James Judy
James Judy

James Judy

James Judy was born in Pennsylvania, the youngest of thirteen children; six brothers and six sisters. He maintained the Honor Roll throughout school and was valedictorian at the High School graduation ceremonies. Jim intended to attend college and applied to Indiana State College (PA).  He received a prompt reply which said he was academically acceptable, but was denied admission because there was no room in the women’s residence hall. Apparently the ‘Judy’ in his name made for confused gender identification.  He worked in the local public library for the first year after graduation, while sorting out what he wanted to do.

In 1951, Jim enlisted in the U.S. Navy, rather than be subject to the vagaries of the draft. Following basic training at Bainbridge, MD and Airman’s Flight School at Jacksonville, FL, he attended Aerography School at Lakehurst, NJ. After completing his training, Jim was assigned to the USS Valley Forge out of Norfolk, VA. In December of 1951 Jim was transferred to the recommissioned USS Hornet and embarked from Norfolk to cruise through Mediterranean, the Suez Canal and across the Indian Ocean to the Hornet’s permanent assignment in the South China Sea and Japan Sea, flying reconnaissance flights into the interior of communist China for the next two years. (Of a 182 compliment of aircraft on board at the start, none returned due to hostile gunfire). Jim returned stateside in late 1954, completing a round-the-world tour of duty. He completed his service at San Ysidro Naval Air Station in California.

Jim left the service after the war and attended college under the GI Bill. He received his bachelor and master’s degrees in history in 1958 from Kent State University, where he began a teaching career. A believer in life-long education, Jim completed additional graduate work in history at Western Reserve University and Rutgers University. He taught Modern European and world History until 1963. Jim then accepted an appointment at Glassboro State College, NJ, as the Assistant professor in History, becoming the Associate Academic Dean as well in 1967.  In 1968, he was appointed the New Jersey’s Director of State Colleges. In 1969, Jim was one of six individuals tapped to create a new college in south Jersey – a seminal experience in his vocation of higher education and student development. This new college was named Richard Stockton State College (named for the signer of the Declaration of Independence), and is now Stockton University. While at Stockton, Jim served as Vice President 1971-1978 and as President 1978-1981.  Jim then went to Thiel College in Greenville, PA to work with students in a Lutheran setting as Vice President for Student Development. In 1991, he became Regional Consultant in Leadership for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America serving Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. In 1995 Jim was appointed Lay Pastor of a small rural church in Northwestern Pennsylvania. He was ordained a Lutheran Minister in 2010. His life-long passion has been working with youth and adults in developing leadership skills helping them to use those skills to improve society.

Though a relatively new resident at AFRH-W, Jim is quite familiar with the place and its programs as his oldest sister, May, was a resident at the home from 1985-2002, where she died in the LaGarde Health Center, and was buried at Arlington following services in Stanley Chapel.

These days Jim contents himself with reading, playing bridge and giving back to the home through volunteering in the library and the Chaplain’s office.