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Judy Keyes

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Judy Keyes Obituary
Judy Button Keyes, 80, of 91 Liberty Street, Concord, died March 21, 2018 peacefully at her home with family by her side. Despite her declining health she was always more concerned about the comfort of others than her own. She leaves her husband of 60 years, Jonathan M. Keyes; son, Philip Keyes of Acton; son, Jared Keyes and daughter-in-law, Songmei Keyes of Concord; daughter, Herrika Keyes Jenkins and son-in-law, Noal Jenkins of Simsbury, CT; five grandchildren, Natan, Maxine, Simon, Alicia, and Brooke; five nieces and nephews. She was born and raised in New York City, daughter of noted Roosevelt Hospital cardiologist Dr. William H. Button, Jr. and Elizabeth Shaw Button. She attended Brearley in New York City, Westover School in Middlebury, CT, and Smith College in Northampton MA. During her time at Smith, she met and married her husband, Jonathan, and subsequently moved to Norfolk, VA, and then Charleston, SC taking on the role of a Navy wife with the first of their three children. In 1960 she and Jonathan moved to Concord and took up residence in an old Keyes family farmhouse amongst the working hay fields, cow pastures, and barns where they would remain for 58 years. Though she loved her Concord home dearly, perhaps Judys favorite spot on earth was her summer home at the family camp on Lake Champlain in northern Vermont near the Canadian border. She revelled in the changing condition of the lake as weather systems crossed the open expanse of water, and as the wind went from calm to howling gale. She could often be found sitting in the cedar-shaded belvedere looking west over the lake, gazing at the distant Adirondacks and watching the sail boats plying their way through the waves. Though Judy was never gainfully employed, she made significant contributions in making the fine arts and culture accessible to a wide array of people. She was active for many years in the Concord Art Association and served as president of both the Board of Overseers and the Guild of Volunteers of the Concord Museum. But it was her more than 25-year association with the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston where Judy made her greatest impact. In 1984 she was accepted as one of the 70 members of what was then called the Ladies Committee, now known as the MFA Associates, which is responsible for the museums member events, gallery tours, and instruction. Though never trained in computers, she was a lifelong early adopter and acquired one of the first IBM PCs. She leveraged her organically acquired skills to personally pioneer the implementation of computers into the MFAs member and educational events, guiding the organization into the digital age. Ultimately, she served her single four-year term with such distinction that she was elected to serve as the organizations president beginning in 1990. Prior to taking on this leadership role, Judy became an MFA gallery instructor, joining a dedicated team of volunteers who provided art education to Boston school students. Following her four year term as president of the MFA Associates, Judy returned to her role as gallery instructor for another 18 years when her health could no longer support the vigorous physical demands of the job. Because of the breadth of her contributions to the MFA, she was named an Honorary Overseer. Judy had a uniquely curious mind, always eager to expand her knowledge on whatever field of inquiry was in front of her, be it family history, ancient Egypt, or the newest Apple Watch. She also had an adventurous spirit: camping up and down Lake Champlain on the couples pontoon boat, motor scootering the backroads of Massachusetts, and travelling to many continents. Judy was the caring matriarch of her family, both Button and Keyes. She was the organizer of most all family gatherings, and was custodian of the family history, the genealogy and myriad stories. She deeply loved her extended family, and they in turn loved her back. A private service will be held, and a memorial gathering will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made instead to the Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. Arrangements are under the care of Dee Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Concord. To share a remembrance or to send a condolence in her online guestbook, please visit www.DeeFuneralHome.com.
Published in The Concord Journal from Mar. 29 to Apr. 12, 2018
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