ELDORADO, N.M. — Judith “Judy” Ellen Spain of Eldorado passed away Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018, in Santa Fe, N.M., following a lung infection.
Born Jan. 16, 1941, in Parkersburg, Iowa, she was the second child of Terrance and Dorothy Spain and the younger sister, of John Spain, who died this past July.
Judy grew up on the family farm outside of Parkersburg. In 1959, she graduated from Parkersburg High School and in 1963, she earned a bachelor’s degree in library science, with a minor in physical education from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. She was a high school librarian and golf coach in Hawarden, Iowa, for two school years before returning to the University of Northern Iowa to receive her MS in personnel administration and counseling in 1967.
From 1967 to 1996, Judy worked at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie, first as assistant director of housing, then as associate housing director and became director of residence life in 1972. Upon her retirement from UW-Stout, a Judy Spain scholarship award was endowed. Her activism for LGBT rights, women’s athletic programs and religious devotion as a lay minister for the Catholic Diocese of La Crosse, show the breadth of her life during these years.
Following her retirement, Judy moved to San Francisco in 1996, to be with her partner, Christine Zampach. During her time there, Judy was a volunteer park ranger at Ft. Mason and at the SPCA, joined St. James Episcopal Church and served as senior warden, and was active in LGBT and women’s issues. When Christine retired from the medical school at the University of California-San Francisco, in 2010, they moved to their current home in Eldorado, N.M. Between 2010 and her passing, Judy was an active member of St. Bede’s Episcopal Church in Santa Fe, and served as senior warden of the Vestry in 2013-14. She was also a member of the Board of the Vista Grande Public Library in Eldorado.
Judy is survived by Christine Zampach, her loving partner of 22 years and spouse for the last four of those years; niece, Jackie (Bill) Hager of Parkersburg; great-nephew, Aaron Buss (deceased), his children, Kennedy, Alexis and Taylor (Brittany) Buss, and their children, Elizabeth and Henry; nephew, Stephen (Beth) Spain of Mooresville, N.C., and great-nephew, Johnathan and great-niece, Madison; niece, Connie (Jim) Wollschlager of Lakeville, Minn., and great-nephew, Thomas; friends of decades, Kay Carter, her brother, Russell and Deb Allyn; the congregation of St. Bede’s; and their cat, Perky.
A memorial service will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at St. Bede’s Episcopal Church, with the Rev. M. Catherine Volland officiating. A reception and luncheon will be held in the parish hall following the service.
Wanting to end up where she began, Judy requested that her ashes be scattered at the family farm in Parkersburg, this coming spring. In her honor, a tree will be planted in the front yard of the home where she was raised. Contributions can be made in Judy’s name to St. Bede’s Episcopal Church, 550 W. San Mateo Rd., Santa Fe, N.M., 87505.