Former Southborough librarian Judy Williams-Thornton passed away on May 15. Judy became Southborough’s librarian in 1972, and stayed in the position for more than 30 years. She later moved to Yarmouthport.
She is survived by her husband, Richard Thornton, of Yarmouthport; her daughter, Kristen Caira and her husband, Greg Caira, of Marshfield; her son, Eric Williams and his wife, K.C. Myers of Wellfleet, her granddaughters, Diana and Tess Williams, and her former husband, Robert Williams, of Dennis.
Donations in her memory may be made to the Friends of the Southborough Public Library, 25 Main St., Southborough, MA, 01772.
Services will be private.
I’m very sorry to hear of the loss of mrs. Williams
…Mrs. Williams left a marvelous impression on me from my youth growing up in Southborough. She helped me understand the importance of learning — and the care and respect that went into the Southborough Library. Although it has been many years since I have seen her (or the Sounthborough Library), the memory of her and that special place will always be there for me.
Whether it was to study for a special project or just stopping in during a holiday weekend or vacation, the Southborough Library was epitomized by Mrs. Williams.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family especially Eric and Kristen – and Mr. Williams.
I love this photo of Mrs. Williams! I will miss that incredibly warm smile. Whether it was on Sundays at St. Mark’s or returning a pile of over due books to what seemed to be her second home. The Library! Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends.
What this short piece does not say is that Judy grew up on Framingham Road, right next to James Higgiston, first principal of Algonquin who spent many years on the Library Board of Trustees, and not so far from Tom McAuliffe, our long-time selectman. She has many stories to tell about the hazards of growing up next to your school’s principal, about the doings of the several McAuliffes, and, in fact, about just almost anything that ever happened in town or, better yet, what was happening that very day or week. I always knew who to talk to if I wanted the background or real story on town news (not always the kind that gets in the papers). She had a terrific sense of humor and loved her library and her home town—pronounced almost as one syllable, as I can hear her say it now: “Southbro.”
Judy I’ll miss seeing you at DPM and Peterson’s, running into you was like being back in Southborough. Rest in Peace, hopefully there is a big library in the sky that needs some assistance.
Donna, Jim was principal at Peter’s High School long before he was at Algonquin. I am pretty sure he was principal when my father, aunt and uncle were at Peter’s High School.
The Scattergood family lived in Soutyhborough for 34+ years. I believe that all of us shared the feeling that the Library was the most important building in town – and Judy played a very large part in making it so.
Judy came into my life back in 1965 when, as newlyweds, my husband and I moved into our first apartment on the Boston Post Rd. in Marlborough. My memories of Judy were always of her wonderful smile, quick sense of humor, and a wonderful friend.
We last saw each other when I was back east for my father’s funeral and, as always, had an opportunity to have lunch and catch up. If it weren’t for other dear friends still living in Marlborough, I would never have learned of this great loss.
In recent years, I had been trying to find Judy as we had lost touch. I knew she had moved to Wellfleet, but didn’t have a phone number.
It thrills me to know that the library has honored her in such a wonderful way. She is so deserving of such an honor and I know she would be humbled by it.
Judy, my darling girl, I will always hold you in my heart. Thanks for the wonderful memories and please give my husband Buster a big hug from me when you meet him on the other side.
I’m not sure that either Eric or Kristen remember me, but I want you all to know that you have my deepest sympathy. We have all been blessed to have had the experience of Judy in our lives.
My family actually lived in town for 46 years, not 34. I can say in all honesty that it is indeed deeply saddening to know that she’s passed. There were small but very important parts of that town that some of us will always carry forward – and her smiling face is one of those. That small building was always welcoming, and Judy was essential to that. So, for whatever it’s worth, here’s a tip of the hat to her. The town’s worse off for her loss.