Fearrington Faces: Judy Fitzgerald

Article by Linda Sittig and Judy Fitzgerald.
Photo by Melissa Tomich. One of John Fitzgerald’s paintings is behind Judy.

Judy Fitzgerald

Judy and John Fitzgerald called themselves The Ad Couple. They both worked in
advertising in New York. John was an art director, Judy a copywriter. They didn’t
know each other then, but both wound up in Los Angeles and met at Warner
Brothers when they were hired to do movie advertising. From that day on, they
were a team, inseparable and ready for anything. They planned to get married on
the set of Camelot. But the set was torn down and replaced by Shangri-La, which
didn’t appeal to them. Years later, while touring Taliesin-West, the Arizona home
and studio of Frank Lloyd Wright, Judy and John decided to cap off the weekend
by doing something memorable—so they got married. Yep, on the property of
Frank Lloyd Wright!

After a 20-year stay in the middle of Laurel Canyon and one earthquake too many,
Judy and John packed up and headed back East. Retired in their forties, they
moved to Pinehurst, North Carolina, drawn to the rich history of the area and the
good golfing opportunities. They chose Frank Lloyd Wright’s grandson Eric to
design their dream house on the golf course. Eighteen years later, when they felt
unable to play competitively and gave up golf, they knew they wanted a more
dynamic community. Fearrington was it.

Judy and John knew Fearrington well. When 15/501 was still a two-lane road, they
stopped in the village on their way to basketball games and restaurants in Chapel
Hill and Durham. They shopped at the fish store that once occupied The Roost
space. They bought goatskin garden gloves by the dozen at Dovecote to give as
Christmas gifts to friends who had never seen any quite as wonderful. If it was
Tuesday, they visited the Farmers’ Market. They liked everything about
Fearrington—how each neighborhood was different, how it looked, how it felt.
They met people who chose to come here from all over. They felt at home in
Fearrington, which was something they had never felt in Pinehurst. They bought a
house in The Woods and stayed.

Having been retired now for many years, Judy is seldom bored. She says her goal
is to stay relevant. That’s easy to do here in Fearrington. Judy gladly donates her
time as a driver for Fearrington Cares. She’s behind the front desk when Ellen
needs a day off or a vacation. As a State Health Insurance Assistance Program
(SHIP) volunteer, she and John Sullivan counsel residents on Medicare and
Medicare Advantage plans and help them choose the right drug plans during open
enrollment every October. Judy is most excited about a new project called
Fearrington for Life. The goal is to provide resources for folks who want to age in
place in their own Fearrington homes. Fearrington For Life will partner with
Fearrington Cares, so the helpful information will be available to everyone.

When she’s not being relevant, Judy likes to play poker. The Wednesday game’s
been going on with many of the same people for 18 years. And Judy still loves to
cook. When there was no good pizza around, she taught herself to make pizza.
When there was no decent Chinese food around, she taught herself to make
dumplings. Now that we have both, she just makes reservations.

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