Judy J. Cota (Judith Jane Pritchard Cota), 77, passed away peacefully Tuesday, June 13, 2017 at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, California surrounded by her family.

She was born on March 17, 1940 in Aurora, Missouri alongside her three beloved brothers. Growing up in a small town shaped her fun-loving attitude which helped her overcome obstacles throughout life.

Her parents, Theodore and Ella Pritchard, owned the Aurora Skating Rink and managed the Aurora Swimming Pool, so she became a talented skater and an avid swimmer. She was active in the Presbyterian Church and played hymns for evening services throughout her high school years. Some of her first jobs allowed her to earn money while doing one of the many things she loved to do, sewing.

In her senior year of high school, she travelled to California and met her future husband, Harold Cota. After a few years of a long distance courtship, they married once Hal had graduated from U.C. Berkeley. After a summer in California, they moved to Evanston, Illinois where Hal attended graduate school and Judy worked at Wiebolts Department Store. Evanston and Chicago were a culture shock for a small town girl. Judy and Hal then moved to Sunnyvale, California for two years where Rebecca Jo was born. They then moved to Norman, Oklahoma where Cynthia Jane was born and Judy became a true homemaker. In her spare time, she helped in the Methodist Church Nursery while Hal attended graduate school.

In 1966, they headed to San Luis Obispo. Judy continued her work as a homemaker while supporting Hal who had started a new job as a professor at Cal Poly. Amidst all the change, Michael Maurice was born later that year. Over the years, Judy was totally devoted to her children and their friends. She served as a campfire leader and was very involved with the San Luis Obispo Seahawks swim team. She became a skilled ceramist, home project guru, seamstress who made most of the kids’ clothes, played the piano for the United Methodist Sunday school, and eventually worked with the Junior High youth.

Her pride and joy were her children and grandchildren and the great things they are doing with their lives. One of her favorite hobbies was spoiling the ones she loved for no particular reason except out of adoration.

Judy was preceded in death by her parents, Theodore and Ella Pritchard and her brothers Ted and Gary and their wives Carol and Linda.

She is survived by her brother Michael “Mickey” Pritchard and wife Mary Ann; and husband Harold Cota, her children Rebecca Jo Cota, Cynthia Jane Cota - Magliari and her husband Greg, and Michael Maurice Cota; her grandchildren Morgan, Dominic, Jesse, Aidan, Aaliyah, Jayce, and Haven. She is also survived by numerous beloved cousins and extended families.

Judy enjoyed visiting Morro Bay, Laguna Lake, and spending time outdoors. Judy was fun-loving, fearless when trying new things, and loved animals. She also loved to bend the rules (or should I say make her own rules) and this was particularly useful whilst playing cards. She always kept up with the news and was concerned by the state of world affairs. In spite of all this, her faith in God was straight forward and her prayers frequent.

Interment will take place at the San Luis Cemetery Mausoleum. A Celebration of Life service will be held on July 1, 2017 at 11 a.m. at the United Methodist Church (1515 Fredericks Street, San Luis Obispo).

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the San Luis Obispo United Methodist Church Scholarship Fund.

Please make sure to sign her guestbook at sanluisobispo.com/obituaries

God Love It.