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Aug. 6, 2003 – Friends near and far mourned the loss of Judith Catherine Pitzl Wednesday as news of her death was announced. Pitzl died Tuesday at Roy L. Schneider Hospital after battling a debilitating lung disease. She was 63.
Pitzl, who was honored by the St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce with the Wilbur "Bill" LaMotta award in March for her many contributions to the community, arrived on St. Thomas with her husband, Dick, and their son, Steve, in 1970.
Three years later the Pitzls established St. Thomas Graphics, which they have operated — much to the improvement of the community — for 30 years.
Gov. Charles W. Turnbull in a condolence message from his office Wednesday said of Pitzl: "Her contribution to this community through her excellent work at St. Thomas Graphics, the island's oldest printery, is worthy of the highest praise."
But more than her acumen as a businesswoman who tutored her clients on how to make money on their booklets, of which she printed thousands over the years, Pitzl will be remembered for her tutelage of the island's young people. Judy made a habit of recruiting employees from local high schools and training them in graphic arts from the bottom up. She was the kind of person who encouraged most of the youngsters to regard themselves as more a part of her extended family than as staff.
Karl Callwood, graphic designer and former Senate media liaison, was one of Judy and Dick's first young hires. In the months since Judy's serious decline in health, Callwood has been on hand to help the couple.
In the chamber booklet from the awards banquet this year, which Judy got out of a sick bed to produce, chamber executive director Joe Aubain said: "She is amazing. She is always ready to help."
Sen. Shawn-Michael Malone echoed those sentiments Wednesday in a release from his office.
"I have fond memories of Judy Pitzl. She was always willing to contribute her time and assist with editing to enhance publications to their highest potential."
On Tuesday night Bruce Potter, co-founder of Island Resources Foundation and longtime friend of the Pitzls, e-mailed Judy's friends to let them know about her death saying, "We mourn the passing of one of the Virgin Islands' great wits and most professional communicators. Things will be a lot less clear with her passing."
Judy is survived by her husband, Richard "Dick" Pitzl; her son, Steven Pitzl; two daughters, RoseAnn Rippeon and Susan Pitzl; two sisters, Susan Condor and Joyce Mimier; four grandchildren, David Anderson, Allison Pitzl, Joshua Rippeon and Sara Rippeon; son-in-law Scott Rippeon; and daughter-in-law Karen Lucinda Larason.
The family said Judy would have asked that, in lieu of flowers, "you do something extra-special for someone you love." No other arrangements have been announced.

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