Obituary: Juliette Blanchard Gidley
Juliette Blanchard Gidley, 26, a former longtime resident of Darien and current resident of Middlebury, died suddenly at St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury on Friday, July 18.
Born Sept. 6, 1987 at Stamford Hospital, Ms. Gidley was the daughter of Carley Tankoos of Norwalk and Fenton Gidley of Los Angeles, both formerly of Darien.
When Ms. Gidley was diagnosed with Angelman’s Syndrome at the age of 2, she was one of only 56 Americans diagnosed as such. She and her family were involved in the formation of the Angelman Syndrome Foundation.
Ms. Gidley always had a smile, a hug and a laugh for those she loved, her family said. She never met a box of Cheerios she didn’t like. Ms. Gidley began her love of horseback riding with the Pegasus program at the age of 4, and continued to be an avid horseback rider throughout her life. She enjoyed working with the animals at Smith Stables in Oxford, alongside her close friend, Lou Matule at Oakville. Ms. Gidley attended Bidwell Center, where she had many friends. She spent summers at Camp Harkness, exploring in and out of the water (as she loved the water) and maintaining her friendships over the past 20 years. Ms. Gidley lived the last years of her life with her extended family at her house on Artillery Road, where she will be missed beyond words.
In addition to her parents, Ms. Gidley is survived by her brother, Eric Gidley of Stamford, and also Kenneth G. Kolok of Byram, who loved her like a daughter. She will be missed by her cousins: on the Tankoos side, Ryan, Grant, Kayte and Sarah, and on the Gidley side, Emilie, Mason and Meg, as well as by her aunts and uncles on both sides.
There will be a celebration of her life held at Noroton Presbyterian Chapel on Saturday, July 26 at 2 p.m., with a reception to follow. There will be no calling hours. Memorial donations may be made to the Camp Harkness Fund, 301 Great Neck Rd., Waterford, CT 06385.