaperone) to begin her career at Vancouver General Hospital. She met Donald Connors on a blind date, and they were married in October, 1961 in Toronto. Don’s employment took them to Calgary, North Battleford, Moose Jaw, and Red Deer, before ultimately settling in Kamloops in 1968 and it was there, they bought a home at 179 West Battle Street to raise their family.

In Kamloops, Judy worked as an Occupational Therapist at Royal Inland Hospital before transferring to the Mental Health Unit of the BC Government. Here she worked to cultivate an environment of empowerment for adults with mental illness. She was instrumental in founding the Nicola Street Achievement Center, part of the Kamloops Mental Health Association Club House. 

Judy found time to volunteer as a Board Member of Mt. Paul Figure Skating Club, where Kathleen was skating. Her interest in the sport evolved and eventually she became certified as a Canadian Figure Skating Judge. She stayed engaged in the sport for many years, volunteering for both the BC Winter Games and Skate Canada International.

Traveling remained one of Judy’s passions, spending time in Japan with Don’s Rube Band, and traveling to Paris to join Kathleen on one of her skating tours. Judy also enjoyed the fall colors of the East Coast, warm evenings in the deserts of Arizona, and the excitement of New Orleans (She always loved a good party!)

In 2008, Judy and Don moved to Nanaimo, British Columbia, joining son Michael and his family and enjoying all that Island life had to offer! 

Throughout her life, Judy was celebrated as a “creator”. She became skilled at the art of sewing costumes, pottery, macramé, and home decorating. Her artistic eye enabled her to create a warm and inviting home. While living in Nanaimo, she discovered her love of painting in oils, setting out to capture her grandchildren in stunning works of art. 

Another of Judy’s passions was exploring the many unique shops she encountered throughout her life.  With each little store she entered, she created her own community, regularly visiting the shopkeepers and learning of their work and their families. More important than a desire to purchase art, clothing, and homeware, she loved to learn of a specific item’s parsonage and the details of its crafting. A treasured item always found a special place in her home or was thoughtfully gifted to a family member or friend.

A treasured part of Judy’s life was the time spent at Little Shuswap Lake. Her happiest moments were when she was there at the “Cabin” surrounded by family and close friends. enjoying many spring and summer days of joy. Life at the lake revolved around swimming, ghost hunts, paddleboarding, corn roasts, banana boats, poker nights, and sometimes even a spectacular performance by the northern lights. In accordance with her wishes, a party will be planned “on a hot July day” this summer at Little Shuswap Lake, with gin and tonics all around!

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