DOVER- Judith A. LaFiura, age 80, of East Dover, died Sunday, April 16, at Crescent Manor Rehabilitation home in Bennington, of complications following her long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Born in Newton, MA, on February 2, 1943, she was the daughter of the late Donald and Helena (Mezeiva) Allen.
She is survived by her beloved husband Charles LaFiura, of East Dover; her sons, Todd LaFiura (his wife Caroline) of Rockport, ME, and Gregory LaFiura (his wife Jennifer), of Allendale, NJ; Judy’s grandchildren Brit and Greer LaFiura and Reid LaFiura; Judy’s sister Constance Nelson (her husband Marshall), of Venice, FL; her daughter Christina Hungria, of Austin, TX (her husband Anderson) and children Mila and Roman; and numerous cousins.
Judy spent her early years living in numerous locations in the United States, as the family followed her father during his career in corporate America. Eventually, the family settled in Ridgewood, NJ, where she graduated from Ridgewood High School in 1961. It was in high school in 1958 that she first met her husband, Charles, thus beginning a relationship of 65 years, first in a courtship of eight years then in a marriage of 57 years beginning in 1966.
Judy obtained her BA degree in English in 1965 from Douglas College, the women’s college of Rutgers University, where she was elected president of her class by her classmates. She then taught eighth grade English in Ridgewood for nine years before her children were born. After her children became older, she attended the Ramapo College of New Jersey where she was awarded another bachelor’s degree, this one in art. Upon graduation from Ramapo College, she taught art and advanced American literature at Northern Highlands Regional High School in Allendale, NJ, for eight years before retiring from teaching in 2002.
Judy and her husband raised their family in Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ, which they called home for 22 years. While living in Ho-Ho-Kus, Judy served as an officer of the Ho-Ho-Kus women’s club and on the vestry of Saint Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church in Ridgewood.
Judy and her family spent much time skiing in the Deerfield Valley of southern Vermont as her boys were growing up, during which time Judy and her husband determined to retire to East Dover in 2005. Judy very much enjoyed her life in the Deerfield Valley, socializing, boating, hiking, golfing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing with friends and family. Before Alzheimer’s disease began to limit her abilities, Judy gave back to the Deerfield Valley in many ways, serving on the board of West River Habitat for Humanity, as the president of the Friends of the Dover Free Library, as an usher at Memorial Hall, as a distributor of diapers pursuant to the Baby Basics charity, as a helper at the Food Pantry, and as a member of the Deerfield Valley Rotary Club.
Judy’s painting and other art forms were an integral part of her life. While in New Jersey, she created many of the stage settings and much of the scenery for numerous high school theatrical productions and also painted the murals depicting biblical scenes on the walls of the activities room of Saint Elizabeth’s Church. In Vermont, she took part in art projects sponsored by the Deerfield Valley Chamber of Commerce by painting two chairs in “The Best Seat in Vermont” and by painting the bear that was selected as the raffle bear in the “Bears in the Valley” fundraiser. She also served as one of the judges of the holiday lighting display competition in Dover.
Judy very much enjoyed visiting with family and friends who lived away from the Deerfield Valley and having them visit with her and her husband in East Dover. Traveling abroad with her husband and friends was also an important and enjoyable part of Judy’s life.
Friends and family, in describing Judy’s life and considering her epitaph, would often say that “she always did the right thing.”
Celebrations of Judy’s life will be held in the Deerfield Valley and New Jersey at dates and places to be determined.
Memorial gifts in Judy’s honor may be sent to the Alzheimer’s Association, c/o Covey Allen & Shea Funeral Home, PO Box 215. Wilmington, VT 05363.
To send the family personal condolences please visit www.sheafuneralhomes.com.