Born in Norwalk to Herman Wilhelm and C. Elizabeth "Betty" (Metz), she graduated from St. Paul's High School. She was an active member in the St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church family in Sandusky. Judy started her career life as a secretary to an attorney in Norwalk. She moved to Bellevue in 1967. Judy was a realtor and insurance agent at Strayer's Realty for many years. She was elected as Bellevue City Treasurer, and served as city secretary to Mayor George Smith. Judy was active in the community for many years, starting in the 1970s as an organizer of the Bellevue Cherry Festival, the Friends of the Library, and various charities. In recent years, she spearheaded the local artists cooperative Art at 106, was highly involved in the Bellevue Historical Society, and helped in organizing First Thursdays, the Committee to Grow Bellevue, and "shop local" initiatives, as well as a member of Sorosis Club.
Judy and her husband John Miller enjoyed years of traveling on their sailboat in many parts of the world, and together sailed across the Atlantic Ocean three times. Their shared joy was sailing in the Mediterranean, meeting people from all walks of life, exploring beautiful places, and experiencing world cultures and cuisines.
Judy is survived by her devoted (grouchy) husband, John Miller of Bellevue, her sister Joan Wilhelm Kehrer (John Webster) of Grand Junction, CO, and her brother Roger Wilhelm (Kathy) of Norwalk, as well as her children - Christopher Fortney of Bellevue; Valerie Fortney Schneider (Bryan) of Basilicata, Italy; and Cara Fortney of Cleveland Heights; along with Laura (Miller) Moehrmann of Columbus; Elizabeth (Miller) Wasson (Ray) of Fremont; and John Eric Miller of Fredericksburg, MD. Judy loved 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, along with three surrogate children, five surrogate grandchildren, and three surrogate great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be Thursday, August 22, 2019 from 4:00-8:00 p.m. at Auxter Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 1105 Castalia Street in Bellevue. The funeral service will be 10:30am Saturday, August 24. at St. Paul's United Church of Christ with Rev. Dr. Diane Carter and Rev. Stacy Lauer-Scovanner officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Bellevue Historical Society in Judy's honor.
Judy's warm smile, easy laughter, wise advice, love of life, and love of civic service will be greatly missed by many people of this world.