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Remembering activist Judy Winters

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The name Judy Winters may not be familiar to you, but have no doubt: Her life made yours better.

Judy, who lived in Butner, passed away on Tuesday, March 22, at Granville Memorial Hospital during an exploratory surgery.

She was relentless in the work of exposing the dangers of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, which had been proposed for Butner. An integral member of the Granville Non-Violent Action Team, which won a 2008 Indy Citizens Award for its activism against the facility, she poured hours of research into exposing the farce that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was trying to sell to our community and our nation.

As well as researching the project, she was the webmaster for www.nobio.org. She also reached out across the country to other sites on the DHS wish list to share her work, offer support and to coordinate efforts to stop this atrocity. The world was Judy's backyard, and she wasn't having any NBAFs in it.

The NBAF was just one of Judy's causes. Through the Butner Blogspot, she educated us on topics ranging from gay rights to the suffering of unwanted animals. Her latest outrage was directed at the practice of fracking—a particularly environmentally hazardous method of drilling for natural gas. If you want to know more, research it and join the fight. The Butner Blogspot is an excellent place to start.

Her home, which she shared with her partner of 30 years, Lisa Houlik, was a safe harbor for cats in need. Judy and Lisa were a team that went above and beyond to help some of our most helpless creatures. Those of us who have adopted some of their rescues know what an excellent job they have done.

The entire time I knew Judy, she was in pain. She didn't dwell on it. She treated it as a minor inconvenience and did her best to hide it. If it ever slowed down her relentless activism, I never saw it. She was a force to be reckoned with.

Through it all, Judy was a rock for her many friends. She touched so many with her generous nature. Perhaps her best feature—my personal favorite—was her wicked sense of humor. No one understood the power of laughter better than Judy Winters. The world is a better place because Judy lived here.

A memorial service and celebration of Judy's life is scheduled for Sunday, April 10, at 3 p.m. at the Moody Farm, 1149 Beaver Dam Road, off Highway 50 in Creedmoor.

A reception will follow the memorial; please feel free to bring light finger foods and the beverages of your choice. Some seating will be provided, but please consider bringing comfortable lawn chairs just in case. Info: Call 219-2651.

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