Please join the family for a service November 9, 2019 at 1 p.m. at Geneva Presbyterian Church, 24301 El Toro Road, Laguna Woods, CA 92637. Phone: (949) 837 – 2323.
In loving memory of Judy, family and friends are invited to donate to the Geneva Presbyterian Church Music Ministry Fund. Donations can be made through the Church website ((https://genevapres.churchcenter.com/giving) or mailed to the church (24301 El Toro Road, Laguna Woods, CA 92637).
Born Judith Ahlborn Gripton on June 28, 1942 to Frances Irene Ahlborn Gripton and David LaMonte Gripton in Greeley, Colorado.
Resident of Smith Center, Kansas, 1942 to 1964.
Sister Janet Kathryn Gripton was born on August 29, 1949 in Smith Center, Kansas.
Began piano lessons when she was five years old with Phyllis Creamer and with Mrs. Bernice Scott from eight years old through high school.
Graduated from Smith Center High School in class of 1960.
Attended University of Kansas from 1960 to 1964 and received a Bachelor of Music in Music History and Literature from the School of Fine Arts on February 15, 1964. Her piano teacher at KU was the renowned pianist John Perry who has been a great friend and colleague since those days.
Attended University of Denver from 1964 to 1965 and received a Master’s degree in Library Science in June 1965.
Worked as a Serials Cataloger at the University of Iowa Library from 1965 to 1967.
Married Thomas Lynn Jenkins on September 3, 1967 in Iowa City, Iowa.
Moved to Northlake, Illinois in September 1967.
Worked as a Serials Librarian at the University of Illinois Chicago Circle Campus from 1967 to 1969.
Moved to Rogers Park in Chicago, Illinois in 1968.
Daughter Janet Kathryn was born on September 4, 1969 in Evanston Hospital, Evanston, Illinois.
Moved to Denver, Colorado in 1969, bought our first home, then moved to Mission Viejo, California in 1972 and lived on Merino Circle to the present day.
Son Thomas David was born on December 15, 1972 in Mission Hospital, Mission Viejo, California.
Judy spent many years on family activities until being convinced to return to her true love of music and piano. Began taking courses in the late 1970’s from Dr. Nakyong Chai at Saddleback College and playing in many ensembles.
Dr. Chai was impressed with Judy’s skills and said she should teach piano. This began Judy’s illustrious 30″year career of teaching one”on”one piano to young children through adults in her studio in our home in Mission Viejo.
Began teaching in 1984 and joined the Music Teachers’ Association of California (MTAC), Orange Coast Cities Branch in that year.
Judy was not only a teacher but an active member of MTAC and held many Branch and State offices. She was dedicated to the Certificate of Merit (CM) program which tests and evaluates over 30,000 students in California every year.
MTAC Orange Coast Cities Branch & State positions:
1986″1988 – Branch Recording Secretary
1988″1989 “ State Board Corresponding Secretary
1988″1992 “ Branch 20thCentury Festival Co”chair
1989″1991 “ Branch Newsletter editor (Director at Large)
1991″1994 “ Branch Certificate of Merit Chair (Director at Large)
1994″1996 “ State CM Test Committee Coordinator
1995″1997 “ Branch President
1996″2000 “ CM Assistant State Coordinator
1997″1999 “ Branch Past President
1999″2000 “ Branch Corresponding Secretary (Newsletter editor)
2000″2001 “ Branch Director at Large
2001″2006 “ State Certificate of Merit Council Coordinator
2006″2007 “ Branch Director at Large
2007″2011 “ Branch Certificate of Merit Chair
2011″2012 “ Branch Director at Large
2012″2014 “ Branch 1stVice President (programs)
On May 14, 2014 Judy was honored by the Orange Coast Cities Branch of MTAC as an Honorary Lifetime Achievement Member for her longtime membership and service to MTAC.
Judy retired from teaching in 2014 but continued to love all her students and the music they made for her.
Judy and Tom celebrated their 50thAnniversary with a wonderful party with family and friends in September 2017.
Judy was active in the Mission Viejo community for almost 50 years having been on the City’s
Committees to plan and build the beautiful Mission Viejo Library and expand the Murray Community Center, making sure it had a great room for music and piano recitals.
Judy, Tom and the family are so blessed to have a church Fellowship group that has been together for the last 45 years and continues today to support all of us in our times of need and sorrow.
A great supporter of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Judy was an active member of its Board of Counselors.
Always a dedicated church member and musician (choir, piano, bells, anything music) at the Shepherd of the Hills United Methodist Church in Mission Viejo and for the last 22 years at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods.
After a long illness, Judy passed away peacefully at home with her husband by her side on September 11, 2019.
Judy is survived by Tom, her loving husband of 52 years; Daughter Janet, her husband Peter Giakoumis and grandson Andrew Giakoumis; Son Tom; and Sister Janet and her husband Joe Hepp.
- Date & Time: November 09, 2019 (1:00 PM)
- Venue: Geneva Presbyterian Church
- Location: 24301 El Toro Rd. Laguna Woods, CA 92637 - (Get Directions)