"Friends Forever"

Original Painting, Limited Signed Prints and Cards will be available at the Reunion*

Friends Forever


 Original Painting and Dedication by: Judy Stines

“Friends Forever” was inspired by a very dear friend and high school classmate, that passed away. Each time he would address me or other classmates in written communication, he would sign off with “I love you, Class of ’79, Friends Forever”. Three days before he passed, he asked me to paint him a picture. His only request was that it be a winter scene. 

My friend, Steve Hooks, had become severely handicapped from both oral cancer and diabetes. He maintained a positive, joyful attitude, and I never heard him complain, although I knew he was in constant pain. His love for people and his faith in God showed in every aspect of his life.

He was vital in the successful planning of a reunion for the Apex Cougars Class of 1979. He passed before the reunion took place. Because of the influence he had on my life and the importance this reunion had to him, I chose to paint a winter scene depicting two cougars which is the Apex High School mascot. Cougars do not run in packs and usually travel alone; therefore, I chose to paint the cougar on the right tasting the “river of life” while the cougar on the left watches from a distance, possibly protecting from the other side of the river, symbolizing heaven and a guardian angel.

Others have passed since our graduation. I dedicate this painting to my dear friend Steve and to all other classmates of 1979 that have already passed to the other side of the “river of life”.  I feel each of these classmates are somehow with us in spirit and are watching; perhaps even acting as guardian angels to the “Class of ’79 – Friends Forever.” We love you and will miss you always.

Friends Forever

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