Judith Kolligian

Obituary: Judith Kolligian, A Life in Service to Others


JAMAICA PLAIN, Mass. — Judith Kolligian, of Jamaica Plain, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family on Tuesday, February 6. She was 78.

Born on September 14, 1945, Judy was the daughter of the late Madeline (Ohanian) Kolligian and J. Mark Kolligian. She is survived by her siblings Tanya DeFrancesco and Mark Kolligian (Nancy B.); her nephews and nieces Adam DeFrancesco, Nicole Leone (Frank), Bailey Kolligian (Shane), and Max Kolligian (Haley); great-nieces and great-nephews, Samantha, Sofia and Joseph Leone, and Jakob DeFrancesco, as well as countless friends and family.

Judy was predeceased by her sister Eunice (Kolligian) Franceschi, and brother-in-law Andrew DeFrancesco.

A 1964 graduate of Belmont High School, Judy was in the Acapella and Renaissance Choirs. At Colby College, she majored in music and was a member of the Colbyettes.

Upon graduating from college, Judy joined VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America). After several months of training, she moved to New York City. One of her many accomplishments while there was to establish the first community garden in the heart of the city for underprivileged young people. She eventually moved back to Massachusetts and settled in Jamaica Plain.

Judy dedicated her life in service to others. She worked as the house manager for Fortune House in Jamaica Plain, supporting adults with disabilities — and in 1970, received her master’s degree in community counseling from Northeastern University.

Get the Mirror in your inbox:

Her dedication to community extended far beyond her work in counseling. In 1987, she joined the JP Renaissance Singers. Around that same time, she also became a limerick-writing specialist for the JP Women’s Dirty Limerick Society.

She was passionate about many social causes and became a devoted volunteer for Boston Climate Action Network.

Judy spent her lifetime summering at her family’s home in Old Silver Beach Village in Falmouth and created many fond memories with family and friends.

In addition to music, she loved traveling. She traveled throughout the US, made several trips to the Caribbean and went to Armenia and historic Armenia in 2006 with her cousin, Nancy Kolligian. Judy traveled to Italy numerous times, both on her own, and with family to visit her sister, Eunice, who lived in Florence.

A wake followed by a service was held on Wednesday, February 14 at Joyce Funeral Home in Waltham. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to “Resist (for BCAN)”, P.O. Box 301240, Boston, MA 02130, OR to the charity of one’s choice.

Get the Mirror-Spectator Weekly in your inbox: