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1947 - 2010 Obituary Condolences

Judy Anne Zachai passed away unexpectedly at her home Monday, November 22, 2010. She is survived by her daughter, Max Zachai, and countless loving friends.

Judy was born in Greensburg, PA in 1947 but moved west as a young woman and adopted Chico as her home in 1971. Upon her arrival she began what became a 39-year career with CSU, Chico. She worked for the Office of Institutional Research for a decade, worked a year as a research psychologist with the Navy, then joined the Office of Testing and Research. She directed this office with integrity, passion and dedication even beyond her retirement this February. She made statewide and national contributions to her field.

Judy's intellect shined from an early age. She graduated high school at 16, and went on to receive her Bachelors degree with honors in Psychology from the University of Maryland, a Masters in Psychology from CSU, Chico, and a Doctorate in Education from the University of San Francisco.

Beyond her formal education, Judy was a scholar whose boundless curiosity led her to a wide range of interests, from forensic psychology to French history to modern dance. Judy loved language, was an avid reader and a collector of information; to her a good book was a sacred thing.

She also loved movies, and their language became a part of her language. She often spoke in nothing but quotes, and characters were like old friends. Her daughter was even named after a non-existent character in "Annie Hall." She loved dance--all kinds, watching it and doing it. There was no bad dance--only good dance and better dance. She herself was adept at the adagio.

To be a cat in the Zachai household was a wonderful thing. She loved them as the family members they were, and delighted in their varying personalities.

She loved the Mendocino Headlands. She always said there were ocean people and non-ocean people: she was an ocean person. She was happiest staring at the ocean.

She had the rarest of gifts in an adult: she hadn't forgotten how to play. She loved a good inside joke. She was a generous, kind and loyal friend. There has never been a mother who loved her daughter more, and it showed.

She dreamed of retiring to Martha's Vineyard.

A celebration of Judy's life will be held on Sunday, December 12th at 3pm, located at the Chico Cabaret 2201 Pillsbury Rd, Suite 174, Chico CA 95926 . In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Butte Humane Society.
Published in Chico Enterprise-Record from Nov. 27 to Nov. 28, 2010
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