In memory: Judy Sawyer-Voss

July 24, 1946 – October 17, 2021

Judy was born to Charles and Betty Summers in Fullerton, Calif., the second child in an affectionate and adventurous family of six kids. Chuck was an Army oral surgeon and they moved throughout Judy’s childhood to California, Texas, Illinois, Michigan, Alaska, and Okinawa, Japan, where she graduated from Kubasaki High School.

When the family was posted to Colorado Springs, Judy went north where she earned her degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture with a teaching certificate from Colorado State University. She embarked on a long and fulfilling career with Poudre School District as a K-6 art teacher at Harris Bilingual Immersion School and Laurel Elementary School. Beyond teaching, she served on the committee writing the district’s art curriculum and later she became a university supervisor for Colorado State’s art education students, masterfully training new art teachers in the classroom. This led to the Youth Art Program, an innovative after-school enrichment art program for K-12 students, which was housed at Colorado State for many years.

Judy had a life-long passion for fine art, actively engaging with the artistic community in Fort Collins and beyond, keenly interested in how art evolved and explored human potential. She also exhibited extraordinary dexterity in printmaking and calligraphy.

Family was an essential focus of her life and spirit. She had two children, Brandon and Melanie, with her first husband, Bill Sawyer. After completing her degree at Colorado State she married Gary Voss, now Emeritus Professor of Art. With Gary, she had a son, Ryan. She was equally loving, attentive, giving and inspirational to all her children, instilling deep values of tolerance, self-sacrifice, independence and curiosity, among others. She was an avid reader, observer of the natural world and enjoyed watching birds and cultivating plants. In later years, she was thrilled by the addition of her grandchildren, Nora Sawyer, Madison Taylor, Ashlyn Taylor and Zachary Taylor.

Judy was preceded in death by her father Chuck, mother Betty, and sister Vicky Summers. She is survived by her husband Gary of Fort Collins, her brother Gary Summers of San Diego, her brother Kent Summers of Yosemite West, Calf., her brother Cliff Summers of Vermillion, S.D., her sister Jean Jenes of Fort Collins, and her children, Brandon Sawyer of Portland, Ore., Melanie Taylor of Lexington, S.C., and Ryan Voss of Minneapolis.

A loving celebration of Judy’s life will be held in the spring of 2022 when the flowers in her garden emerge and bloom again.

Those who wish to make donations in memory of Judy can do so to the Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation or the American Heart Association.