Judith C. Meier, age 76, passed away peacefully on Friday, January 13, 2017, from complications of kidney disease. Judy was born in Bloomington, Illinois, to loving parents, Louis Carl Meier and Paula Maas Meier. From the very beginning, Judy loved school. She attended Trinity Lutheran School through the 8th grade and graduated from Bloomington High School in 1958. During college, Judy spent three memorable summers working at Camp Arcadia on Lake Michigan. In 1962, she received her Bachelor of Educational Science degree from Concordia Teachers College in River Forest, IL. Upon graduation, her professors at River Forest encouraged her to pursue an M.A in History at Northwestern University, which she did. After completing her Masters degree, Judy was called back to be a teaching assistant at Concordia. This opportunity was decisive in confirming Judy’s calling as a teacher in a college environment. Three years later, Judy enrolled at the University of Iowa to do her course work for her PhD in History. She spent one of those years in London, England, where she did research for her thesis on medieval English lawyers.
In 1971, Judy accepted a position at Concordia College in Edmonton, Alberta. At that time, Concordia was a 2 year college with a high school. She began her 43 year career with them as a history teacher and dormitory house mother. By 1975, the college enrollment was large enough to support a full-time history teacher. While continuing to teach, Judy finished her thesis and was awarded her PhD in History in 1977. From 1980 to 1990, Judy served as Dean of Academic Affairs and Vice-President Academic. Her position included membership on the Alberta Government’s Private Colleges Accreditation Board which, in 1987, approved Concordia’s first three-year degrees in arts and science. Concordia’s first convocation took place in May, 1988, where 13 graduates were recognized for their achievements.
Although she was a highly skilled administrator, Judy’s true love was teaching. She left administration in 1990 to return to full-time teaching. Her reputation as an exceptional professor and a favorite among students was legendary. One of her student’s posted this comment, “Dr. Meier is by far the best prof I have ever had. Don’t let her walker fool you! She is energetic and enthusiastic and a lot of fun. She’s very helpful and she really makes history come alive!” When Judy retired from full time teaching in 2005, she was the inaugural recipient of The Judith C. Meier Excellence in Teaching Award, established at Concordia that year and named in her honor. With her normal quick wit, Judy quipped, “This award is even better than having your name on a building, and it didn’t cost me a dime!” Judy continued to teach upper level history courses on a contract basis at Concordia University of Edmonton until June, 2014.
A committed Christian, Judy was an active member of Bethel Lutheran Church, serving in many leadership and service roles. She was also involved beyond the local church level and was elected to serve on the A-BC District Board of Directors. Often asked to speak publicly, Judy’s witness to God’s importance in her life was shared at a Bethel luncheon when she stated that she knew “without doubt or hesitation that God called me to be a teacher in this time and this place.” She considered herself “the most blessed of people.” In 2013, Judy was deeply honored when her Bethel family hosted a celebration marking her 50th anniversary of service in the Lutheran church.
Over the years, Judy travelled extensively with her dearest friends. Her wide interests included holding season tickets to the opera and to the Edmonton Eskimos football team. She loved cats, working jigsaw puzzles, playing Mexican Train, watching football, and she also loved sharing meals with friends and their families. She was fondly described by one friend as “everybody’s Aunt Judy!” She was a consummate story teller, talking about historical figures as if they were her best friends.
Judy’s greatest passion, however, was her family. She loved, and was dearly loved by, her brother, James Meier, sister-in-law, Marilyn, nephew David Meier, niece Elisa Meier Bariau, and their families; Michelle, Finn, and Sean Meier; and Olivier, Lucy, and Emile Bariau. Judy will also be greatly missed by many cousins, their families, and countless friends.
A Memorial Service for Judy will be held at Bethel Lutheran Church, 298 Bethel Drive, Sherwood Park, AB at 11:00 a.m, on Monday, January 23, 2017, with visitation one hour prior to the service. Judy’s final resting place will be in her home town of Bloomington, Illinois. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Bethel Lutheran Church or Concordia University of Edmonton.