Judith Lynn Gulcynski went home to Jesus on October 21, 2020 at the age of 59, on a very peaceful snowy evening. Judy was the foundation for many friends, family and students, her gift of communication helped guide her through life. She continued to be strong for everyone as she completed her life path.
Judy was born to Louis and Ann (Duncan) Kunkel on March 6, 1961 in Erlanger, KY. As a young child, she enjoyed her extended family and learning about their life in Kentucky. In 1974, her family relocated to a dairy farm in rural Thorp, WI. She met her future husband, Doug Gulcynski, at Thorp Middle School, and they later attended their high school prom together in 1978. After high school, Judy attended UW-Eau Claire, graduating with degrees in Special, Elementary and Secondary Education (K-12). Judy was united in marriage to Douglas R. Gulcynski on July 18, 1981 at St. Bernard-St. Hedwig's Catholic Church in Thorp.
She began her teaching career at Stanley-Boyd, and taught Special Education for 21 years. Judy continued her education, receiving a Masters degree in Administration from St. Thomas University. She was an Elementary Principal for 2 years and taught 4th grade for 2 years, earning Teacher of the Year in 2001. The Stanley School District was starting an at-risk program for students in the district, and Judy was asked to run the program. She became involved in the lives of her students for 8 years at "Open Doors Academy". She loved her students and they loved her. Her program was extended to four other area school districts with great success.
Judy loved traveling with family and friends. She also enjoyed working with flowers in the yard, painting, photography, going to auctions and craft sales, visiting many area wineries, and working on craft projects with her friends and students.
She is survived by her husband, Doug, of 39 years; her children: Jeremy (Lisa) Gulcynski, Cassandra Gulcynski and Ross Gulcynski; 2 grandchildren: Jacob Gulcynski and Anthony Person; her parents: Louis and Ann Kunkel; her siblings: Dan (Jeannie) Kunkel, Pam (Larry) Miller, Amy (Chris) Kamholz, and Ron (Allison) Kunkel; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Funeral services were held on Friday, October 30, 2020 at St. Bernard-St. Hedwig's Catholic Church in Thorp, WI. Rev. Don Meuret officiated and burial followed in Old St. Hedwig's Catholic Cemetery in Thorp.
The Sentinel & Rural News covers the news and events of Clark County and southern Taylor County, as well as regional news that affects those areas.