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University mourns the loss of Judith Stillwell

Amanda Larsh
Assistant News Editor

The University remembered Judith Stillwell, former director of special projects, in a memorial service held in Morgan Auditorium on Monday.

Ms. Stillwell died at the age of 69 on Jan. 19 in Trenton, N. J.

“She was a sweet, bright, lady,” said ULV’s Chief Financial Officer Avo Kechichian.

“She was a gem. She was one of those rare individuals you can not replace,” said Kechichian.

He explained how much respect the faculty, staff and students held for Ms. Stillwell and that her time at La Verne will not easily be forgotten.

Born in Hartford, Conn., to parents Eleanor and Hubert Reynolds on Jan. 7, 1945, Ms. Stillwell was raised in Borden­town, N.J. From there, she moved to California to attend Cal State San Bernardino where she majored in English and graduated with honors.

She married Gerald Stillwell in 1967, and they welcomed their daughter, Sheryl, in 1972.

Ms. Stillwell started her work with the University of La Verne at the College of Law, then in the San Fernando Valley, but moved to the main campus when the law school and main colleges were consolidated.

For the next 24 years, she contributed to the University through her numerous positions, one of which was in the finance office.

Her dedication to her work showed as she was twice named the University’s administrative employee of the year.

“Judy was always ready to help anyone, student, faculty member or administrator who needed her help,” said Al Clark, associate vice president for academic affairs. “She knew exactly what needed to be done and she jumped right in to do it.”

“I just thought the world of her,” said Gale Longobardo, executive assistant to the provost.

“She was a very professional and smart woman.”

Ms. Stillwell and her daughter could be spotted at almost any fundraiser, concert or performance as their love for ULV prompted them to support the school in many ways.

“During the month of December she used to wear this bell around her neck, and you could hear her coming whenever she walked in the corridors and the offices,” Kechichian said.

“At the memorial service, when everyone started to jingle those bells, you could feel that she was present.”

In October 2012, Ms. Stillwell was diagnosed with brain cancer. After recovering from her operation, she returned to the University.

In August 2013, Ms. Stillwell decided to move back to her hometown with her daughter to be near her surviving sister, Deborah Staub, and family.

Amanda Larsh can be reached at

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