Judith C. Larson DiMario passed away peacefully on January 17, 2024, in the comfort of her home in Fayston. Judy was born in New York City on January 15, 1936, [during a citywide blackout] to Gunnar and Alberta Larson of Tarrytown, NY. Judy spent her early childhood in Tarrytown and Mamaroneck, NY. With the divorce of her parents and untimely death of her father, she moved to Duchess County, NY, living in the towns of Rhinebeck and Redhook. In her teens, Judy was fascinated with horses and became locally recognized for her horsemanship and training. Riding her own horses, she competed in many county and state championships, she was especially skilled in hunting and jumping classes. At one time, she stabled seven horses at the family farm in Rhinebeck. She is also reported to have “had a lot of boyfriends”!

After graduating from Red Hook High School in 1953, she attended the State University of New York at Albany, earning a BS in teaching followed by a Master’s Program in French at Columbia University with extended studies at Purdue and the Sorbonne in Paris. In her 20s, Judy lived and worked in France and Germany before returning to the United States to teach in several high schools in New York City and Westchester County, New York. In her early 30s, she briefly changed careers and became a buyer for several fashionable New York stores, including Bloomingdale’s.

In her mid 30s, Judy returned to teaching and taught French for many years at Scarsdale High School in New York. In 1970 she met Phil DiMario at “Phil’s Texaco” in Clarkstown [Rockland County] NY. They had two sons, Marc and Andy, and were married in 1975. Together with Phil’s son Philip, they lived together as a family on a 5-acre [former] chicken farm in Clarkstown. While living in Rockland and raising young children, Judy became involved in many local organizations, serving the region and its people, from Audubon Society to Rockland Citizens for Safe Energy, she was always engaged in her community. She achieved “Woman of the Year” more than once from multiple organizations.

In the early 1970s Judy and her family began traveling to the Mad River Valley in their free time to ski at Mad River Glen and escape “the rat race” as she called it. Over a three-year period, the DiMarios built a 16-foot x 26-foot house in Fayston, Judy and her family could be found there most weekends. By 1980, the Clarkstown/New City area became the true model of urban sprawl and in 1985, they decided to move permanently to The Valley. They built a thoughtful addition on their little house in Fayston where Judy lived until her passing. While living in The Valley, Judy used her people skills to coordinate countless groups, events, and generally help other people and the environment. She also served two terms in the Vermont Legislature and drove school bus for Fayston School.

Judy’s other interests included gardening, houseplants, downhill skiing, “reading the newspaper,” camping, traveling, and driving big pickup trucks. She also had a lifelong love for photography. Judy was a pro at capturing unusual natural landscapes in unique contrast or lighting and her unique photos hang in many places around the country. Judy’s favorite place in the world was her home, baking bread, cooking, or watching wildlife out the window, she would always choose her home over any other place.  

Judy is survived by her sons, Andy DiMario (47) and his wife Loretta of Fayston, VT, Marc DiMario (50) and his wife Micki also of Fayston, VT, four grandchildren; Abigail, Drew, Zennor, Finn, one great-grandchild; Phillip, and a brother Tom Larson (76) of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Judy is also survived by Rick and Linda Kessler (Albany, NY) and Sheri Kessler (Boulder, CO), Judy's "step kids" who maintained a continued relationship with her and are grateful for her open-hearted presence throughout their lives.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 10, at 10 a.m. at the Round Barn in Waitsfield. Please make donations to the Mad River Valley Community Fund in lieu of flowers.