Judith Fern Snapp Gill was born August 13, 1942, in Wichita, Kansas to William and Lenore Snapp, their first child. When the family moved to Andover, Kansas Judy attended Andover Public Schools through high school graduation. Upon graduation Judy attended Wichita University (now Wichita State University) and joined Gamma Phi Beta social sorority. Appreciated by her peers for her natural, unassuming attractiveness, Judy was chosen to represent Wichita University in the Kansas City Royal beauty pageant. She graduated from Wichita University with a master’s degree in English Literature, preparing for a career teaching secondary English.
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Judy married Sam Gill June 4, 1965. They first lived in Wichita and then moved to Park Forest, Illinois as Sam enrolled for graduate study at The University of Chicago Divinity School. Judy and Sam’s first child, Corbin, was born in Park Forest. Following Sam’s career toward professorship in History of Religions, especially in Native American Religion, Judy, Sam, and Corbin spent a summer living in a native built hogan on the Navajo Reservation near Tuba City, Arizona. The family then moved to Tempe, Arizona where Sam held a position at Arizona State University. Judy and Sam’s daughter Jennifer was born in Tempe.
Judy was mainly a homemaker during these years of growth and change. She loved being with her two children. Corbin has described how as she read to them she brought fictional characters vibrantly to life. She loved reading novels, poetry, non-fiction, and especially The New Yorker. She often edited Sam’s writings. She wrote poetry and wrote at least one children’s story. She was an excellent baker and became a virtuoso knitter. She walked daily and hiking was a favorite pastime.
Sam chose to spend a sabbatical year from Arizona State University teaching at the University of Colorado, Boulder. A year later he accepted a position at C.U. and the family moved permanently to Boulder. Sam and Judy undertook building their dome house in the mountains, largely with their own hands and the hands of friends. After completing their home the family hosted an International Christian Youth Exchange student, Andrea Kaserer, from Austria. Judy later traveled to Austria to visit Andrea and her family.
Judy and Sam divorced in 1995. Judy chose to rise from the sad turn of events by taking a trip to England by herself. During her single years Judy continued to live in Boulder and later moved to Superior. Judy worked at the University of Colorado Credit Union and then at the Boulder Police Department. Judy enjoyed the culture of the police department and enjoyed her co-workers. Her role there was to edit the patrol officers’ reports and act as the editor of the department newsletter, sparking it up a bit. She retired from the Police Department in February 2008.
Judy was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2010. She moved to Keystone Assisted Living Facility in Westminster in November 2011. She moved to Boulder Manor Care Skilled Nursing Facility in July 2013 and lived there until she passed from us on May 19, 2019.
We are thankful for her life and her love. We are thankful to have had her as mother, sister, grandmother, aunt, cousin, and loyal friend. We are thankful to be her family. We not only mourn her loss; we mourn the loss of so much of her life’s richness because of the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease. Donations in her name may be sent to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Judy is survived by her children Jennifer Gill Martin (Carlos) of Broomfield and Corbin Gill of Denver; her grandchildren Fatumata, Shay, and Leon Martin of Broomfield; her sisters Joyce Snapp of Conifer and Kimberly Snapp of Wichita and her brother Brad Snapp of Wichita; her former husband Sam Gill of Broomfield; and many from her extended family.