Judith McEvoy was a people person. The ambitious but family-oriented woman, who served as director of economic development for Suffolk County for a time, had a way of drawing others to her.
"She was not a wallflower," said her husband, Ed McEvoy, 73. "She made her presence known and people would seek her out."
Judith McEvoy died Friday at North Shore University Hospital, nearly a week after suffering a heart attack. She was 71.
Born Judith Nimmich in Huntington in 1941, she lived on Long Island her whole life. She attended St. Dominic High School, where she met the boy who would become her husband of 50 years.
The couple had three children, and for years while Ed worked, Judith was a stay-at-home mom, taking her two sons to Boy Scout meetings or riding horses with her daughter. Her career -- and the majority of her education -- began after her children were grown.
"She started small. She started in a shoe store," said her sister, Kathy Nimmich, 55, of Dublin, Calif. But she quickly tired of retail jobs and entered politics, which became her passion, Ed McEvoy said.
She worked for Suffolk County Legis. Jane Devine, who served from 1978 to 1987, and found that work suited her drive -- and love of people. She also continued her education, and when she was 54 earned her master's in public administration from Stony Brook University.
McEvoy went on to work for the Long Island Association and was extremely involved in economic development issues in the region, with a special interest in women in business, her husband said.
She served as president of Women Economic Developers of Long Island and was a member of several regional economic development organizations. In 2002, she was hired as director of economic development for Suffolk County. The following year, she became Stony Brook University's director of small business development.
"In reality, she was a role model for me," Nimmich said, adding that she followed her sister's example to start her education and career later in life. "After being a stay-at-home mom, there's so much you can still do with your life."
In addition to her husband and sister, McEvoy is survived by sons Peter of Massapequa and Daniel of Glenmoore, Pa.; daughter Lisa Lauber of Columbus, Ohio; brothers Joseph Nimmich of Maryland and Ken Nimmich of Jacksonville, Fla.; sister Elizabeth Saunders of Baltimore; and seven grandchildren.
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