Judy Shanahan Suhr
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February 21, 1937 ~ August 27, 2003

     Hello from New York to Judy's children, grandchildren, Joyce and Jackie and their families.
     How sad to hear of Judy's untimely passing. Having just been with her at Lafayette High School's 100th birthday makes it extra sorrowful. Those precious evenings were an even more precious reminder how important teen-age high school years were to all of us.
     Judy and Barbara MacLeod Clayton and I always told each other that everything was the same and everything was different. We appreciated each other even after many years since the last time we were all three together, probably at a Lafayette event, probably when we automatically moved to be near each other through the crowds and the noise.    
    Probably because we had been together so much during that wonderful awful pleasurable painful silly profound major part of our lives. We were really special, we would say -- but only to each other. After all, we were sort of a representation, weren't we: a redhead and a brunette and a blonde; Catholic and Protestant and Jewish.

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     We told ourselves we were really something as we choked through our first cigarettes, burped our first beers, compared stockings and high heels with resulting blisters and smudged lipsticks putting our impressions on blotters, dazzling about movie stars while we sang some songs and pantomimed others. And always, always we talked about the boys.

     There was a much bigger world out there in the early 1950s beyond our small one. We knew about it, of course, but didn't let it eclipse our immediate concerns. We may have thought we were the biggest deals around, but we were still kids after all.

     After graduation from Lafayette in 1954, two of us wanted to marry and have children and stay in Buffalo. Barbara was the first to marry. Judy and I were two of the bridesmaids. I wanted to work as a writer and broadcast journalist and eventually move to New York.

     We weren't always constant in our keeping up with each other after Judy and Barbara began their respective families -- Judy with Hank and Barbara with Bill -- and my professional commitments expanded. In a peculiar way we almost didn't have to as we reminded each other just a few months ago, picking up as always as if it had been only days since the previous encounter. There was such a vital part of our lives to be grateful for spending together in joy and comfort with the occasional confusion of that in-between time. Gratitude for each other's time, attention and understanding coalesced in overcoming any distance of time or space.

     How mournful to lose Judy. Yet look what she left behind. Her good sisters who shared her from the beginning. All of her children and grandchildren and nieces and nephews as the next generations. And, for all of you with all the rest of us, her sweet, sweet spirit to let us know for sure how better we will forever be for having known her.

     Always, with thoughts and blessings,  Liz Dribben - - August 2003

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