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Judith E (Grabowski) Gaggin

Aug 29, 2017

Judith E. (Grabowski) Gaggin, 71, of Carlisle, MA and Sanibel, FL, formerly of Lincroft, NJ and Springfield, PA, died unexpectedly on Saturday, August 26, 2017 in her home in Carlisle, MA. For 49 years, she was the beloved wife of David V. Gaggin.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on February 4, 1946, she was the loving daughter of the late Thaddeus and Jane (Wellings) Grabowski. A graduate of Pittsburgh’s Allegheny High School, she went on to receive her Bachelor of Education degree from Pennsylvania State University, where she met Dave on the tennis courts.

Judy was a lover of knowledge; she always wanted to know more about things and took great pains to read and research interesting facts and histories. Whether it was in preparation for a trip she was taking, cataloging the seashells of the Gulf Coast, learning the history of the revolution in Boston, or knowing the best children’s books for her granddaughters, Judy learned all of the details. A lifelong, passionate educator, Judy’s career took several different forms in line with her varied interests. In her 20s she taught elementary school in Philadelphia. In her 30s she went back to school for computer programming and then went on to teach the early versions of Microsoft Windows as well as Dos software programs to the employees of major companies in NYC throughout her 40s. Later, in her 50s and 60s she tutored English as a second language to adults in Boston, and then served as a Boston architectural historical tour guide.

She and Dave moved to Carlisle, MA twenty years ago where they became part of a wonderful community and neighborhood, finding particular friendship in their “Gourmet Group” in Concord and Carlisle and Judy with her “Handwork Group” and other dear friends. They enjoyed the winter months spent at their home in Sanibel. The distance didn’t keep her away from her family – her greatest joy and accomplishment. Keeping in touch with her two daughters was paramount, evident by the daily phone calls to check in and share the news. She loved being “Gigi” to her precious granddaughters, and loved her time teaching them baking and sewing as well as instilling in them her love of libraries. Judy treasured her visits to the country’s National Parks, embracing the natural beauty around her. She and Dave also traveled to the Canadian Rockies, the Danube River, and extensively throughout Europe – with their final adventure taking place in beautiful Alaska just two weeks prior to her death.

Her time spent in Sanibel introduced her to shelling, which became another passion of hers as a volunteer at the Sanibel Shell Museum. She cherished her and Dave’s “tennis family” and delighted in her friends and instructors in her regular Zumba classes in Sanibel. She was a talented gardener, being blessed with an inherited green thumb. Baking, boating, and sewing brought her enjoyment, and she adored her relaxing walks along the Sanibel beaches.

In addition to Dave – the love of her life, she will be deeply missed by her daughters, Julia Lanham and her wife Megan of Brookline, MA and Christine Gaggin of West Roxbury, MA, her granddaughters, Eva and Tessa Humphreys, one brother, Tom Grabowski and wife Eileen of Fort Lauderdale, FL, and one sister, Janet Keplinger and husband John of Quarryville, PA.

Services were held in Concord, MA.

To honor her love for reading and literature, contributions in her memory may be made in lieu of flowers to either The Friends of Gleason Public Library, c/o Gleason Public Library, 22 Bedford Road, Carlisle, MA 01741 or to Sanibel Library Foundation, Inc., c/o Sanibel Public Library, 770 Dunlop Road, Sanibel, FL 33957.

To share a remembrance of Judy in her online guestbook, please visit www.deefuneralhome.com.