DUNNINGTON, JUDITH

DUNNINGTON, Dr. Judith Staley, 78, peacefully departed this life at home on October 8, 2019. Judy was born on October 31, 1940, in Oklahoma City, Okla., to Glenn Harland Staley and Robby Mae (Greer) Staley. Her younger sister, Linda Carol Staley, joined them four years later. The Staleys moved to Arlington, Va., where Judy learned to nurture her love of her country from a near proximity to its nation's capital. After graduating from Washington and Lee High School in Arlington, Judy attended college at Miami University in Ohio, pursuing a degree in Romance languages with plans of being a simultaneous interpreter for the United Nations. Never one to be limited in her interests, Judy transferred to the Medical College of Virginia to complete her undergraduate degree in Physical Therapy. She moved to Nashville, Tenn., to practice physical therapy at Vanderbilt University Hospital for six years. While serving as the head of in-patient PT, Judy was encouraged by a neurologist to apply to medical school. She returned to Richmond, Va., to enroll at her alma mater, MCV. As a first year medical student in the fall of 1968, Judy met and fell quickly in love with Gan Dunnington, one of her dashing classmates. By holiday break, the pair were relating their plans to marry, and on June 8, 1969, they tied the knot. In January of their fourth year of medical school, Judy delivered the first of their five children. After starting practice as an attending nephrologist at MCV, Judy was appointed Assistant Chief of Staff for Education at McGuire Veterans Administration Hospital, where she continued to practice as a clinician, educator and administrator. For the duration of her career, Judy heroically balanced her practice of medicine with managing a bustling household of seven. Judy retired from her medical career in 1987, so that she could stay home and tend to her large, young family. During this time she coached soccer teams, served as room mother in classrooms and held leadership positions with Collegiate School Board of Directors, Richmond Academy of Medicine Auxiliary, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine Admissions and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, to name but a few. While at home, she was able to share many passions with her children: her favorite musical showtunes (Oklahoma! and South Pacific among her top choices), played loudly in the kitchen while she sang along, her culinary talent served up every evening for her large family (ranging from Chef Boyardee Pizza to Boeuf Bourguignon), her dance lessons (Shag and Jitterbug, especially) ensued occasionally for kids choosing to play sick and her devotion to road travel--highlighting the flora and fauna and architecture and gas prices of every county, between Boston and Orlando. Judy worked tirelessly to cultivate in her family a curiosity about the world around them and a love of learning she practiced on a daily basis. Judy enjoyed a big party, a Duke basketball game, a week at the beach, an episode of Jeopardy!, Seinfeld or Northern Exposure, a bridge game with good friends, a meal at a French restaurant, a shopping excursion, an art museum, a tennis match, a good book, talk radio, a family holiday, a Trivial Pursuit contest and a standard poodle (the more neurotic, the better). She was uncompromising about what she loved and she fiercely protected what she claimed as her own. Judy is survived by her loving husband of 50 years, Gansevoort Hurlbut Dunnington, M.D. of Richmond, Va.; her five children, Ann Elizabeth Dunnington of Fredericksburg, Va., Gansevoort Hurlbut Dunnington Jr. (Bridget) of St. Helena, Calif., Kathryn Dunnington Miller (Joseph) of San Mateo, Calif., David Glenn Dunnington of Atlanta, Ga. and Jeffrey Gordon Dunnington (Anne) of Richmond, Va.; her nine grandchildren, Caroline and Sophie Loncar, Ella, Gan III and Reagan Dunnington, Emily and Joey Miller, and William and Molly Dunnington; and her favorite dogs, Edgar and Sharkey. A private graveside service was held at Judy's final resting place in Hollywood Cemetery on October 12, 2019. The family will be hosting friends to celebrate Judy's extraordinary life on November 2, 2019, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Country Club of Virginia. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Dr. Judy Dunnington's memory to the MCV Foundation, Box 980234, Richmond, Va. 23298 or to the VMFA Foundation, 200 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd., Richmond, Va. 23220.

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