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Martha Weber Judge

1914 - 2014 Notice Condolences
Martha Weber Judge Notice
Judge, Martha Weber Martha Weber Judge of Eagle River and Shorewood died at her Shorewood home on June 21, 2014. She was 100 + years old. Martha was born in January 1914, to Joseph and Francis Waba (Weber) in the Rainey River District of International Falls, Minnesota /Fort Francis, Ontario: her father worked in the timber and pulp mills on the Canadian side, but always aspired to own a farm. When the Wisconsin Supreme Court abolished the state forests in 1915, and Governor E. Phillip fired the state forester, the forests and cutover lands of northern Wisconsin were set to be sold by land speculators with the governor's intention of being fruitful and productive family farms. Martha's parents were enticed, like many other mostly immigrant families, and purchased - sight unseen - a farm near the confluence of the Eagle and Wisconsin Rivers. Martha just last month recounted her family taking the train, via Duluth, to Eagle River to be met by a real estate operative and then taken by horse and buggy to the "farm". Instead they were greeted by a piece of slashed over land with a ramshackle dwelling. What evolved was a life of toil and hardship: there were frequent summer frosts, poor sandy soils, hundreds of pine stumps that had to be blasted out of the earth (dynamite could be purchased over the counter then), and winter temperatures often exceeding 50 degrees below zero . Food was so scarce that fish and game were always being harvested for the dinner table. Seeking a better life, Martha left home at age 14 and lived with an Eagle River attorney's family, exchanging child care for room and board: she studied secretarial arts and bookkeeping so when she was still in high school she was also the secretary for the Vilas County District Attorney. And she loved playing the trumpet. When she graduated from Eagle River High School in 1932 Martha began working as an administrator for the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration's Great Depression aid programs on the county level: here, as she frequently mentioned, Martha witnessed the hungry and impoverished families that were products of the failed agricultural settlement in Vilas and Forest Counties. Martha then advanced her position to Roosevelt administration jobs in Rhinelander, Ashland, Stillwater MN, and eventually Madison. In 1940 she moved to Milwaukee where at a dance club she met her beloved husband Art Judge: they purchased their Shorewood home and were married just after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. In mid-war Art went to India with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers leaving Martha pregnant with their first child whom Art did not see until the end of WWll. Martha also had four brothers overseas at that time, one (Paul) landed at Normandy and another - Eddie Weber was killed by Japanese forces in New Guinea. After the war Martha had two more children and - always ladylike - embellished her life as a hardworking and loving mother, homemaker , gardener, and business partner: at bedtime she would always entertained her young children with true tales of her childhood experiences in a frosty house set under the dancing northern lights. In the 1960's Martha and Art returned to Eagle River and built a small waterfront home on the hardscrabble farm where she was raised: here Martha and Art nurtured themselves and their family and their friends. The farm has now reverted back to forestland. Martha loved her family, the beauty of the earth and its seasons, and her life. She always had a rock hard belief in both an afterlife and a Higher Spirit. Preceding her to that afterlife were her husband Art, her parents, and her seven brothers and sisters. Martha is survived by her three children: Cathy (Norb) Baldus of Shore wood and Eagle River, Mary Ellen (Richard) Marks of Rockville, Maryland and Eagle River, and Ed (Debbie) Judge of rural Barneveld and Tatlayoko Lake, British Columbia She is also survived by eight grandchildren: Mike (Barb) Baldus, Steve (Faith Baldus), Bill (Anna) Baldus, J ohn Baldus, Anne (Jon) Marks -Raber, Mike Marks, Nathan Judge, Eli Judge, and three great grandchildren and nephews and nieces and one cousin. The family is forever grateful to "Peggy's girls" who gave Martha so much loving care and attention in her final years at home. Visitation will be held at Saint Robert Catholic Church in Shorewood, where Martha was member for the past 73 years, from 10:00 AM until time of Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 AM on Friday, June 27. Interment to follow at Holy Cross Cemetery.

Published in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on June 25, 2014
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