Judith (Gesensway) Skoogfors-Prip, of Cranston, Rhode Island, died on Sunday September 4, 2022, at her daughter’s home in Westford, Massachusetts, following a short illness. She was 88 years old.
An educator and artist, Judy taught Fashion Illustration at Moore College of Art in Philadelphia for 30 years, where she retired as a full professor. She also taught at Philadelphia College of Art early in her career and at the Rhode Island School of Design after leaving Moore.
Her award-winning fine art included watercolor and oil painting, printmaking, and mixed media works she described as painting with thread. Judy exhibited as a member of the Third Street Gallery in Philadelphia and the Providence Art Club, among others. Her commercial art included fashion illustration for newspapers and department stores in Rochester, NY and Philadelphia and she illustrated a number of books written by Adele Margolis and published by Doubleday on sewing and designing clothing.
Ballet was Judy’s other primary artistic passion. She studied ballet with renowned choreographer Antony Tudor and performed in the company he founded in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Ballet Guild, where her roles included the lead in Afternoon of a Faun. She also danced in and made the costumes for the 1954 world premier of Tudor’s ballet “Offenbach in the Underworld.”
Judy read voraciously, knitted, gardened, designed and sewed clothing, baked and decorated lavish wedding cakes, adored animals and traveled the world.
Family always took center stage for Judy, who first and foremost described herself as a mother, grandmother, aunt, great aunt, sister and daughter. A Philadelphian and proud graduate of the Philadelphia High School for Girls and the Philadelphia College of Art, she often said she moved to Rhode Island nearly 20 years ago, in large part to be near her grandsons as they grew up.
Judy is pre-deceased by her two husbands, metal smiths, Olaf Skoogfors and John Prip; daughter Mia Skoogfors; brother, Dr. Daniel Gesensway and parents Louis and Mary Gesensway. She is survived by her daughter, Kerstin Porter and husband, Dana, of Westford, Massachusetts; her two grandsons, Andrew Porter of Westford, Massachusetts and Eric Porter and wife, Brandy of Providence, Rhode Island; her sister-in-law, Eleanor Gesensway of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; her niece, Deborah Gesensway and husband Russell Kazal of Toronto, Ontario; nephew, Dr. David Gesensway and wife Dr. Katie Gesensway of Mendota Heights, Minnesota and great nieces and nephews, Emma and Alice Kazal and Ben, Julia and Lizzie Gesensway.
A private memorial service will be held. The family requests those who wish to express sympathy to consider making a donation in Judy’s name to Moore College of Art or to their favorite charity.