Judith Fraser Scanlan September 21, 1945 ~ October 3, 2019
Judith Fraser Scanlan, 74, of Westford, Mass., formerly of Somerville, beloved wife of Gerard F. Scanlan for 42 years.
Mother of Jennifer Scanlan of N. Billerica, Victoria Scanlan MD, Matthew and Luke Scanlan all of Westford, Katrina Anderson and her husband Malen of Maynard.
Daughter of the late Dr. John A. and Eleanor (Burns) Fraser. Sister of Anne, Martha, and Kathleen Fraser of Burlington (formerly of Somerville), Donald Fraser and his wife Cheryl of Marblehead, and the late Jane Finlay. Sister-in-law of Allan Finlay of Melrose.
Visiting hours Sunday 2-6 pm at the E.E.Burns & Son Funeral Home 204 Main St. Malden.
Family and friends will gather for Judith's Funeral Mass, Monday at 11:00 am in St. Irene Church 181 East St. Carlisle. Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers and donations, save your money and take your loved ones out to dinner. She would have liked that.
Judy passed away on October 3, 2019, on the farm surrounded by her family and her dogs. If you don’t know her, you would have liked her.
Judy was a natural redhead – bright, warm, a loving force of nature. While she told her kids not to talk to strangers, she never took her own advice, making friends in the aisle of a supermarket or in the back of an ambulance. Whoever you were or wherever you were coming from, she could meet you there and find something to laugh about with you. Judy knew how to tell a great story -- it was so good, in fact, she’d tell you two or three times. But she was also a great listener and wanted to hear your story.
She loved her family and friends, her dogs, the farm (her “happy place”) and the ocean. She grew up with her feet in the cold water of Marblehead, before being introduced to the warm waves of The Cape by the love of her life, Gerry, whom she called the smartest man she ever met. They shared 42 years of marriage together, though they stopped playing cards with each other years ago because she swore like a sailor, whether she was winning or losing. He was her best friend and she was his first mate.
She loved being a mom, which is good because she had five kids: Jenny, Vicky, Matthew, Katie and Luke. Her kids were her strength, she would say, but they’ll tell you the reverse is true.
Our mother was a wordsmith, and could turn a phrase like no one else -- phrases we refer to as ‘’Judy-isms.” Here are a few of hers that you’re welcome to use: Sometimes … Mothers are Always Right, Jesus Lord & Taylor, Disconfukulated, You Can’t Cure Stupid and Thank You, St. Anthony.
When she told you she was “toying with the idea” that meant it was definitely going to happen, her bags were packed, the flight was booked, the tickets were non-refundable and oh, by the way, you’re going, too.
Nursing was her profession for 50 fulfilling years, but caring for people was her lifelong gift. Judy was a teacher. As the second oldest of six children (Jane, Anne, Martha, Kathleen and Donald), she fell naturally into the role, teaching her siblings how to walk, talk, do somersaults in the water, and, most importantly, to whistle.
As if being a farmer’s wife, mother of five and ER nurse weren’t enough to keep her busy, at the age of 62 she returned to Northeastern University to earn her BSN.
Judy never wanted to be defined by her diseases, but let her be defined by the strength, humor and resilience she shared in fighting colon, liver and lung cancers and, ultimately, Glioblastoma. Mom was a brave woman.
Judy was the heart of our family; our hearts are broken.