Judi passed away on October 8, 2020. She is survived by her loving husband of 53 years, Alan, her brothers Gene Sofen and Andy (Carol) Sofen, her children Amy (Mitch) Goodman and Josh (Shannon) Silverman, her grandchildren, Nate, Jonah, Macy, Jake, Josh (Elise) and Jeremy, and Alan’s sister and brother-in-law, Barbara and Mel Grundleger, with whom she had a very special relationship.
When Judith Sofen Silverman graduated from the University of Michigan and moved to Chicago to begin her career as a special education teacher, the last place she thought she would return to was her hometown of Kalamazoo. Those odds seemed even more slim after she married Alan, a New Yorker. But, after looking all over the country, they could find no better place to raise a family, lay down roots, and start a life together than Kalamazoo.
Judi grew from a young teacher to a mom, to an assistant professor, to an active member of the community. Whether she was working with special needs kids or serving as a Board member of Children’s and Family Services, her focus was always children. More than once she brought her special needs children home to share in her family’s life.
One of her favorite words was “Joy,” and she brought that feeling to everyone with whom she came in contact. People were drawn to Judi’s warmth. She made friends that would last her lifetime.
In 1984, she and Alan expanded their circle to South Haven, where they became avid sailors. She and Alan regularly cruised the Lake Michigan during the summer, and the Caribbean in winter. From time to time Judi could be seen strapped into a bosun chair at the top of Legacy’s mast. Alan had made a deal with her: when he weighed 120 and she weighed 220, he would go up the mast.
In the early 2000s, Judi took on her favorite role as “Grammy.” She visited often with her six grandchildren, Jonah, Nathan, Macy, Jake, Jeremy and Josh, in South Haven, Chicago, Florida and Costa Rica. Thanksgiving was a very special time. Family from all over the country would converge at her home. It wasn’t unusual to have 35 or more, who would stay for anywhere from 1 day to a week.
A private graveside service will be held at the First Hebrew Congregation Cemetery in South Haven. Memorial contributions can be made to Judi’s Children Fund (to better the lives of children everywhere) c/o The Greater South Haven Area Community Foundation, PO Box 507, South Haven, MI 49090.
Posted On: Thursday, October 8, 2020 8:12 PM
Full story at: https://www.wsjm.com/2020/10/08/judith-sofen-silverman/