Judith (Judy) Riordan, a cherished Syracuse, New York resident, aged 87, passed away peacefully on December 26, 2023. Judy's journey began in Malone, New York, born on March 8, 1936, to William Brown Conroy, Jr. and Veronica Nash Conroy. Her early years in Malone were a prelude to an adventurous childhood, marked by moves to Arkansas and California due to her father's service in the Army Air Corps during World War II before returning to Malone post-war.
The family later relocated to Potsdam, NY, where Judy's academic and personal growth flourished. She graduated from Potsdam High School, subsequently pursuing a degree in nursing at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York. It was there she established friendships that would last a lifetime.
Her career began in Onondaga County, where she served as a public health nurse, caring for the needs of the Native American community. It was there her passion for nursing and care for others shone brightly.
Judy's personal life took a joyous turn when she met her future husband, Jerry Riordan, through her brother, Bill. Judy and Jerry's love blossomed into a beautiful family, raising three sons and two daughters in the University section of Syracuse. Their life was rich with travel, from summer adventures on Cape Cod to memorable journeys in their iconic orange VW bus along the East Coast.
Professionally, Judy dedicated her skills to the Syracuse City School District as a school nurse, simultaneously serving as a committed parishioner and volunteer at St. Therese Church (now All Saints). Judy and Jerry instilled the value of education in their children, proudly seeing them attend prestigious universities.
Embracing lifelong learning, Judy earned her Master’s degree from Cortland State in her early 50s, leading to a pivotal role as the Director of the School Nurse Program for the Syracuse City School District until her retirement.
As a grandmother, Judy's love knew no bounds. She traveled extensively to be part of her grandchildren's lives, from attending births to creating cherished memories with each one.
With their children grown and now far away, Judy and Jerry’s love for the city of Syracuse never waned. As Syracuse University fans, they enjoy football games from their season ticket seats, creating cherished friendships while rooting for the Orange.
Retirement opened up opportunities for them to travel extensively across the United States and internationally. Thanks to their children's careers in the airline industry, they had the flexibility to embark on global journeys at a moment's notice. They traced their family heritage by exploring Ireland and Italy, and their travels also led them to England, Greece, and Germany. Judy held a special fondness for their European trips, particularly the visits to numerous magnificent cathedrals.
In the past few years, Judy and Jerry came to treasure more peaceful times, eagerly receiving family visits at their home and going out to dine as loyal customers of local family-run and newly-established restaurants and pubs.
Judy's final days were spent surrounded by loved ones. She spoke with several of her children and grandchildren on Christmas Day, showing her matriarchal spirit and love for them all. In her last hours, with Jerry and children by her side, they recited the Rosary, reflecting her enduring faith. She passed peacefully, leaving a legacy of love and devotion.
Judy is preceded in death by her parents, William and Veronica, and her brother, Bill Conroy.
Judy is survived by her husband of 61 years, Jerome Riordan, and her children: Mary Alice Mita (Ron) of Stevenson Ranch, CA; Matthew Riordan (Katie) of Canyon Country, CA; Bridget Riordan (Chris) of Old Saybrook, CT; John Riordan of New York, NY; William Riordan (Amber) of Castle Rock CO; and Thomas DesRosier (Laurie) of Boston MA. She leaves ten grandchildren: Ryan (Sarah), Riley (Paige), Connor, Georgia (Phil), Allison, August, Rory, Liam, Jacob, and Luke. In addition, she leaves numerous nieces and nephews from her brother Bill Conroy’s family and her sister-in-law Beverly Morgan's family.
Family and friends are invited to gather on January 3rd, 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM at Burns-Garfield Funeral Home, 3175 E. Genesee Street, Syracuse.
A funeral Mass celebrating Judy’s remarkable life will be held on Thursday, January 4th, 2024, at 1:00 PM at All Saints Church, 1340 Lancaster Ave, with burial at St. Mary’s Cemetery to follow.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Syracuse City School District Educational Foundation [scsdfoundation.com].