MS FLORIDA SENIOR AMERICA 2015,
CONGRATULATIONS to JUDITH DeSANTIS, Ms Florida Senior America 2015!
Judith Ellen DeSantis grew up in Cranford, New Jersey, spending her youth as a Girl Scout and studying piano and dance. She won the title of Miss Central New Jersey Teenager 1965 in the Miss American Teenager Pageant.
In 1966 Judith moved to Boulder, Colorado, and began studies for her B.S. in Elementary Education and competed in the local Miss America pageant in Colorado Springs. In 1970 Judith married Lt. Anthony DeSantis and then taught elementary school in 3 different states during their Air Force tour. A move to New York City in 1975 gave Judith the opportunity to pursue another dream --- studying cellular biology and becoming a cytotechnologist at Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center.
The couple was blessed with 2 children, Nicole and David. Judith volunteered in activities that allowed her to be on hand for their children. Living in California for 23 years --- mostly Lake Tahoe --- they taught their children to “do the right thing” and to use that as their life’s motto. She also served with her husband and their son in their local Civil Air Patrol Squadron as a Captain.
At age 52 Judith decided to follow a life-long passion and took opera lessons at the University of Nevada. She expressed her creative side by performing with the vocal groups “Reno Exchange” and “Truckee Alliance for the Musical Arts”. After moving to Stuart, FL, Judith performed in many musicals, with “Pippin”, “Annie”, and “Anything Goes” being her favorites.
In 2005 Judith started her own entertainment company called “WE 2 Duets”. She has entertained at many private functions and at large festivals and developed a repertoire of over 400 songs using genres from Broadway to jazz to standards to Italian music. Judith also entertains at air shows around the country as part of the crew of a vintage American Airlines DC-3. Her caring heart has led her to fly Angel Flights as a mission assistant with her husband. They donate their plane, time, and fuel to fly patients to distant treatment centers.
In 2000 Judith took on the responsibility of care for her aging mother. This turned into a 14-year journey that ended in June of 2014 when her mother passed on at age 96. She tried to use the time spent in hospitals and doctors’ offices to create new shows and memorize lyrics. “She who sings, prays twice,” has been a saying that kept Judith strong and built her up when she was feeling weak and overwhelmed. During this difficult time, she gained a deep respect for the challenges that many women face as they care for elderly parents and family members. She also learned many skills to share with women who are suddenly faced with the many aspects of helping someone else live his life.
Judith would proudly wear the title of “MS SENIOR AMERICA” to help and uplift other caregivers who find themselves on a similar journey.