Judith Ann Steele Goetemann
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Judith Ann Steele Goetemann
Judith was born in Gloucester on June 11, 1935, the eldest child of Elizabeth (Betty) Verna Lawson and Owen Eldridge Steele, Judy earned an Associate of Arts degree at Sullins College, Bristol, Virginia in 1955. She later studied at the Boston Museum School and at The Romano School of Art, in Gloucester, where she met her late husband of 55 years, Gordon. She later earned a BA in Art and Secondary Education at the College of St. Benedict in Minnesota.
Judy loved her home in Gloucester. All her life she told stories of her years growing up on Eastern Ave, next to her elementary school, where her teachers nurtured and praised her for her artistic skills, and across from the lily pond where she learned to skate. She studied classical piano from a young age and she took weekly art lessons with Mrs. Alice Beech Winter whom she loved. Later she lived on Beacon Hill in Gloucester. Her bedroom had a see-all view of the city, the boulevard, the park and the harbor below. It was her private kingdom where she could close the door and read her books, listen to Liszt and Chopin, and daydream. On Saturdays she rode horses in Essex.
Travel was one of Judy’s great passions. When she wasn’t on an academic sojourn with Gordon and students in Europe she managed to find her way around the world, from Guatemala to Viet Nam and from Mali to Kenya and Morocco, extensively photographing the people, the landscapes and the textiles as she ventured on. These expeditions fed her intellect and her imagination and challenged her artistic perceptions through the long winters she spent in her studio. All said, her favorite trip was the annual family trek back out to Gloucester when the school year ended. Sad to leave her many dear friends in MN, she returned to them more a contented friend in the fall. Judy was so much at home in her gallery and relished engaging the public in her public/private space. She was a lover of people, of ideas, of cultures, and of thoughtful discourse. She was excited by each person who entered her gallery. She was excited by possibility. She had a great zest for life and a bottomless curiosity. She was also a very gracious host.
Through the course of her career, Judy achieved national recognition through the media of batik and silk dye painting and exhibited in Boston, Seattle, Chicago, New York and Munich. Though Batik was her most notable medium, her fascination led her to study form, light and composition through a life-long practice of live figure drawing. Judy was an accomplished pianist as well, filling her home with her ever-practicing chords and trills of Chopin, Liszt and Beethoven.
Judy is survived by her daughter, Elisabeth and husband, Garrett Scholes, sons, David, Mark and Chris Goetemann, grandchildren, Theodore, Adelle and Owen Goetemann, Ava and Will Scholes and sisters, Jane Legendre, Norma Parisi, Dawn Dexter and Elisabeth Steele. Judy was predeceased by her parents, her husband Gordon and her brother, Owen Steele.
Visiting hours will be held on Sunday, February 17, from 3 to 6 p.m. at Greely Funeral Home, 212 Washington St. Gloucester, MA 01930. Family and friends are cordially invited. A celebration of life will be held in early June. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Rocky Neck Art Colony or to the Goetemann Artist in Residency Program, 6 Wonson Street, Gloucester, MA 01930. Online condolences may be given at: www.greelyfuneralhome.com.
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