Losing a friend

Dear friends of Woolman Hill,

I’m writing with the sad news that Jude Johnson, former resident staff member of Woolman Hill, died in nearby Greenfield last Thursday, September 12. Her husband Jontz was with her. She had been living with cancer for some time and yet her death is still hard to accept or even imagine. We have had the blessing of seeing Jontz here on the hill several times in the past few days as he does some of his grieving on this sacred land.

Jude and Jontz lived and worked on the hill from around 2000 to 2006. As I was preparing to notify folks of Jude’s death, I went back to find a photo of Jude and Jontz I remembered having in the files. And that’s how I came across the Fall 2006 issue of our now-dormant newsletter, Ridge Lines. It was the issue that honored Jude and Jontz on the occasion of their departure from Woolman Hill. The article about them includes this quote:

Jude’s easy laughter spills from her like a waterfall. She would fall in love with each new rental group, grinning: “They’re just adorable.” Looking into her loving eyes and sensing the warmth of her heart, you can’t help believing that everyone is adorable.

At first I was just perusing that one article, but then I started glancing through the rest of the newsletter and found myself catapulted into a journey down memory lane. And it was such a joy to remember connections with each person named in that newsletter – in all kinds of capacities, and the connections with those who are no longer with us in body.

We are going to miss Jude – her infectious laughter, her tender heart, her infinite compassion, her calm nature, and the deep sense of her living in each present moment. We are holding Jontz and the rest of their family and community in the Light.

I have such deep gratitude for the ways Jude and so many others have contributed to the fabric of love and witness and accompaniment that makes Woolman Hill what it is – an ever-evolving spiritual network and home for so many.

You can read the full article about Jude and Jontz here:
Fall 2006 edition of our “Ridge Lines” newsletter


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