Judy is that rarity nowadays, a native Texan, repatriated in 1978 when the Horton family came to Austin for Judy to work toward the Ph.D. in Latin American Studies at UT/Austin. Born in Abilene, Judy attended universities in New Hampshire, California (UCLA), and Colorado while working and raising three young daughters.
Judy and Jerry share four adult daughters, four granddaughters, one grandson (plus one deceased), and two great-grandsons. She and Jerry met and married in Boulder, CO, in 1973, when both were in graduate school at the University of Colorado. Judy holds the B.A. in Anthropology and M.A. in Spanish American Literature from UC-Boulder. She has worked in Mexico and Central American as a leader in UC Study Abroad programs and with the Mexican Society of Friends (Quaker). She taught Spanish at Austin Community College for 15 years and English as a Second Language at the University of Texas.
Judy definitively abandoned her studies following the birth of Kelly Page Horton with Down syndrome in 1984. Since Kelly was four years old Judy has devoted herself to raising Kelly and building Down Home Ranch. Aside from her role as mom, she served the Ranch in the capacities of founder, camp director, fund raiser, data-entry person, barn manager, chicken wrangler, photographer, cruise director, event coordinator, house mother, program director, and writer/editor.
Judy enjoys spending time with family, sketching, writing, singing, composing, playing the guitar, writing doggerel and travel. Currently she studies the art of spiritual direction through the Catholic Diocese of Austin, and is active in St. Louis King of France parish in Austin.
She is currently writing a book on the experience of building Down Home Ranch.