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Alvah Halloran & Son Funeral Home

2125 Chili Ave, Rochester, NY

OBITUARY

Clara A. Judge

December 15, 1922September 6, 2019
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Clara A. Judge of Rochester, passed away, on Friday, September 6th, at age 96, in Highland Hospital, after a brief illness.

The daughter of Aristide Ambrosi and Assunta Deitinger, she was born in Rome, Italy and was one of the many war brides of World War II, marrying in 1945 in a chapel of the Vatican. An administrator at Rome’s Department of Public Works, she met her husband-to-be, MSgt. John Judge, at an American Forces dance on the very day he arrived in Rome in 1944.

Her first love in life was her family, but she was also an avid painter and gardener. She also worked at Empire Travel and McCurdy's, taught Italian at the Rochester Berlitz school, tutored students in Italian, and was a fundraiser for the American Heart Association and American Cancer Society.

She was predeceased by her husband, both of her parents, and many aunts and uncles in Italy. She is survived by her son Frank, of Rochester, a niece, Ellen (Norman) Swanson of Slingerlands, NY, and numerous cousins in Rome.

Calling hours will be held on Wednesday, September 11th, from 4-7pm at the Alvah Halloran & Son Funeral Home, 2125 Chili Ave., Gates. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00am on Thursday, September 12th at St. Monica Church, 831 Genesee St., Rochester. Interment in Mt. Hope Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to Aquinas Institute for its scholarship fund.

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Searching Through Old Photos

Years of dust rise from the old photo albums, triggering a massive allergy attack. I searched frantically for the boxes she said they were in and thought I’d hit the mother lode. But only one album has any pictures I can use. She stashed the thousands of others someplace that will take time I don’t have.

I love these old black books with their black construction paper pages, the contents held in place by black or gold corners or hinges I never noticed until now.

But the photos are all so small, some no larger than contact prints, all of them with the jagged deckled edges that were common in that era.

Sneezing my way through the pages, I find a shot I like and worry how it will look enlarged. But in Photoshop, it’s almost perfect, and I start cropping and touching up the defects made by time.

This is the evening of my mother’s death. It seems impossible it was less than twenty four hours ago I last saw her more or less alive after the stroke. In death she didn’t look much different than she had the past week, head staring straight up, body straight and stiff, a figure on a white linen sarcophagus.

But in the virtual world of pixels I manipulate, she’s alive, forever young and beautiful, looking like Ingrid Bergman in her prime. I wonder what she was thinking when that shot was taken in Rome all those years ago? There’s a date on the back, and Google tells me it was a Saturday. She was probably on a date with the man she’d marry, the man who’d be my father.

I’ll miss this woman who was my constant friend and confidante. Friends tell me she’s in a better place, that her suffering is over. All that’s true, though I wonder if she’s really any place at all except the hearts of those who knew and loved her and will keep her alive until they too leave us taking their memories with them.

-- Frank Judge

_____________________________________________

Poem read as part of the Eulogy for Clara Judge at her funeral Mass, September 12, 2019

Still Here

The rooms echo with your absence. Was it just three months ago you were still cooking dinner. standing at the stove with your cane? I try to forget those final weeks when the you I knew was deep inside you, trying to reach me, even after the stroke when you groaned my name in the dimly lit ICU room where you lay so still.

It was the same hospital, the same ICU where I nearly died of pneumonia three years ago, where you came to visit every day even though I didn’t know you were there and you prayed you wouldn’t outlive me.

I flash to the countless times you held my head as my lungs expelled thick mucous and I first heard the word “death” as something real and threatening. I asked you if you were going to die since you seemed so much older, though you were all of 28, I later learned. And you promised you would be there for me forever.

I believed you, long after I had any right to expect a parent to survive – to me, 100 years was just about the right time to finally say goodbye to my oldest, constant friend.

And it seemed you would do it, having, accompanied me through over 9½ decades, even conquering cancer, which I still battle.

But late one morning your shadow awakened me in the empty house as I was between sleep and waking, and told me you had left this life but were just as instant away. All I had to do was think of you and you’d return. “It’s all there – in your mind and heart. Just look for it,” you said softly just as the phone rang and the voice of a stranger confirmed you were now eternal. And eternally with me as you had always been.

– Frank Judge

Services

  • Calling Hours Wednesday, September 11, 2019
  • Mass of Christian Burial Thursday, September 12, 2019

Memories

Clara A. Judge

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
Suzanne Klinga

September 11, 2019

Dear Frank, Please accept my sincere condolences on the loss of your Mother. My thoughts are with you during this sorrowful time.
Suzanne

Pamela Babusci

September 9, 2019

dear frank,

my deepest sympathy to you for the loss of your beloved mother.

sending healing prayers, love & light

prayers, pamela a. babusci

Kathy Phelan Herendeen

September 7, 2019

Some of my favorite years were those spent living next door to Clara and John. They were so patient with my two little daughters, and we have the fondest memories. She will be missed.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

Searching Through Old Photos

Years of dust rise from the old photo albums,
triggering a massive allergy attack.
I searched frantically for the boxes
she said they were in
and thought I’d hit the mother lode.
But only one album has
any pictures I can use.
She stashed the thousands of others
someplace that will take time I don’t have.

I love these old black books with
their black construction paper pages,
the contents held in place
by black or gold corners or
hinges I never noticed until now.

But the photos are all so small, some
no larger than contact prints, all of them
with the jagged deckled edges
that were common in that era.

Sneezing my way through the pages,
I find a shot I like and worry
how it will look enlarged.
But in Photoshop, it’s almost perfect,
and I start cropping and touching up
the defects made by time.

This is the evening of my mother’s death.
It seems impossible it was less than
twenty four hours ago I last saw her
more or less alive after the stroke.
In death she didn’t look much different
than she had the past week,
head staring straight up, body straight and
stiff, a figure on a white linen sarcophagus.

But in the virtual world of pixels
I manipulate, she’s alive,
forever young and beautiful,
looking like Ingrid Bergman in her prime.
I wonder what she was thinking
when that shot was taken in Rome
all those years ago? There’s
a date on the back, and
Google tells me it was a Saturday.
She was probably on a date
with the man she’d marry,
the man who’d be my father.

I’ll miss this woman who
was my constant friend
and confidante. Friends tell me
she’s in a better place,
that her suffering is over.
All that’s true, though I wonder
if she’s really any place at all
except the hearts of those
who knew and loved her
and will keep her alive
until they too leave us
taking their memories with them.

-- Frank Judge

____________________________________________

Poem read as part of the Eulogy for Clara Judge
at her funeral Mass, September 12, 2019

Still Here

The rooms echo with your absence.
Was it just three months ago
you were still cooking dinner.
standing at the stove with your cane?
I try to forget those final weeks
when the you I knew was deep inside you,
trying to reach me, even after the stroke
when you groaned my name
in the dimly lit ICU room
where you lay so still.

It was the same hospital, the same ICU
where I nearly died of pneumonia three years ago,
where you came to visit every day
even though I didn’t know you were there
and you prayed you wouldn’t outlive me.

I flash to the countless times
you held my head as my lungs
expelled thick mucous
and I first heard the word “death”
as something real and threatening.
I asked you if you were going to die
since you seemed so much older,
though you were all of 28, I later learned.
And you promised
you would be there for me forever.

I believed you, long after
I had any right to expect
a parent to survive – to me,
100 years was just about
the right time to finally say goodbye
to my oldest, constant friend.

And it seemed you would do it,
having, accompanied me
through over 9½ decades,
even conquering cancer,
which I still battle.

But late one morning
your shadow awakened me
in the empty house
as I was between
sleep and waking,
and told me you had left this life
but were just as instant away.
All I had to do was think of you
and you’d return.
“It’s all there –
in your mind and heart.
Just look for it,” you said softly
just as the phone rang
and the voice of a stranger
confirmed you were now eternal.
And eternally with me
as you had always been.

– Frank Judge