Judith (Blumberg) Sugar was born on August 23rd, 1935 to parents Rose (Cohen) Blumberg and Paul Blumberg. She grew up in Baltimore with her parents and older brother, Donald. Her mother died of cancer when Judy was only ten years old. After graduating a year early from Forest Park High School, she worked as a secretary for the federal government. At 18, she met Jack Sugar, then 25, who was working on his PhD in Physics at Johns Hopkins University and they were married in 1956. When he completed his degree, they began their family, having Ross, Eve, and Erica within the next four years. When the children were still small, Judy encouraged Jack to apply for a Fulbright Scholarship to do research abroad, and they spent a year in France.
She did not go to college, but she was well read and extremely knowledgeable about history and politics and a fervent lover of classical music as was her husband Jack. She was also everyone's go-to expert on all english, spelling, and grammatical questions.
When the family returned home from France, the Vietnam War was raging. Judy became seriously involved in the anti-war movement, participating in demonstrations and sit-ins focused on ending the war, once chaining herself to the White House fence with other women as part of Women Strike for Peace. This work ignited her political activism and she went on to protest against biological warfare and housing discrimination and fight for civil rights, women's rights and the environment. One of the many demonstrations she participated in was the March on Washington where Martin Luther King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech.
As the children grew older, she turned to other pursuits. She studied publishing and eventually began producing the monthly magazine of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union, where she worked for 20 years. In this capacity she was sent to countries in Eastern Europe to advise new democracies and unions on how to publish information for their citizens and members. Through AFSCME, she had the honor of meeting Nelson Mandela.
At the same time, she sharpened her talents in other areas. She learned to play guitar; became an accomplished freelance photographer, taking photographs for textbooks; and eventually began making jewelry. She became a gifted artisan, making jewelry in both traditional and avant-garde design. She helped found the jewelry collective, Pleiades, named for the seven women who began it. The group had an annual show and sale, and over time their numbers grew to more than 30 female jewelers. She showed her work at the Pleiades' annual sale every year for the rest of her life.
Above all, Judy loved her family and friends. She always said how lucky she felt that people wanted to be friends with her, but in fact she was the rock in the lives of so many others. And all who knew her appreciated and loved Judy beyond measure. Few people had such a pure loving nature; no one ever heard a single word of anger, or criticism, or disappointment from Judy. She was never too busy to extend her time and energy to anyone who asked.
She was much loved and is irreplaceable in the lives of all who knew her. She leaves behind her son Ross Sugar and his wife Julie, her daughter Eve Clancy and her husband Tom, her daugher Erica Sugar and her husband Bobby Jackson, and three grandchildren who were very close to their Grandma - Sam Tubbs, Kirsten Sugar, and Nevin Sugar. She also leaves behind her brother Don Blumberg, niece Karen Sledge, and many beloved friends. She was predeceased by her husband Jack in 2009.