Judy Lee Dobson Folk passed away unexpectedly at her home in Inman, South Carolina on October 30, 2023 following a long battle with breast cancer. She was 73 years old. She is survived by her loving husband, James Monroe Folk of 53 years and her daughter, Jessica Lynn Folk Greer (Will) and two granddaughters, Finley Rose and Emery Kate, and her son, Calvin Brooks Folk (Brenna) and two granddaughters, Mayson Monroe and Malone Morrison.
Judy is also survived by two sisters, Amy Rose Dobson Adams (B.H.) and Susan Penelope Dobson Whyte (Lyell) and three nephews, Drew MacArthur Belmont (Rachel), Benjamin Coleman Belmont, and Samuel Pierce Whyte (Sarah). She is predeceased by a sister, Misty Shannon Dobson Yates.
Judy, the eldest of four children was born on July 9, 1950 in Spartanburg, SC to her parents, Calvin Samuel Dobson (1926-1991) and Carolyn Rose Gallman Dobson (1926-1997). At the age of three, she was diagnosed with type one diabetes. When Judy was old enough to understand the seriousness of living with diabetes, she determined that it would not keep her from what she wanted to accomplish. Judy was not afraid of a battle.
After her family moved to Hartsville, SC, she attended Hartsville High School. Upon graduation, she attended Winthrop University. Her work career began at Milliken in Spartanburg where she met the love of her life, Jim Folk. Following their marriage on January 16, 1971, Judy continued her college education at Limestone University where she earned a BA degree in English for secondary education. Later, she earned a Master of Education degree from the University of South Carolina. In addition, she completed the preliminary academic requirements for a Doctoral degree from Nova Southeastern University.
Education was Judy’s greatest passion, and she found immense satisfaction in using it to help improve the lives of others. She began her teaching career at Landrum High School in Spartanburg School District 1 where she worked with students for thirteen years. Following her years in public education, she accepted a position at Spartanburg Steel where she managed and improved instruction at their onsite Learning Center for employees. Afterward, she applied her education expertise toward working with students at Converse University where she taught courses, directed the Adult Converse II Program, and eventually became the Chief Information Officer until her retirement. After a somewhat brief retirement, Judy’s desire to teach returned. Her career came full circle when she accepted a position as an English teacher at Boiling Springs High School in Spartanburg School District 2. Judy remained there until her second retirement. True to her passion for education, she continued to teach her most beloved granddaughters lessons in learning and life when they visited frequently at her home.
Judy was a member of St. Matthews Episcopal Church in Spartanburg, SC. As an outreach service to her church community, she taught English as a second language to adults. Additionally, she served as a past vice president of the Magnolia Debutante Club of Spartanburg.
Like any English teacher worth her salt, Judy was an avid reader. She was never too busy to analyze a good plot in a novel or to discuss the motives of its main character. There was always an open invitation to take one of her books if interested in reading it. Quite organically, Judy’s interest in solving word puzzles grew from her love of reading. Of course, the challenging ones were her favorite!
A gifted pianist, Judy enjoyed giving “concerts” for her family and friends. While she possessed many talents, she also had a sense of humor and dry wit. You could have the most serious of conversations with her, and afterward, something funny might pop up in your inbox. It could be anything ridiculous, but often, it involved her favorite cartoon character, Maxine, from “Crabby Road.” Judy’s primary love language was giving gifts. She especially loved mailing thoughtful cards and carefully selecting “just right” gifts for the people she cared about most, and she always accomplished this feat in a consistent and timely fashion. She even had a creative flair for wrapping packages that subsequently ended with her signature stamp of approval… precise creases and beautiful adornments. However, it was easy to see that even though her packages were painstakingly created, Judy’s greatest anticipation came when she watched the pure joy on her granddaughters’ faces as they excitedly ripped back the layers of wrapping paper on those packages. Judy’s life will continue in the loving hearts of her family members. The memories she created and the lessons she taught will always be remembered.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the American Diabetes Association.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 4, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at Seawright Funeral Chapel in Inman, SC.
A private graveside service for the family will be held on a later date.