Kind and gracious to all she met, Julie always saw the good in everyone. Her family grew over the years to include neighbors and friends as well as actual relatives. She was full of life, a terrific sister and sister-in-law, and a wonderful aunt and great aunt. Julie never wasted an opportunity to share her love and encouragement, empowering her nieces and nephews to follow their dreams. Julie was born in Bellingham, Washington, on June 1, 1943, to Fern and Rev. Larry Gudmestad. By the time she moved to New York in 1968, she'd already lived in Minot, North Dakota, Boston, and Minneapolis. Joe and Julie met as next-door neighbors in 1977, became best friends, and married in 1985. Ever well-organized, Julie Gudmestad Laudicina passed away peacefully on Friday, November 19, 2021, after a short illness. She passed the day after a nephew's birthday, the day before a cousin's birthday, and on a day when her brother, Kim, and sister-in-law, Kay, were visiting from Minneapolis, and were able to join Joe at Julie's bedside. Julie was preceded in death by her parents and her younger sister Jan "Spike" Tousey (Charley). Julie is survived by her husband of 36 years, Joe, her brother, Kim Gudmestad (Kay), sister Joan Gudmestad, sisters-in-law, Maria, Teri, and Dotti, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews. Julie embraced her Norwegian heritage. She understood the traditions, history, holidays, and foods. Christmas would always include lefse (a Norwegian "tortilla" made from potatoes) and krumkake (a cookie made with a krumkake iron). Julie had a sweet tooth, but not for cake; cookies were her favorite, especially any made with toffee or chocolate. Julie was a family historian. She brought many Laudicina family members together when she and Joe married; and used Ancestry.com
to build the Laudicina family tree. Julie also used Ancestry.com
to take information collected by her parents' extensive ancestry research "out of musty files into an electronic format," which allowed her to build many connections between her Norway and US Gudmestad relatives. Continuing a family tradition, as well as following her own dreams, Julie studied Art and English at Augsburg University in Minneapolis, where she embraced her artistic nature and painted in oils and sculpted in clay. Years later, she drew plans for cross-stitch designs that she made into gifts. Whenever you visited Julie and Joe, you'd find their home and dining table perfectly decorated for the season or holiday. The Christmas tree might be decorated all in red one year, blue in another, or with small remembrances from their travels in yet another. And each year, the kids had to find the hidden pickle. Julie loved everything related to the British royal family. She and her mother got up early in the morning, dressed in pearls and fancy hats, to watch Princess Di get married. Julie collected teacups, tins, and other memorabilia. She called it her "queen stuff." She read every book with a British theme-historical, fiction, and biography-and could tell you who was monarch when, how they came to power and how they lost it, and everything in between. Who knew there's a magazine called "Majesty"!?! A generous supporter of many charities, Julie was a member of the P.E.O. (Philanthropic Education Organization) of Staten Island where she chaired numerous fundraising programs and was the recording secretary and chaplain. She worked for the Nobel Maritime Collection and supported their fundraising efforts. She also supported her alma mater, Augsburg University. Helping people become their best selves was a theme throughout her career. For 14 years, Julie helped develop the student curriculum as an associate dean at Pace University. In 1977 Julie graduated from Polytechnic Institute of NYU with an M.S. in Organizational Behavior and went on to train corporate leaders for AT&T/Bell Labs for 19 years. If she was reading the New York Times and found an interesting article about a possible career choice, she'd take the time to cut it out and send it on to the appropriate person. Julie even used the time spent at home during the 2020 Covid 19 pandemic to have "window school" with the two little girls next door. Julie would put pictures of animals and things in the window for the girls to identify, and other pictures to help them learn to count. Julie's true personal success was as a celebrant. From an early age Julie's interest in ritual and tradition was evident when, at age nine, she "married" her six-year-old brother to various friends. She became a certified Life-Cycle celebrant after retiring from a fulfilling career focused on developing leaders. An eloquent speaker and storyteller, she was able to draw from her many life experiences to create and conduct over 400 civil wedding ceremonies, each unique and personalized for the couple getting married. Julie loved to move around and see new places. She took her first trip to Norway in 1967, and continued to explore for the rest of her life. She was a cruise enthusiast and traveled with Joe to many countries in Europe. She visited every state in the US during her career with AT&T, and in her personal life. Julie also traveled all over New Jersey, where she worked at just about every AT&T site that existed. She lived a full life. She was a bright light in our lives. She is gone too soon. We love you and will miss you, Julie. A celebration will be held in Julie's honor on January 16, 2022, from 10 AM to 1 PM, at the Noble Maritime Collection, 2nd floor, located at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, Building D, 1000 Richmond Terrace # 8, Staten Island, NY 10301. The family requests that all attendees be vaccinated. In keeping with Julie's commitment to leadership development in young women, the family suggests contributions in Julie's name to the non-profit P.E.O. (Philanthropic Education Organization)-Staten Island Chapter. Donations may be sent in care of Elizabeth Davis, Treasurer, PEO Chapter Z, 606 Kent Avenue, Teaneck, NJ, 07666 Matthew Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc. 2508 Victory Blvd. Staten Island, NY 10314 (718) 761-5544
Published by Staten Island Advance from Dec. 1 to Dec. 2, 2021.