Julia ‘Judy’ Kolhede was born and raised in Sonora, by her parents, Dr. George Chauncey Wrigley and Adelina Rolleri Wrigley.
Judy was very proud of her rich California heritage, often reliving her childhood in the Gold Rush Country in Calaveras County. Her children were blessed with tales of her colorful family and stories from her life, such as watching the Jumping Frog Jubilee parade from the porch of her Grandma’s hotel balcony in Angels Camp and seeing cowboys ride on the Rolleri Ranch.
Judy had a love of and great talent for fine art. She first attended UC Berkeley, and ultimately graduated from San Jose State with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She went on to teach art in Salinas public schools. Painting was a lifelong passion and joy for her. Three of Judy’s grandchildren are gifted with her talent and went on to also achieve degrees in the arts.
She met the man who would become her husband, Joseph ‘Joe’ Kolhede, where young people met in those days, at a dance. Though both were “head over heels” for each other, marriage would have to wait while Joe served in the 101 st Airborne in World War II. Their love affair was kept alive by a series of passionate letters during the war, which Judy’s children are so grateful to still have.
Joe and Judy were married in San Francisco on Oct. 3, 1945. They subsequently lived briefly in Walnut Creek, many years in Lafayette, and settled in Alamo in 1968.
After Joe’s death in 1998, Judy carried on, devoting herself to being a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother full-time. She showered others with unconditional love and kindness until the day she died. Judy was forever lifted and nourished by her lifelong Catholic faith. Though unable to attend mass for many years, she never went a day without saying the rosary, always praying for others.
Judy was predeceased by her two precious sisters, Maria Wilson and Angeline ‘Babe’ Blackburn, and cherished daughter-in-law, Terry Kolhede.
Judy is survived by her four children: Kurt Kolhede, Eric (Debbie) Kolhede, Jody (Gary) Johnson, and Brent (Gina) Kolhede; nine grandchildren: Erin (Jim) Bullington, Kevin Kolhede, Jennifer (Chris) Schneider, Jeffrey Kolhede, Chris Johnson, Julie Johnson, Anna Kolhede, Michael (Kayla) Kolhede, Matthew Kolhede, and Rena Kolhede; five great grandchildren: Dante Johnson, Summer Johnson, Joseph Schneider, Jacqueline Schneider, and Collette Bullington; and four nieces, Lynn Bartee, Annette Riede, Marsha La Torre and Gail Minton Walker.
A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, June 6, 2019, at the Queen of Heaven Cemetery Chapel, 1965 Reliez Valley Road, Lafayette, CA.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Judy's memory to the St. Mary’s College Guild, 1928 St. Mary’s Road, PMB 4300, Moraga, CA 94575-4300