Nancy Judkins, 90, Former Darien Resident, Avid Paddle Tennis Player, Traveler, Gardener

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Nancy Howland Judkins of Boulder, Colo. passed away peacefully on March 29, 2017, at the age of 90, surrounded by her four children. A celebration of Nancy’s life was held on Saturday, April 1, 2017, at St. John’s Episcopal Church.

Nancy Judkins obit 04-02-17

Nancy Judkins, 90, passed away on March 29. Her funeral was held on Saturday.

Nancy was born on Dec. 24, 1926, in Dayton, OH. She was the youngest child and only daughter of Eva (Green) Howland, a teacher and homemaker, and Ohmer Howland, the managing director of Dayton Power and Light.

She adored her two older brothers, Bob and Frank, who protected and doted on her. She treasured summers spent with her family at their house on Mullett Lake in Michigan. Nancy attended Oakwood High School in Dayton and Smith College in Northampton, Mass., graduating in 1948 with a bachelor’s degree in history.

She met her future husband, John, on a blind date in the summer of 1947. She was unimpressed, but John persisted, tracking her down at Smith College that fall. They married on Sept. 18, 1948 and remained married for 67 years, until John passed away in December 2015.


This obituary previously was published by the Daily Camera in Boulder


Nancy and John lived in Winnetka, Ill., Darien, Conn. and Lake Forest, Ill. In 1990, they moved to Boulder, where two of their children live.

Nancy cherished the friends she made in Darien, Lake Forest, and Boulder, and through the Junior League Fun Club. Nancy and John were members of and volunteers for the Episcopal Church, wherever they lived — most recently St. John’s Episcopal Church in Boulder.

By the time Nancy was 30, she was the mother of four young children. As she was raising her children, Nancy also found time to devote to charitable endeavors, as a board member of the Art Institute and the Field Museum in Chicago. More recently, she was on the Board of the Boulder Community Hospital and the Colorado Music Festival.

In the 1970s, Nancy started two businesses, Apricot Tree Interiors, an interior decorating firm, and House of Travel, a travel agency. At the Apricot Tree, Nancy worked with clients and friends in Lake Forest and Boulder remodeling their homes with her clear eye for simple and elegant style and design. Nancy founded The House of Travel with her friends, Urte and Bob Shirey, and served the Lake Forest community.

Nancy was an avid and accomplished athlete throughout her life. She was a key member of the Smith College varsity field hockey team, played competitive tennis into her early 80s, and was a New England paddle tennis champion in her 30s. She also loved to play golf (with two holes-in-one!), ski, hike, and dance.

Nancy’s other passions included travel and gardening. During her life, she visited Russia and China (at a time when few Americans were doing so), India, Africa, most of Europe, a number of countries in South and Central America, and throughout the U.S. and North America. Everywhere she lived, Nancy devoted hours and her “green thumb” to her gardens, which became the envy of her children and friends.

Nancy is survived by: her sons, Jack Judkins (Sandy Gartzman) of Fairfax, Calif., and Peter (Mary Pat) Judkins of Boulder; her two daughters, Kathy Judkins of San Francisco, Calif., and Laurie (Calvin) Hanson of Boulder; and her nephew Mark Howland. Nancy has eight grandchildren: Andy (Angela) Hanson, Julie Hanson, Willie Hanson, Sarah Judkins, Jeffrey Judkins, Jonathon Gartzman Judkins, Benjamin Gartzman Judkins, and Sean Judkins-Boeri; and one great grandchild, Charlie Hanson.

M. P. Murphy Funeral Directors of Boulder managed preparations. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Nancy’s memory to Boulder Community Health – Red Lipstick Fund, P.O. Box 9019, Boulder, CO 80301

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