Judy Ann Sarkisian of Vashon, Wash., died unexpectedly from natural causes Aug. 24, 2020, at her home in Ennis, Mont.
She was born Oct. 18, 1950, to Arthur and June (Kiendl) Sarkisian in Forest Hills, N.Y., where she attended P.S. 101 and Kew Forest School. She spent summers in Mattituck, N.Y., on the East End of Long Island. Judy attended Vermont College and received her registered nursing degree from the University of New England in Portland, Maine.
After living and working for a period of time in Vermont and Maine, Judy moved west to Seattle, Wash., in the late 1980s with her then-husband Gary Nathanson. She loved the area and its people, eventually building her forever home on Vashon Island, where she tilled the soil, set down roots and lived happily with her plants and animals.
Judy brought passion to all her endeavors. She exhibited a flair for the dramatic at a young age. She wrote and directed skits for her younger cousins to perform door-to-door to the bemusement of neighbors. She was a tomboy and a leader of children on wild goose chases through the streets and back alleys of Forest Hills Gardens. In high school, she landed plum roles in plays and Gilbert and Sullivan musicals, and excelled at athletics.
Whenever Judy entered a room, contagious laughter and merriment ensued. Her interests were reflective of her wit, curiosity and keen intelligence. She studied botany, zoology, gardening, nutrition, animal communication, primal psychology and spiritual healing and was in the process of completing her final year in a Feldenkrais Professional Training Program.
Judy was also an accomplished cook. When she wasn’t busy working her magic in the kitchen, you could find her zip-lining through the jungles of Costa Rica, swimming with dolphins in Hawaii, whale-watching off Vancouver Island, exploring the caves and cenotes of Mexico or fly fishing on the Madison River.
Judy was the “magical glue” between immediate members of her family. She organized summer reunions on Long Island that involved great meals, annual pingpong tournaments, singing and skinny dipping. She brought family together for holiday gatherings, fishing trips in Montana, celebrations on Vashon Island, thrift store shopping, dumpster diving or anything else just for the hell of it.
She is survived by family members, brothers Corey Sarkisian and Murphy Smith, as well as first cousins Sally Bunce, Bill Kiendl, Kim Kiendl and Wendy Smithson and all of their children.
A celebration of Judy’s life will be held at a later date. Those who wish to donate to one of the charities she supported may do so by mailing a check to The Judy Sarkisian Legacy Foundation, Schwab Charitable Fund, P.O. Box 628298, Orlando, FL 32862.
This is a paid notice.