Judy J. Simonds, 61, of Manchester, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, December 14, 2022, at her home with her sister Janice by her side. Daughter of the late Harry C. and Betty Jean (Hayes) Johnston, she was born in Fairmont, West Virginia on March 21, 1961. She had been bravely fighting a battle with breast cancer for the past 18 years, but she never let it stop her from pursuing her dreams. Even when the cancer returned following a 5-year remission, Judy decided to begin jogging and trained for the Hartford Marathon. She completed the 13.1 half marathon on October 11th of 2014.
Judy was a musician at heart and she received her Master's degree in music from UConn, where she majored in Classical Guitar. Judy had a deep sense of what music brought to people’s lives. She was a tireless practitioner of her craft, practicing 8 hours each day for many years to achieve her goals. She was loved and respected by her band members and the people who were lucky enough to hear her sing and play. Judy played jazz gigs with her cherished nephew, Brandon “Sobrino” at Sunday brunches for several years, and she was known as Lupita, the Mariachi Singer at the Mattoon Street Arts Festival in Springfield. Judy practiced a strict vegan diet for over 12 years and was fond of creating new treats for her friends and family to enjoy. Judy began studying chess in the year 2001 and participated in dozens of tournaments and was very proud of winning several plaques and cash prizes.
Judy will be deeply missed by her sisters, Jean Marie Johnston and Janice Jenkins and her beloved brother-in-law Herb, “Herbivore” Jenkins; her nephew, Brandon Jenkins; her ex-husband and longtime friend Todd Simonds; her favorite Uncle Ward Wilcox, Jr.; and her best friend and chess study partner, LouAnne “Wanny” McDonald and her husband, Michael. Judy was predeceased by her parents.
Services will be held privately at the convenience of the family.
In lieu of flowers, please consider planting a tree in Judy's memory.
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A Memorial Tree was planted for Judy
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at John F Tierney Funeral Home