A talented writer and vibrant intellect, Judy Ruth Rose Semrad died May 23 in Katy, Texas, at age 75.
She was recently preceded in death by her husband, Rev. Dr. David Lynn Semrad, and in previous years by her parents, Naomi Ruth Weiss Silvy and Raymond Edward Rose.
Judy grew up in Oklahoma; Virginia and Indiana and especially cherished her days at Ponca City High School in Oklahoma, where she was a cheerleader, played the clarinet, and participated in student organizations, including the Safety Club. She competed in barrel racing and shared a special bond with her palomino horse, Pal, whom she rode without spurs, sometimes standing up. She was voted as Oklahoma's "Miss Conclave" by the DeMolays of the state in her senior year and graduated from "Po High" in 1963.
She then attended Oklahoma State University, where she met David. They married in 1964 and moved to Dallas, Texas, where Judy worked as secretary to the director of the Dallas Public Library System to help David get through seminary at Southern Methodist University. They then moved to Kansas, where Judy graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Fort Hays State University. Along the way, they brought into the world two daughters before moving their young family in 1977 to San Antonio.
A poet, writer and artist, Judy enjoyed intellectual thought and discussion and was a well of creative ideas. She preferred literature and drama with conscience-raising messages, was politically active and closely followed current events. She always remembered her junior high civics and social studies lessons about the danger of mob behavior and the importance of speaking up before it is too late. She was a lifelong supporter of family planning, fair and equitable labor laws, self-determination for women and men, and education for children and adults. She believed that her faith should be grounded in both spiritual and intellectual realities and that the stewardship of the planet should be advanced as acts of both personal and community responsibility.
Judy's careers in San Antonio included: working as the activities director at Hillside Manor Nursing Home and Four Seasons Nursing Home; selling American Automobile Association memberships; working at the Kuwait Liaison Office at Lackland Air Force Base; and training people with disabilities to live independently. A natural teacher, Judy taught first aid; Sunday school, and English as a second language. She also chaired the safety committee for the City of San Antonio's Target 90 Goals and served as the missions co-chair and chair at Colonial Hills United Methodist Church in the early funding years of Habitat for Humanity, Radles' Pantry, Youth Alternatives, Christian Assistance Ministry and the Battered Women's Shelter of Bexar County.
Judy liked to spend her free time composing poetry and songs, reading, painting, sewing, fishing, researching genealogy, exploring international foods, hosting international people, and working on home improvement projects.
Judy is survived by: her daughters, Tavi Sellers and Staci Semrad; Tavi's children, Addison Drutz, Suzanne Drutz and Tiffany Sellers; their respective fathers, Adam Drutz and Mike Sellers; Judy's siblings, Jeannie Rose Pawelczyk, Raymond Rose II and Sheryl Rose Headrick; and Judy's stepmother, Doralene Rose.
Memorial and burial services were held in Enid, Okla.