To have known Judy Aakhus was both a unique and memorable experience. Many of her patients may have encountered Judy’s sweet and nurturing side, while her loved ones also knew and loved her dark humor and dry wit. However she came at you, she was perfectly JUDY.
Judy was born in Seattle, WA, in November of 1952. She and her family moved around frequently during Judy’s early childhood. Her father, Jerome, was a naval officer in three wars.
During Judy’s teen years, the Aakhus family finally settled in Woodland Hills, California, where Judy had the time and opportunity to meet and keep a large circle of close lifelong friends. Those bonds made long ago stay strong to this day.
Her parents, Jerome and Kathleen Aakhus, raised Judy with a strong sense of duty and responsibility, that she often rebelled against.
Judy was an artist in ceramics.
Her first career was as a graphic designer, and she worked for magazines and businesses all over the Los Angeles area.
In 1988, she moved to Santa Barbara to raise her only child. There, Judy studied to be a radiologic technician and obtained her degree. From that point on, she was a proud member of the Santa Barbara community as a medical worker, mother, and aunt to her one niece and five nephews.
One of Judy’s favorite places to visit was El Museo de las Momias, (The Museum of the Mummies) in Guanajuato, Mexico.
Another of Judy’s passions was music. She loved to go to concerts, especially when accompanied by friends. There is a case to be made Judy Aakhus was Bob Dylan’s biggest fan. Her enthusiasm for his artistry ran so deeply that it is rumored she even named her daughter, Echo, after one of his former girlfriends (although she did first meet Echo’s father in Echo Park, Los Angeles).
Judy loved walking and hiking Santa Barbara’s hills and beaches, picking up shells, glass and many other treasures.
In Judy’s last weeks, she suffered a severe decline, yet still maintained an ability to dramatically roll her eyes which showed exactly what she thought of any situation. Even so, her caretakers remained so enamored with her, they decorated her hair with flowers, and even painted her nails pink (things that she would have previously hated, but somehow perfectly fit the absurdity of her dire situation).
Judy is survived by her only daughter Echo Hansen, brother Greg, sister-in-law Luanne, niece Remi, and nephews Zach, Kacy, Randy, Mac, and Tim.
Judy Aakhus will be remembered as an incredible force of highly refined nature– tenacious, artistic, aggressive at times, yet caring and attentive to whomever she chose to surround herself with. She will be missed by everyone who was ever close to her or was fortunate to have shared time with her, no matter how brief.
Memorial is planned for March 18th, 2023.