Judith Esterly


Judith Esterly passed away at her home in Green Valley, Ariz., on March 29, at the age of 75.

Judith Lynn Shaikewitz was born on Oct. 25, 1940, to Sam and Millie Shaikewitz and raised in St. Louis, Mo. She was a graduate of Clayton High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in English from University of Missouri-Columbia. Judy taught English literature and was a licensed financial planner and political activist. Judy lived for more than 30 years in Belleville, Ill.

“Bubbe,” as she was lovingly known, is survived by her husband of 40 years, George Esterly; her four children, Michael Imber (Nancy), Doug Imber (Lisa), Rachel Powers (Albie) and Jan Herzog (Mitch); by nine grandchildren: Marty, Gabe, Peter, Andrew, Sam, Zach, Arielle, Jacob and Sarah; and by her brothers, Don Shaikewitz (Marilyn) and Dick Shaikewitz (Jasminka). She was predeceased by her first husband, Martin Imber, and daughter, Ellen Cowell.

The family expresses its heartfelt thanks to Judy’s caregiver and dear friend Alma Donadio, who has been an angel to us all.

She retired first to Pagosa Springs, and then to Green Valley. She was a lifelong artist, devoting much of her time to music, writing, painting and crafts and was a published poet. Her sense of humor and independent spirit and overwhelming compassion will be missed by all who loved and knew her.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity in Judy’s memory. Private memorial services will be held.