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Judith Klapper Neiman

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NEIMAN, Judith Klapper mother, grandmother, executive, friend, mentor, voracious reader, auto racing fan, dog- lover, arts-supporter, gardener, great cook, feminist and politically progressive in her actions, Judith Klapper Neiman, born August 11, 1927, died comfortably at her home with family on Friday, December 17, 2010. Fiercely independent, Judith was intelligent, meticulous, accomplished and a tough "get-it-done" person who instilled and sometimes demanded these qualities in others. She frequently displayed her enormous generosity and tenderness without sentimentality. She obtained a Masters of Science in 1971 from Wright State University, and then went onto a career at Wright State starting as a student academic counselor then rising to the rank of Vice President of Personnel overseeing labor negotiations, contracts, and all related personnel matters. She had a significant career long before it was common place for women and supported other women in their independence. Judith was a gutsy and outspoken proponent for minority rights; fearlessly calling attention to injustices -- especially those affecting herself, family or friends. She was a long-standing supporter of the Dayton Ballet. A lover of fine china and glass, home furnishings and cuisine, Judith collected art glass and in retirement became a sales person and tabletop decorator at Queen Anne's Lace of Kettering. Born in Wichita, Kansas, she acquired a great sense of style from her parents, Hannah and Sam Klapper, the proprietors of Greene's fine women's clothing store. An accomplished student, she graduated early from Field Kindley Memorial High School in 1945 and attended Whittier Grammar School of Coffeyville, Kansas. Judith went to the University of Colorado, but later transferred and graduated from Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts in 1948. She married Ralph Bernard Neiman in 1949 and lived in New York City before moving to Dayton, Ohio. Judith is survived by her children: Seth Neiman (Marie Duran) of San Francisco, California; Tim Neiman of New York, New York; Dulcie Neiman (Jacek Musial) of Naples, Florida; son-in- law Thomas Skilken and grandchildren: Andrew Zappin, Kaitlin Skilken, Sydney Skilken, Morgan Neiman, Alexandra Neiman, Maia Musial; her sister Jan Chafetz (Lester) of Overland Park, Kansas and their children Glenn and Jill; "wife-in-law" Kathleen Turner Neiman, and Cous Cous, her toy poodle. She was preceded in death by her daughter Jo Neiman Skilken (1951-2002). Her children thank Judith's long-time friends Hans Soltau and Cindy Larkins for their selfless support and family friend Mary Pat Thomas. Her family also thanks Kettering Home Care, particularly Melissa Bailey, Melissa Philpot and Kate Ferguson for their loving care and friendship. At Judith's request, there will be no memorial service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to Hospice of Dayton, 324 Wilmington Ave., Dayton, Ohio 45420, www.hospiceofdayton.org.

Published in Dayton Daily News on Jan. 2, 2011
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