Judith Ann Waldman, educator, attorney, mother
Judith Ann Waldman, educator, attorney, and Assistant District Attorney in Richmond County died on Sunday, November 16, 2008. She was 65 and lived in Staten Island.
Her sudden death, at New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan, was caused by complications of cancer. She died peacefully and surrounded by love. Until a few weeks before her death, she continued to travel widely and care for her children and grandchildren.
Judith Ann Waldman was born in Brooklyn, New York on January 26, 1943. Her father, Nathan Hodes, was a New York City Police Officer, her mother, Gertrude Hodes, a seamstress. From an early age it was evident that her father perhaps had wanted a son, and taught his oldest daughter to hunt, fish, and build; her mother taught her to cook, sew, and nurture. She became an accomplished student.
After graduating from Thomas Jefferson High School, she studied medieval history, first at Brooklyn College, where she earned a Bachelors Degree, and then at Richmond College, where she earned a Masters Degree. While at Brooklyn College she met Robert Waldman, who was studying to become a chemist, and later became a teacher. They were married on September 7, 1963. She became an educator, and taught history at Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn and at Susan Wagner High School in Staten Island.
While raising three adolescent children, Judith Waldman attended the New York Law School, where she graduated early and with honors in February 1979. She was a member of the Human Rights Law Review and editor of the journal Aequitas. She subsequently joined the Richmond County District Attorney’s office on September 17th, 1979, and served the people of Staten Island as Assistant District Attorney under the honorable Thomas Sullivan and the honorable William Murphy before retiring on September 30, 2002.
Her twenty-three years as an Assistant District Attorney in Richmond County were marked by the development and growth of the Sensitive Abuse and Assault Family Unit (SAAF) which prosecuted cases involving sex crimes and child abuse. She then started and led the unit prosecuting official corruption and misconduct. For many years she led Project Reality, in which the District Attorney’s Office visited schools and hospitals making students aware of the perils of drug abuse. She was recognized many times for her work in the protection of women and children, and received the Hathor Award.
It was as a wife, mother, and grandmother, however, that she made her strongest impact. Her family always came first, and she was a constant and guiding presence in their lives.
She is survived by her husband, Robert Waldman; her children, Dr. Seth (and Joanna) Waldman, Dr. Marc (and Dr. Jill) Waldman, Dr. Deborah (and Dr. Paul Romanelli) Waldman; as well as ten grandchildren: Zarabeth, Zachary, ZoŽ, Zia, Daniel, Miranda, Zayla, Genevieve, Theodore, and Adelaide.
Always in charge, she maintained a consistently positive attitude until the end. “There’s no percentage in worrying,” she always said, and she held on to life with determination until her entire family came to her bedside.
Funeral services were held at New Montefiore Cemetery in Farmingdale, New York on November 17th.