Obituary: Judith Coyle (Jewart) Piette

Great-grandmother, longtime CGU, Casa Colina employee, artist, volunteer

Judith Coyle (Jewart) Piette died peacefully at age 90 on April 27 in Sebastopol, California with her children at her side.

Judy was born in Syracuse, New York on May 31, 1933 and raised in Hartford, West Virginia, Oklahoma City, and Covina. After raising her family of three boys and two girls in Claremont and spending a long life in Claremont and Rancho Cucamonga, she moved to the Bay Area and resided in Petaluma for the past five years.

She graduated from West Covina High School in 1951 and maintained close friendships with high school friends throughout her life. She had a long career starting at Claremont Graduate School (now Claremont Graduate University) in the 1960s, after which she spent 30 years in the healthcare field at Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation in Pomona. Beginning in pain management, she then worked in vocational rehabilitation before spending the latter part of her career supervising staff who supported adults with traumatic brain injuries.

She spent her retirement years actively contributing to the community through volunteerism. She taught adult literacy at Rancho Cucamonga Public Library for over a decade. She facilitated and participated in book clubs, a natural extension of her love of reading and her voracious consumption of books. After moving to the Bay Area, she continued to volunteer with Seniors at Home, where she provided regular calls to homebound older adults and facilitated a daily class for people with dementia.

She was a gifted textile and ceramic artist for more than six decades. For more than a decade she was an owner of The Clay Yard, a ceramic arts studio in Ontario, along with her friends and partners. “She was an avid knitter and left a legacy of complex and beautiful artwork,” her family shared. “She consumed books as if they were food for the soul and was an avid storyteller in her own right. Her life stories were captivating, enchanting, and often true. She loved people and believed strangers were only friends she hadn’t met yet.”

Despite her active and busy life, her family was always at the heart of everything she did. “She found her greatest joy when surrounded by her children and grandchildren, engaging in laughter, singing, sharing meals, and embracing life,” her family added. “Her grandchildren were especially central to her world; she loved each one unconditionally and uniquely. She passed with every grandchild believing they were her favorite — and all were probably right.”

She was predeceased by her mother Luella Marjorie Jewart; father, James Jewart; sister, Marilyn Taylor; former husband Albert Lee Piette; and one of her surrogate sisters, Joan Burke.

She is survived by her children Michael (Melanie Larzul) Piette, Joseph Piette, Shannon (Bill) LaFranchi, Patrick (Mary Ann) Piette, and Juliana (Reggie) Koffman; older brother James Coyle Jewart; grandchildren Hannah, Jonathan, Marlee, Lindsay, Grace, Sofia (Sofia’s mother, Mona Sani), Sebastien, Nate, Micah and Jessa; and great-grandchildren Evan, Mason and Sean. She also leaves many loving and truly devoted brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and friends, among them her other surrogate sister, Mary Campbell from London, with whom she shared a long and special relationship.

“Judy was a five-year survivor of Acute Myeloid Leukemia,” her family said. “She was treated by Dr. Rajesh Behl and supported by his team of remarkable, kind, and qualified healthcare professionals at the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. We are forever grateful for the gift of their incredible work.”

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society by clicking “donate” at

A celebration of life will be held July 27 in Petaluma, California.


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