Judy Keefer Dorman, who fulfilled a 20-year dream of moving to Orcas in the summer of 2009, died peacefully at her home in Eastsound, her partner by her side, on Dec. 1. She was 68 years old.
Born in Toledo, Ohio, Judy was raised all over the Midwest, where her father was a corporate executive. Judy retired from a position as Director of the City of Atlanta’s Camp Allatoona, which was primarily programmed for Atlanta’s inner-city youth. The camp was on a lake north of the city and Judy took great delight in introducing children, more familiar with pavement than nature, to the woods and the water. She made a difference in their lives and in the lives of many others.
Judy volunteered for many years with the Atlanta Interfaith AIDS Network, where she did pottery groups and other creative activities with individuals with HIV disease, and served on a number of “Care Teams,” helping to care for people who were in the end-stage of their lives.
Judy loved people, flowers, lakes, and animals, (particularly dogs), not necessarily in that order. From the first time they visited Orcas, some 23 years ago, she and her partner fell in love with the island. Judy always said that she loved the beauty of the island, but loved the sense of community even more.
She became a beloved member of the Orcas community during her three and a half years living here. She was President of the Board of the Dog Park, volunteered through the Lions Club in various capacities, and was always there to lend a shoulder, help of most any kind, some wisdom, and her quirky sense of humor. She was easy to love and enjoy and will be long remembered and sorely missed. The extent to which Orcas embraced Judy was manifested in the outpouring of support for her and her partner after her diagnosis of metastatic lung cancer.
Judy is survived by her sister, Sue Huff of Kennesaw, Ga., her brother, Dick Dorman of Oakland, Md., nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews, her partner of 33 years, Virginia Erhardt of Eastsound, a stepson, four step grandchildren, and myriad of dear, close friends. Stay tuned for information about a brief, but lively celebration of her life, which will be incorporated into an event at the Dog Park some time Spring or Summer, 2013.
Donations in Judy’s honor can be made to the 501(c)3 nonprofit: Eastsound Off-Leash Dog Park, P.O. Box 764, Eastsound, WA 98245.
Submitted by Virginia Erhardt