Judith J. Miller nee Wilhelm passed away On August 8; she was 78 years old. Judy was well-known in Bellevue through her career and volunteer involvements throughout the years. Judy died of injuries and complications sustained following an accident in Bellevue on June 24. An avid reader, world traveler, community organizer, and loving wife, mother and grandmother, and great-grandmother, her absence will be felt by many.
Born in Norwalk to Herman Wilhelm and C. Elizabeth “Betty” (Metz), she graduated from St. Paul’s High School. She was an active member in the St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church family in Sandusky. Judy started her career life as a secretary to an attorney in Norwalk. She moved to Bellevue in 1967. Judy was a realtor and insurance agent at Strayer’s Realty for many years. She was elected as Bellevue City Treasurer, and served as city secretary to Mayor George Smith. Judy was active in the community for many years, starting in the 1970’s as an organizer of the Bellevue Cherry Festival, the Friends of the Library, and various charities. In recent years, she spearheaded the local artists cooperative Art at 106, was highly involved in the Bellevue Historical Society (Tremont House), and helped in organizing First Thursdays, the Committee to Grow Bellevue, and “shop local” initiatives, as well as a member of Sorosis Club.
Judy and her husband John Miller enjoyed years of traveling on their sailboat in many parts of the world, and together sailed across the Atlantic Ocean three times. Their shared joy was sailing in the Mediterranean, meeting people from all walks of life, exploring beautiful places, and experiencing world cultures and cuisines.
Judy is survived by her devoted (grouchy) husband, John Miller of Bellevue, her sister Joan Wilhelm Kehrer (John Webster) of Grand Junction, CO, and her brother Roger Wilhelm (Kathy) of Norwalk, as well as her children - Christopher Fortney of Bellevue; Valerie Fortney Schneider (Bryan) of Basilicata, Italy; and Cara Fortney of Cleveland Heights; along with Laura (Miller) Moehrman of Columbus; Elizabeth (Miller) Wasson (Ray) of Fremont; John Eric Miller of Frederick, MD. Judy loved 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, along with three surrogate children, six surrogate grandchildren, and three surrogate great-grandchildren.
Judy’s warm smile, easy laughter, wise advice, love of life and love of civic service will be greatly missed by many people of this world.
Her Family is celebrating Judy's life at Auxter Funeral Home, 1105 Castalia Street, Bellevue, Ohio 44811 on Thursday, August 22nd from 4 to 8 PM.
A memorial service for family, friends, and the community will begin at 10:30 AM on Saturday, August 24th at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ located at 428 Kilbourne Street, Bellevue, Ohio 44811. In lieu of flowers the family is requesting donations to be made to Bellevue Historical Society, P.O. Box 304, Bellevue, Ohio 44811 in Judy's honor.
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