Judith Wilhelmina Paap (nee Hankes Drielsma) of Wellesley, aged 77, passed away May 8, 2019, having been diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer in May 2017.
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Born in 1941 in The Hague, The Netherlands, Judy is survived by Henry, her husband of 53 years, daughter Lauren, son Stuart (Griselle Rodriguez Ramos), grandson Dexter, three Canadian siblings, Stephen (Wendy), Martin (Cynthia) and Renny (Yvonne), and family in the USA, Canada and Europe. She was predeceased by her father Rolf Hankes Drielsma, mother Louise (Wies) Cato Hankes Drielsma (nee de Vos), sister Joyce Dutton and her nephew Jason Drielsma.
The post World War II emigration of her family to the Caribbean to the then Dutch island of Curacao (1949), was followed by two more family moves. The first was to Canton, Ontario, Canada in 1954, and the next to Toronto, Ontario in 1959. A lifetime pattern of Judy emerging from the pack, is best captured while she attended Port Hope High School where she excelled academically, in sports, wrote the school song, was President of the French Club, and other organizations. Although English was then still a new language for her, Judy won local and regional public speaking tournaments.
Judy went on to the University of Toronto to major in Modern Languages and History. In search of a total immersion in the languages and cultures of France and Spain, Judy interrupted her first year of school to travel to Paris for one year, then another to Madrid. Plans changed when she met future husband Henry, a university graduate from The Netherlands who had just landed a job in Paris. After touring Europe and Northern Africa, Judy returned to Canada to marry Henry in 1966. They then moved to the Philadelphia area, followed by Glen Ellen and Winnetka, Illinois and then Kanata, Ontario, before settling in Wellesley 34 years ago.
Before Judy could find her target job teaching French, she was recruited as a software developer and trained by IBM. She proved to be a natural, and a successful IT career followed, which enabled her to support her husband while he earned his MBA at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. After a 41-year career that placed her at the center of the IT revolution, Judy retired in 2009 from the Staples head office IT department.
Judy never allowed her career to stand between her and raising her two children. She fostered in them a love of her two favorite sports, which were skiing and sailing. Winter weekends and holidays were spent skiing in Quebec and later at the White Mountain Ski Runners Club in North Conway, NH. Judy loved the club and was involved for many years in the running of that club. Summers were for sailing “Paapillon,” the family sailboat, mostly at the Beverly Yacht Club in Marion, MA. Wonderful friendships made at the ski and yacht clubs have contributed to a rich social life.
Another of Judy’s passions was gardening and the Wellesley Gardeners’ Guild to which she dedicated much of her time, serving as board member and president. Her efforts were generously returned by the Guild members who kept her garden festive as her health declined.
Of the many volunteer positions that Judy took on, most challenging and rewarding was that of President of the Wellesley A Better Chance (ABC) program, which, in the early 1990s, was struggling. Today the Wellesley ABC program faces another major challenge of finding a new home to replace its present home on the Wellesley College Campus.
Always committed to doing her part, Judy donated her body to the Harvard Medical Education and Research Center. Judy was a force to be reckoned with, a natural leader, resilient and resourceful, courageous, yet kind and humble with a sharp and curious mind. She was an inspiration to many.
A Memorial Service and Celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 1:00 PM at the Houghton Chapel at Wellesley College. At Judy’s request, instead of flowers, donations to the Wellesley ABC Capital Fund would be most appreciated at www.wellesleyabc.org or by mail to Wellesley ABC, 396 Washington Street, Box 221, Wellesley, MA 02481.