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Judith Ellen Yupcavage

1946 - 2019
Judith Ellen Yupcavage Obituary
Judith Ellen "Judy" Yupcavage, of Hershey, died Sept. 10, 2019, at the age of 73.

She was born Aug. 14, 1946, in Pottsville, to Elizabeth "Betty" Loftus Kerwick and James Edmund Kerwick.

Judy graduated with high honors from Nativity BVM High School in Pottsville in 1964 and then attended Immaculata College in Washington, D.C. She will be remembered by her family and friends for her quick sense of humor, effortless beauty, firm convictions, a passion for social justice and, of course, her signature pearls. While her career began as an investigative journalist and then editor at the Pottsville Republican newspaper, her legacy will be forever grounded in the work she performed to impact the lives of women, children and victims of domestic violence at the local, state and national levels. Her notable achievements during her 27-year career as the director of public policy and communications at the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence include significant contributions to building the statewide network of services for victims, writing and advocating for policies and legislation offering lifesaving options for victims, publishing critical materials and public education reports such as the annual homicide report, and offering her personal support and guidance to countless families of murdered victims. Judy's career inspired many and changed the world for those who needed it most. Her mentoring of the next generation of advocates for victims will also impact families in need for years to come. She will be fondly remembered by co-workers as a renowned baker, a fashion role model, and a quick and marvelous wit. Never one to pass up an adventure or a spontaneous trip, Judy zip-lined high above the trees in the Rocky Mountains, rafted down the Colorado River, bicycled down steep ski slopes in summer, climbed Mount Washington in New Hampshire on her 55th birthday, parasailed above the Atlantic Ocean and rode some pretty wild rollercoasters on summer evenings at Hersheypark. A highlight of her travels is when she found a pink antique porcelain chandelier at a market in Provence, France, and managed to bring it home in multiple pieces and had it successfully reassembled. It proudly hangs above her kitchen sink. Even at the height of her illness, she frequently traveled to Denver to be close to her grandchildren and never missed an opportunity to make them homemade pancakes (as she insisted on making everything from scratch). Most of all, Judy deeply loved her family and would travel near and far to attend recitals, plays, sporting events and weddings.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her beloved son, Benjamin.

She is survived by her husband of 46 years, Jan Yupcavage, of Hershey; son, James Yupcavage, of New York, N.Y., whom she was so proud of; daughter, Bridget Farley and son-in-law, Conor Farley, of Denver, Colo.; and "three of the greatest grandchildren ever," Benjamin, John and Anna Farley, of Denver, who affectionately called her "JuJu." In addition, her sisters, Janey Lohr (widow of Robert Lohr), of Johnstown, and Linda Eckenrode (Jack), of Madison, Conn.; her brother, James Kerwick (Pat), of Cressona; nieces, nephews and cousins, whom she cherished.

Judy handled her sarcoma cancer diagnosis and illness with dignity, courage and grace during her four years of treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. The Yupcavage family would like to thank all of their family, friends, colleagues and neighbors for their tireless support and love as they faced many challenging moments and this final heartbreaking loss. Knowing that she has had such a tremendous impact on all those whom she encountered throughout life has brought them tremendous comfort.

A visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, at the Hoover Funeral Home & Crematory in Hershey, with Mass of Christian Burial being celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, in the St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 359 West Areba Ave., Hershey. Interment will immediately follow in the Hershey Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to the Ben Yupcavage Memorial Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 502, Hershey, PA 17033.

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Published in Republican & Herald on Sept. 12, 2019
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