OREPA co-founder Judith Hallock died on Friday, January 13, 2012 in Asheville, North Carolina after a long illness. We post this remembrance of one part of Judith’s amazingly rich life—from her deep commitment in 1988 to the founding of OREPA until her death, Judith remained active and deeply invested in OREPA’s work.
OREPA is among the organizations selected by Judith’s partner, Daav Wheeler, for memorial gifts. You can click the “donate now” button to give to OREPA in Judith’s memory.
Comments of OREPA’s coordinator, Ralph Hutchison, at the Celebration of Judith’s life held on January 21 in Asheville:
Judith Hallock was one of OREPA’s three co-founders way back in 1988.
She remained deeply involved—the only one of our founders to stay so deeply connected—over 23 years. she not only offered her strong support, she encouraged others to support OREPA’s work, to find their way to resist the scourge of nuclear weapons.
On august 6, 1988, Judith, along with four other people, established the tradition of civil resistance in Oak Ridge; she and Myra, Chris, Doug and Jeff were the first people ever arrested in a nonviolent action for peace at the Y12 plant. She would be arrested there several more times over the years—I was proud to stand next to her the first time I was arrested, in 1998. Her most recent civil resistance action was in July of 2010.
All of these are reasons for me to say good things about her today, and all things she richly deserves to be remembered and honored for but—
the deep respect and love I have for Judith endures in my heart for other reasons:
Judith’s thoughtful spiritual discipline taught me about mindfulness;
When she went on a peace walk with Nipponzan Myohoji to Sri Lanka, it planted a seed in my mind that, fifteen years later, found me walking in India with my family.
When she served on OREPA’s decision-making council, she always brought not only her thoughtful commitment to the cause, but her deep concern for the people in the room;
When she asserted herself in one meeting and insisted that she be accorded respect, not diminished because of her gender—it changed not only the tenor of that meeting, but the character of our organization, and brought me a step closer to the light.
Because she was often quiet, Judith could be overlooked in a room full of people. But once she spoke, that possibility vanished—her contributions came from deeply thoughtful reflection and invariably moved us toward a final decision that was clearer and better.
I thought of Judith every day, probably a dozen times a day and lately even more, since last May when we first noticed something seemed awry. I’ve thought of her courage, her wisdom, her groundedness, her persistence, her thoughtfulness… and when I sat down to collect thoughts for today, I wondered how to put it all together. I’m still not sure. but I can say this, and say it with great affection: Judith was a remarkably kind person.
I also want to say, to acknowledge out loud, my great appreciation for David, and for the tireless care he has provided, for the wisdom with which he and Judith charted their way on this journey, for the relentless compassion he exhibited every single day, day after day after day. It’s important for a community to not take that for granted—well, of course her would rise to the moment—Daav, Judith was deeply blessed to have you with her on this journey. I realize that, just as Judith’s light has illuminated my way over the last 25 years, your light, too, will shine before us going forward. Thank you.