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Obituary of Judith A. Olson
On Tuesday, May 23rd Judith Anne Olson (Burkavage) of Falls Church, Virginia entered into the arms of her Heavenly Father. She was 81 years old. Judy was born and raised in Queens, NY, the daughter of the late Anne (Gaveda) and Clement Burkavage . Growing up, Judy was surrounded by a strong community of friends and family including her brothers Bob (Robert) and Jim (James). She enjoyed playing the piano, listening to music and dancing with her friends. Judy attended Martin Van Buren high school where she was an honors student and joined the Future Nurse Club. While Judy’s quiet demeanor may suggest otherwise, Judy enjoyed interacting with people and she chose to pursue a career in nursing. She attended Mary Immaculate Nursing School and graduated after completing a rigorous course of study. While attending nursing school she started to date Ken (Kenneth) Olson and they spent most weekends together. On June 8th 1963, Judy and Ken were married at the Church of the Incarnate in Queens Village.
After completing nursing school, Judy briefly worked as a professional nurse. However, it was not long after she started her career that she found her true calling in life as a mother and started a family with Ken. Judy spent the prime of her life being the consummate mother to four children with 13-years separating the oldest from the youngest. The strength of her family growing up and the rigor of nursing school prepared Judy well for the many roles she assumed: manager, planner, psychiatrist, nurse, tutor, taxi driver, shopper and cook. When Judy was not guiding four children through public school she enjoyed reading and sewing. Summers were often spent vacationing on the Outer Banks in North Carolina or visiting with family on Long Island.
With three of four children off to college, Judy and Ken left Holland Pennsylvania were they lived for 15 years and moved to Annapolis, Maryland. Judy and Ken spent the next decade embracing life near the water. While Ken enjoyed the challenge and excitement of sailing, Judy preferred sunset cruises and sunbathing. In her semi-retirement years Judy worked as a librarian in Anne Arundel County Maryland where she was beloved by her colleagues and library patrons. It is during this time, that Judy found her second calling in life as she was a grandmother of six.
During their golden years, Judy and Ken were fortunate to travel to many countries including Italy, France, Russia and Lithuania. As empty nesters Judy and Ken ultimately chose Jacksonville, Florida for their retirement. Having left the sail boat in Annapolis, they enjoyed the proximity to the ocean spending their time exploring many of the beaches and restaurants in the area. Together they took ballroom banding lessons. While Ken golfed, Judy spent her at the pool with friends.
Judy and Ken enjoyed many wonderful years together in retirement until health challenges began to surface. In 2017 they moved to the Kensington, an assisted living center, in Falls Church, Virginia. The last years were very challenging for Judy and Ken, with dementia taking its toll on Judy and Ken falling ill to pulmonary fibrosis. Despite these challenges, they found community at the Kensington and at Saint James Catholic Church.
In 2018, Judy’s beloved husband of 55 years, Ken, passed away. Judy is survived by three of her four children: Eric Robert of Reston, Virginia; Mark Kenneth (Karla) of Mercer Island, Washington; and Kristen Anne (Greg) Pruitt of Ocean Pines, Maryland. Timothy Patrick, preceded Judy in death in 2018. Judy is survived by her brother Robert and wife Una of Ridgefield, Connecticut. Her brother James, preceded her in death in 2017. Judy was a grandmother to five granddaughters Heather Anne, Kai-Lan Ava, An-Ya Mai, Helen Elise and Kaisa Nicole; and one grandson, Avery Mark.
Funeral services for Judy will be held at Saint James Catholic Church in Falls Church, Virginia on Saturday June 10th at 10am. A visitation will be held at the Advent Funeral Home in Falls Church, Virginia on Friday, June 9th from 5pm to 8pm and again on Saturday, June 10th from 8:30 to 9:00am.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions in memory of Judy to the Dementia Society of America by mail to PO Box 600, Doylestown, PA 18901, or online www.DementiaSociety.org/donate.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Judith Olson, please visit Tribute Store