My beloved sister Judith Marie Miller, age 81, passed away in Phoenix on September 28, 2021 from COVID-19. She was born March 19, 1940 in Detroit, Michigan to James and Marion Smith, the second of four children. Young Judy was smart and hard working. She was double promoted in elementary school which made her a year younger than everyone in her grade. At age 12 she was the first girl to have a paper route delivering the Detroit News. She graduated in the top ten of her class in 1957 from Garden City High School in Michigan where she won the DAR Award and the Outstanding Commercial Student Award based on her business skills. After high school she moved to California and then relocated to Arizona. She worked as a legal secretary for many years. Her boss/mentor Attorney Steve Friedman (deceased) encouraged her to go to college. She attended night school and in 1977 after nine years of study graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University with a BS degree in Business. Another boss/mentor Attorney Jerry Stahnke (deceased) encouraged her to go to law school. Her high score on the LSAT earned her a scholarship to Arizona State University School of Law where she graduated cum laude in 1982. She practiced family law in Phoenix for over 30 years. She loved being a lawyer, mentoring young lawyers, and serving as a Judge Pro Tem. She enjoyed volunteering at the Maricopa County StandDown where she did pro bono work to help homeless veterans with legal issues.
My sister Judy was intelligent, independent, generous, fun, and had a strong work ethic. She loved nature and being physically active. She ran the canals and hiked the peaks in Phoenix, raced dirt bikes in the desert, ran 10Ks and won medals in her age group, ran a few marathons, climbed Mt. Rainier, hiked Mt. Whitney, hiked Havasupai Canyon and the Grand Canyon numerous times, ran from the North Rim to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in one day, snow skied the western states and Europe, camped and fished in Arizona and Colorado, and loved hiking North Mountain at dawn to see the sunrise.
Judy is survived by son Greg Martin (Carrie), granddaughter Lauryn Martin, granddaughter Jimi Rae Henagar (Cameron), brother Jerry Smith, and sister Karen Andazola (Joe). She is preceded in death by parents James and Marion Smith, brother Jimmy Smith, daughter-in-law Shannon Martin, and son Jeffrey Martin. A private family goodbye was held. Donations in her honor can be mailed to Community Legal Services, 305 S. 2nd Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85003, with designation for the Family Lawyers Assistance Project. Condolences can be expressed at www.whitneymurphyfuneralhome.com.