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Published: Friday, 6/16/2006

Old West End artist, teacher was a founder of festival, special school

Judy Dilloway, 61, an artist and art teacher who brought art to the Old West End Festival and helped lead efforts to create an experimental school, died Tuesday in Medical University of Ohio Medical Center from complications of a cerebral hemorrhage suffered at her South Toledo home Friday.

"She'd been active and volunteering. She was happy," her husband, Arthur, said. "And we were planning our 40th wedding anniversary party and a trip out West with friends."

Mrs. Dilloway was a development officer the last eight years for the United Way of Greater Toledo. She taught community education art classes for 16 years through Sylvania Community Services, most recently introducing students to watercolor painting.

She taught art to autistic children and, in 1994, received a public service award from the Autism Society.

And she taught friends.

"I got to see personally what a wonderful teacher she was," said Bev Nathan, a longtime friend who with her granddaughter took watercolor lessons from Mrs. Dilloway.

"She was wonderful with children. She engaged them," Mrs. Nathan said. "She never talked down. She had a conversation with them."

Mrs. Dilloway was best known for her line drawings, which often were stylized versions of realism, her husband said.

She donated artwork and design to nonprofit groups. For many years, she designed the covers of Toledo Repertoire Theater programs and Old West End Festival T-shirts.

"She was a fabulous artist from the time she was young," her husband said.

The couple came to Toledo in 1968 when her husband's employer transferred him for a temporary assignment. They decided Toledo would be a good place to rear children, and they stayed. An Old West End apartment was all they could afford.

"We were below poor," her husband said. They wanted their children to grow up in a neighborhood of all types of people and bought the house at 2313 Robinwood Ave. They lived in the neighborhood for 17 years.

"She was probably one of the most loved women in the Old West End, and one of the founding women of the Women of the Old West End, which is a service organization for the neighborhood," said Toni Moore, a longtime friend.

"She was instrumental in founding the Old West End Festival, and in particular in putting together the art show we have today, [which] began under her watch in the very early 1970s.

"She was a driving force for the neighborhood," Mrs. Moore said.

Mrs. Dilloway's efforts led to the creation in 1972 of the Collingwood Learning Center, an experimental magnet elementary school in the Toledo Public Schools.

"She and many parents decided they needed parent involvement and a different kind of education for their children," Mrs. Moore said. The school closed in 1980.

Mrs. Dilloway was a principal in the 1980s in Dilloway, Kirsher Design in the Spitzer Building.

She grew up and graduated from high school in Rochester, N.Y., and attended the Rochester Institute of Technology. She and her husband met on Valentine's Day, 1966.

"We both have always said our lives began when we met each other," her husband said.

Surviving are her husband, Arthur, whom she married July 13, 1966; daughter, Kate Koler; son, Aaron Dilloway; brothers, Bernie and Bob Bringly, and two grandchildren.

There will be no visitation or services. The family will greet friends at their River Road home beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday.

The family suggests tributes to Mobile Meals or the youth art program fund at the Toledo Museum of Art.


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