Judith Helen (Miller) Berger, age 82, died peacefully at her home on Blue Moon Farm in Huntingdon, PA, surrounded by her family, on October 31, 2019.
She was diagnosed June 1st with terminal brain cancer. After surgery, her family provided loving hospice care at home.
Born October 12, 1937, in Allentown, PA, she was the eldest daughter of the late Dr. Paul B. and Helen J. (Sheffit) Miller. On June 22, 1963, she married Dr. Winfried M. Berger in Schloss Schaumburg, an der Lahn, in Germany.
Together with her husband of 56 years, she lovingly raised four children. She is remembered by her husband and children, Daniel Berger and partner, Betsy, of Huntingdon; Tinka Berger and husband, Henrik, of Huntingdon; Rebekka Halseth and spouse, Tom, of Mount Rainier, MD; and David Berger and wife, Renée, of Huntingdon.
She is also remembered by two grandsons, Martin and Matias, of Huntingdon; her older brother, David Miller and wife, Emily, of Hamburg, PA; two younger sisters, Blanche Gregory and husband, Dan, of Sugarland, TX; Rachel Kiefer, of Norfolk, VA; and her in-laws, Rosi Berger, of Obernhof, an der Lahn, Germany; Hans and Ingrid Berger, of Heeßen, Germany; Uta Berger, of Hamburg, Germany; and Dieter and Gerhild Berger, of Hamburg, Germany.
She leaves behind many who called her Aunt Judy, Tante Judy, Miss Judy, and Auntie Cuzzie, including: Val, Paul, Jeff, Jen, Erik, Steph, Paula, Markus, Schnucker, Maus, Julia, Susi, Clau, Winni, Kiki, Chrissi, Jamie, Peter, Nancy, Dave, Tom, Hayley, Sean, Meghan, and Nikki.
She was preceded in death by two brothers-in-law, Hal Kiefer and Eberhart Berger, nephew Matt Smith, and her twin Cuzzie, Alice Anne Miller.
She was a graduate of Allentown High School, Class of 1955, received a BA from Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, in 1960, and graduated with a Master’s degree in German Literature from Middlebury College, Vermont, in 1962.
As a military wife, Judy was adept at moving her family on a regular basis. From Detroit, MI, and Fort Benning, GA, to Germany and Hawaii, she could make any place home.
Over the years, she was an avid tennis player, an accomplished skier, and had a genius for turning each of her backyards into ice rinks for skating and broomball.
In addition to being a caring and supportive wife and mother, Judy was a lifelong educator. She taught swimming and middle school math and science in Detroit and German to U.S. Air Force officers in Berlin.
She happily shared her artistic endeavors included woodworking, stained glass, clock repair, sewing, needlepoint, calligraphy, ceramics, wood and stone carving, glass blowing, brass and petroglyph rubbing, and jewelry making. She also had a green thumb and provided space and support for aspiring farmers.
She instilled the value of responsibility by accepting a multitude of pets and making her children responsible for their care. With the move to Blue Moon Farm, the animals grew in both size and number. From chickens and turkeys to sheep, milk goats, and pigs to miniature donkeys, cattle, and the occasional horse, Blue Moon was home to creatures great and small. In the end, even the pesky Canada geese were welcome.
Judy was a 34-year breast cancer survivor and her second mastectomy did not deter her from flying to Europe ten days later.
She was an adventurous world traveler, which led her to fall in love in Germany, share many adventures with her husband and children, and join her travel buddy, Cuzzie Joan, on numerous expeditions.
She was a wonderful host-mother to many exchange students and had a great fondness for ethnic culture and cuisine.
Her commitment to the arts drew her to be an early member of the Huntingdon County Arts Council, and her desire to share the arts inspired her to create the Log Cabin Gallery Shop and Blue Moon Press.
A favorite student of the esteemed Francis Whitaker, she was an accomplished artist blacksmith, one half of “The World’s Greatest” mother/son blacksmithing team, and became renowned in the national and international blacksmithing communities as a teacher and publisher of high-quality metalworking books.
Judy will be remembered for the inspirational strength of her character, as well as the strength of her handshake. She had a keen sense of recognizing people in need and was generous in offering wise advice and support. She was the strong-spirited matriarch of her family, leaves behind a remarkable legacy, and is a model for a life well lived.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, at the Stone Church of the Brethren, 1623 Moore Street, Huntingdon, PA. Visitation will be held from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22 at the Stone Church.
In lieu of flowers, friends who wish to make a memorial contribution may donate to
The Judy Berger Blacksmith