Hundreds remember Judy Bobka

A book of condolence at a Celebration of Life Ceremony for Judy Bobka on April 18, 2015. The well-known and respected teacher and political stalwart died this month after a brief illness. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – Hundreds of people filed into CCVS Saturday afternoon to remember Judy Bobka.

The mother, grandmother, teacher and political stalwart died April 9 after a brief battle with cancer. She was in her mid-70s.

Rev. Gary Stokes opened the celebration of life ceremony by saying the several hundred people in the audience demonstrated that Judy had “reverence for life.” Stokes also noted that she had “that zeal and determination.”

Cousin Brenda Kinnear eulogized Bobka as being a great support. At 15 years her senior, Kinnear said Judy was that “grown up girl in a little girl’s life,” especially in a family predominated by boys.

Glen Grant, a friend of Judy, recalled her political strengths and how she was able to sway an NDP-er into the conservative camp. Grant said CCVS was so important to Judy. “It was at the top of her list, after her family, (it) meant more to her than anything.” Grant also recalled her devotion to turning around the CCVS archive room, which was “a mess,” and also her work and devotion to organizing two school reunions.

Retired school board trustee Art Buckland recalled how Judy was “larger than life in every instance” and how she was so politically tuned in. “If there were more than three conservatives meeting you would get a call or an email,” he joked.

Daughter Sarah told the story of Judy’s start in education at a one-room schoolhouse, then Judy marrying her husband, Dan, and teaching a North Dundas District High School and schools in Northern Ontario before settling in at CCVS. “Judy loved two things – family and loyalty – and if you were in her family she was loyal to you,” Sarah said. She also explained her mother showed how it was “essential to give back to your community.”

Sarah explained how the Judy Bobka stories she has heard have brought comfort to her family during this difficult time and she urged the audience to share those on the tribute website. A Judy Bobka Memorial Fund has also been set up.

The service also featured musical performances of an “Irish Blessing” by the CCVS Vocal Ensemble and a guitar-vocal duet of “See You Again” by CCVS students Jenessa D’Amours and Zann Dareshani.

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