Judith Jencks Ray of Fox Chapel, passed away on Sunday, April 19, 2020, after a courageous fight with cancer. She is survived by her husband, Richard L. Ray, and her sons, Gregory C. Ray of Atlanta, Ga. and Douglas W. Ray of Quincy, Mass.. She was predeceased by her father, Kenneth W. Jencks, and is survived by her mother, Meredith E. Jencks of Smithfield, R.I. and by her brother, Bradford D. Jencks of Honolulu, Hawaii in addition to many more extended family members and friends.
Judy was born in Providence, Rhode Island on April 23, 1947 and was raised in Arnold Mills, a village within the town of Cumberland, R.I.. She worked as an Asst. Professor of Biological Sciences at Old Dominion Univ. before accepting a position as Asst. Professor of Medical Technology at the Univ. of Pittsburgh. It was at Pitt where she met her husband, an Orthopedic Surgeon, who was the physician for the university’s department of athletics. They were married in her hometown on July 14, 1984.
Judy would go on to dedicate her life to her family. She played an active role in the lives of her two sons supporting their studies at Shady Side Academy and further into college and graduate school as well as through other pursuits. She loved to travel both around the United States and around the world, providing her and the family with many adventures and educational experiences along the way. She was an enthusiastic and skilled gardener, and had a keen interest in the arts including quilting and weaving.
Judy had a particular passion for genealogy and American history and would eventually publish a book on the subject titled Founders and Patriots of the Town of Cumberland, R.I..Through this research on her family’s history, she would discover that she descended from many of the earliest New England families including five Mayflowerpassengers, Rhode Island founder Roger Williams, several accused Salem witches, and Joseph Jencks who built America’s first iron works in 1645.
In high school, she was a Rhode Island state skiing champion. She attended the Univ. of Rhode Island, graduating with a degree in Medical Technology. After college, Judy earned a Master’s Degree in Physiology from Georgetown University and authored several papers in the field of hematology.
Judy was a member of Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church. A memorial service is deferred pending easing of restrictions. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh, Pa., or The New England Historical and Genealogical Society, Boston, Mass..
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