Judith “Judy” Ann Stone Ghoneim found peace on December 12, 2018, after a three and a half year battle with ovarian cancer. She was full of life, never one to complain, a student of the world, a bookworm, a spunky globetrotter, a frequent theatre-goer, a pet-lover, an Aboriginal art collector, and a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend to all.
A native New Yorker, Judy was born on September 7, 1933, to Evelyn and Mark Stone. She was the proud older sister of fraternal twins, Alan and Caryl. After high school, she took a student ship from New York to Amsterdam for the summer, igniting a lifelong passion for travel. She attended Queens College of the City University of New York and did graduate work at Columbia University and the University of London.
A forever-francophile, Judy moved to France in her mid-twenties, where she worked for Radio Free Europe and sold newspapers on the Champs-Elysées. From the Gobi Desert to the Galápagos, her travels took her all over the world. A chance bus ride in Egypt led her to the love of her life, the late Nabil Abdel Rehim Ghoneim, a young doctor and son of the Attorney General of Egypt. After months of correspondence via post, they secretly married in the fall of 1960 and later shared a formal ceremony with Nabil’s brother Adel and his wife Makaram on January 5, 1961.
Judy lived with Nabil in Cairo for four years, where she taught English at the American College for Girls. There, they welcomed their first daughter, Catherine. After a short stint in the Congo, where he was serving as a military doctor, Judy and her family moved to New York, where they had their second daughter, Maggie. They then moved to New Haven for Nabil’s recertification at Yale Medical School and then to Fayetteville, North Carolina, where he served as Chief of Radiology at the Veterans Administration Hospital. Judy lived there for 19 years, during which time she commuted to Raleigh, where she earned a Masters of English Literature at North Carolina State University and then served as an English instructor. As the mother of an Arab-American family in the South, Judy faced many obstacles but forged friendships that last to this day.
After the passing of her beloved husband in 1988, Judy moved to Charlotte. She found a home at the Unitarian Universalist Church and was a loyal volunteer at Presbyterian Hospital, at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, with the Red Cross, and for Friendship Trays. Even with her own medical challenges, she always gave so generously of her time and treasure to those in need. In Charlotte, Judy fostered deep relationships. She regularly played with her mahjong group and was a dedicated member of her book club, the Book Club Babes, even as she fought cancer. She played Scrabble with the intensity of an NFL linebacker, challenging every word with her handy “OED,” the Oxford English Dictionary. For her eightieth birthday, she ziplined at the Whitewater Center. Judy loved to show her grandchildren the world and said the “best trip of her life” was a boat tour of Alaska with them this June.
Judy is preceded in death by her parents, Evelyn and Mark Stone, and her husband, Nabil Abdel Rehim Ghoneim. She is survived by her daughters, Catherine Ghoneim Whitney and Maggie Ghoneim Ross; her brother and sister, Alan J. Stone and Caryl S. Pareja; her sons-in-law, Frank D. Whitney and Randy D. Ross; her grandchildren, Annie Whitney, Hunter Whitney, Will Ross, and Oliver Ross; her sisters- and brothers-in-law in the US and Egypt, John N. Pareja, Ilse J. Stone, Mona Mobarak, Amira Ghoneim, Magda Ghoneim, Adel Ghoneim, and Makaram Ghoneim; her nieces and nephews, Margot Stone-Condry, Suzanne Cicolello, Danielle Langhoff, Jason Pareja, Mo Mobarak, Ayman Mobarak, Tarek Ghoneim, Dina Ghoneim, Mohamed Ghoneim, and Ahmed Ghoneim; their spouses; and many, many dear great-nieces and great-nephews around the world.
The memorial service will be held at 2 PM on Wednesday, December 19, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte, 234 N. Sharon Amity Road, Charlotte, NC 28211. In lieu of flowers, we ask that you consider making a donation to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte.
We miss Judy and are comforted by the fact that she lived a full, adventurous, and joyful life.