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Judi's Memorial Service

Judith Lloyd Famous Memorial Page - Includes the Memorial Service, text of the Aegis article, poems by Katelyn and other links including the location of the memorial posting comments.

Memorial Service at Emory United Methodist Church, Street, MD on Saturday, March 26, 2005 at 2pm. A reception at the church with family will follow the service.

A message from the family:

Judi was the kindest, most optimistic and generous person. Her cheery personality could lighten anyone's spirits. With a life centered around sharing her talents and enthusiasm, she touched so many in her short 59 years. Her family, friends and colleagues will miss her always, finding comfort in her legacy of beneficence, sincerity and warmth.

Judi grew up in a "tough" urban neighborhood in South Philadelphia, where church, family and study dominated her day-to-day life. After moving to Maryland and marrying Earl, she tried her hands at farm work … for about a week or two. Clearly her true calling was a contagious love of making music and devotion to working with children.

Music unified Judi's life. As a soloist for the Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra, as well as other local music groups, she perfected her skills as an oboist and took an active role in the community. Teaching instrumental music in Harford County Public Schools, she inspired leagues of blossoming musicians who've kept in touch over the years, sending cards and inviting her to graduation ceremonies and weddings. Her private music students think of her as not only an instructor but also a mentor. With boundless energy, she was forever running from concert to recital to rehearsal to performance. In her last few days, listening to recordings of the Emory Musicians and Emory Choir comforted her.

Judi was the rock of our family; she kept us close. Never wavering from her commitment to loved ones, she brought out the best in us. When someone married into the family, she immediately embraced them like they were cherished life-long relatives -- in fact, she welcomed all those she met with open arms. Just the tone of her voice was enough to make you feel important, cared for, supported. She was our sunshine.

We ask those who knew Judi to jot down some of their favorite memories of her and e-mail them to, or mail them to the farm at 3642 Mill Green Rd., Street, MD 21154. The hope is that through this collection of reminiscences her present and future grandchildren will learn about her from as many perspectives as possible.

Contributions in the name of Judith Lloyd Famous may be made to the Emory Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 94, Street, MD 21154.

We’d like to thank everyone for the prayers, cards, gifts and presence.


Blogger alex said...

My name is Alex Vikestad. I have had Mrs. Famous since 4th grade. I play the Cello. I am going to miss her as my teacher. I just wanted to let her family know how much she taught me in music.

5:18 PM  

Blogger Bridget M. said...

My name is Bridget M. Miss Famous was my favorite and first violin teacher and I am going to miss her. I am sad she won't teach me next year (in 5th grade), but I am happy I got to spend some of the time with her. I will always remember her. Let the music play in her heart.

9:05 PM  

Anonymous Pat Ray said...

Judi was my children's music teacher at Forest Hill Elementary many years ago. She never forgot their names and always asked for them when I saw her. Judi was a unique, caring, special lady and will be missed by many. My heart is with her family.

8:43 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My name is Kim Clifton and Mrs. Famous was my daughter, Maddie's, teacher in 4th and 5th grade at Bel Air Elementary. She plays the cello. Mrs. Famous had a musical gift which she enthusiastically shared with every child she worked with. When Maddie graduated Bel Air Elementary, she penned a letter to Mrs. Famous thanking her for being the most influential teacher at Bel Air Elementary. Maddie continues the love of music Mrs. Famous instilled in her and continues to work toward being a professional cellist one day. I know there are so many other children who feel the same as Maddie. Did you know that some younger elementary students choose the instrument they want to play just so they can have Mrs. Famous as their teacher? She was a rare gem and will never be forgotten. May she rest in peace and may peace be with her family knowing Mrs. Famous brought so much joy to so many budding musicians and their families.

9:55 AM  

Anonymous Katherine Mayor said...

I would like to extend my sympathy to the family of Judy Famous. She taught my daughter at Forest Hill Elem. Kelly (29 yrs.old now)lugged that cello up and down our 1/2 mile hilly driveway and finally to 1st chair at CMW. Without Mrs. Famous in the formative years, Kelly would not have pressed on, I am sure. I never heard her give anything but praise to her students, even when all the notes didn't come together. She will be missed, I am sure. But just think about all the people she has touched in her life and all the goodness she has spread and I am positive she will be one of the five people you meet in heaven to so very many.
From my own experience, it is one of the hardest things that happens in a lifetime, to lose your mother. Only time heals the wound and I know the wonderful times will eventually overcome the sorrow. Blessings to all of you.
Katherine Mayor, HCPS/Transportation

10:24 AM  

Anonymous Tina Harris Schuster said...

Judi has touched so many lives in so many positive ways, it would be impossible to describe the impact that losing her will have on so many who have been blessed to have known her. I have known Judi since I joined the SSO as a teenager, and have since become a professional musician and music educator. I have always had great admiration for Judi as a musician, as a teacher, and as a person. Her skills as an oboe player rate with any professional I've worked with, but she chose rather than to make a living with this talent that she would make her life's work something greater- sharing her enthusiasm for music with her community and the children of her community. The same love for music and committment to excellence she brought to the stage she perfected in the classroom. Over the years, I have had many private students who got their start in orchestra from Mrs. Famous. I could always tell when their first teacher was Judi because they never came to me with bad habits. What they did come to me with was a solid background in basic technique, notereading skills, good practice habits, and a love for music that had to have come from the finest example I've seen. It has been my priviledge to have known her and my thoughts and prayers go out to her family and the many people who hold her so dearly.

2:00 PM  

Anonymous Lynne Koppehoefer said...

I was so sorry to hear of Judy's illness and of her passing. My daughter, Caryn, was one of her oboe students. Our family has many fond memories of recitals and picnics on the farm. Judy leaves an indelible legacy from which I hope her family and friends will take great comfort.

4:49 PM  

Anonymous Debbie Elmore said...

Dear Mr. Famous and Family:

My daughter was a beginner student of Mrs. Famous' 4th Grade at Prospect Mill. My Family and I wish you and your family God's Blessings and Mercy as you struggle through your loss. My daughter, Kesla enjoys the Violin because of Mrs. Famous, and we were so proud of her when we finally got to hear the whole group together this year at the Winter concert. Mrs. Famous had done such a great job with the kids, she was so excited and so patient with them, teaching music to children was definitely her calling. We will certainly miss her dearly. Because of your dear loved one, we will continue to encourage Kesla with her Violin and so that she will always remember who helped her get her start.

With our sympathies,

Debbie & Kevin Elmore & Family
Kesla Elmore, Prospect Mill Elem. 4th Grade.

6:54 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I taught with Judi for 10 years as a music teacher and am so shocked by Judi's passing. On Monday, I learned of her illness and tonite she is gone. My very best wishes go out to her family. She was so very proud of you and loved you all so much. We shared our kid's wedding stories at the same time at Prospect Mill and tried to lose weight to get into the "Mother Dresses" at the same time. She won, by the way. Judi was always so kind and patient with everyone and willing to do anything that she was asked. She was a joy to work with and when I moved to Bel Air Elem., I was thrilled when I saw Judi there, too. When school concerts came around, she was a tower of strength, and kept me focused and together, if need be. But when I wrote a 'school song for BAES, she took that song and orchestrated it for her students and accompanied the chorus and the audience with her own students to help support the new song. Judi never ceased to amaze me. She will be missed by more than just me and may her music continue to be heard in higher places. ---Amy Wilson

10:06 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My name is Alexis Lee..
and my memory with Mrs Famous goes back to 5th grade when I first met her at Prospect Mill Elementary School.
I remember when she first taught me how to play the cello.
I remember her Skittles she would give for practicing each day.
I remember her encouraging comments she would write in my music every week.
I just wanted to say.. that without Mrs Famous, I would not be in this place today.
Today, I received a call from Juilliard regarding my acceptance to the school.
I was so excited to tell her this news, but unfortunately I found out today from a friend that she passed away few days ago.
I'm not sure how I'll be able to handle this.
She has taught me so much... life and music...and I know for sure that without her.. things would have been much different.
I thank God that I was able to have Mrs Famous as my teacher.
I will miss her very much and your family will be in my prayer.

12:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Janet just a not to let you know that you are in my thoughts and prayers as
is your whole family I offered prayers for Judi land night and lit a candle
and will remember her from the Altar on Easter.

God's Peace,

9:59 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My name is Allie B. I had Mrs. Famous as an orchestra teacher since 3rd grade. I will miss her very much, for she inspired me to play the violin. She was a fabulous teacher, and inspiration.

10:08 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a teacher you never realize the power you have to create excitement in the heart of a young soul about living life. I feel honored that my daughter, Sara Sage, a fourth grader and violin student of Mrs. Famous, had the opportunity to share the passion Mrs. Famous had for music. As devasted as both Sara and I are about Mrs. Famous passing, we both are so blessed to have even known her. It was more than music she was love. She is ever present in the sound of the melody of a child's song. May
God bless.

10:46 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My name is Kirsten Naef Lavin. I took oboe lessons from Judi from middle school through high school. I have very fond memories of early Saturday mornings on her farm. She would always have something nice to say about our playing - even when our playing didn't sound that nice. She was so encouraging to me whenever I had an audition or recital. I always felt loved and appreciated by her. Even though I don't play very much any more, I think of her often. It's hard to believe someone with such a vibrant life is no longer her.

My heart and prayers go to her family. God bless.


12:11 PM  

Blogger Katie O said...

My name is Katie O'Brien and I had Mrs. Famous for a violin teacher this year at Prospect Mill School. I will miss her dearly and will never forget her. My thought and prayers are with you and your family.

12:55 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My 7-year old daughter, Anjali Benjamin-Webb, loved Ms. Judi so much. She wrote the following poem for Ms. Judi on her own.

"Nice Lady, It Is Time"

Nice Lady, you treated me well with faith and joyfulness.

For it is time to say good bye to you.

Nice Lady, it is time to say good bye to the rivers and the sky, to the birds that fly high in the sky, to the people and the happiness inside.

I feel your pain and pressure. I know how hard it is because you’re feeling the pressure. But now you’re in heaven.

Nice Lady, I will miss you for ever and ever. When I go to bed I will dream of you every night.

1:55 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel I cannot say enough about someone who gave so much of herself, especially to her students. May God bless Judi and her family. I pray that Judi is resting in peace, playing beautiful music in heaven.

2:01 PM  

Anonymous Anne Opfer Quirin said...

My name is Anne Quirin (nee Opfer),and am greatly saddened to learn of Judi's passing. Pre-Famous, she was my first flute teacher at Norrisville Elementary School in 1967 (fourth grade). I continued with the flute through high school and college and am still playing. I just learned of Judi's illness and passing today and would like to send my heartfelt condolences to Earl, their children, and everyone in the Famous family.
I cannot say enough about Judi's talents as a teacher and musician, and she was, as everyone reading this knows, a fun, wonderful, caring person as well. My fondest memories of Judi are playing in her recorder ensemble during my high school years, rehearsing at the farm, and her playing at my wedding reception in a Baroque trio with Doris Jenkins and Barry Trent. And back in elementary school, I distinctly remember being extremely jealous that my older brother, who was in the NHHS Stage Band at the time, had the privilege of attending Judi and Earl's wedding reception because the band was performing there!
I attribute my enjoyment of ensemble playing to Judi, as we (her students) played in small groups even in elementary school. I have not lived in Harford Co. since 1990, but I heard Judi perform several times over the years, and it was always a joy to hear her in recitals or with the SSO. I know she will be missed by many whose lives she touched in Harford County and elsewhere.
My thoughts and prayers are with the family and everyone who mourns her loss. I live in Arizona, but I will be at Emory in spirit tomorrow.
With love and prayers, Anne

2:13 PM  

Anonymous Susan Huff said...

Dear Famous Family,
I heard the news from my mom yesterday--I can't express my sadness at the lost of one of my dearest friends and mentors-- I first met Judi and Earl when my brother took oboe lessons from Judi in the early 70's. I played the flute, but Judi always encouraged anyone who played an instrument and included them in her musical efforts. I received my degree in music quite a few years ago, and am still playing the flute, mostly the Irish flute. Judi had a way of making everyone-- even the shyest person-- feel valued and important. She was always interested in what YOU were doing, and always had time and a smile for EVERYONE, which is what I remember the most... I had the fun and privilege of playing together with her and Judy Brand in a woodwind trio in the late 80's, as well as playing in the Susquehanna symphony and the community band with her. She, Dolly, and Judy played at my wedding reception. I am so saddened and shocked that she is gone--Earl, Mark, Lucinda, Todd, Janet and June--I am so very sorry for your loss, you are all in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you, Earl for sharing Judi with us, and kids, for sharing your mom with the rest of us. She added so much to our lives and will always be alive in my heart. Judi, I'll miss you so much. Love, Susan

3:38 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to extend my deepest sympathies to the Famous family... My name is Saron and Judi was my first and favorite oboe teacher. She was always one of the kindest, sweetest people I knew. I am saddened to hear of her sudden illness and passing. Judi was not only an excellent oboe teacher, but she was an encouraging friend too. She always knew how to get more out of me than I thought possible. She taught me how to play a persnickety instrument well and with passion. From her, I learned that it wasn't worth playing unless you played it with your heart. She encouraged me to try music I thought far too difficult and helped me to conquer it and do well. She instilled in me a good practice habit and laid the foundation that helped me tremendously when I played oboe at the university. She always had a smile and encouragement for me whenever she saw me - years after I had stopped taking lessons with her. And whenever I needed another player for a gig, she was always willing to help by playing herself or finding someone who could. I still play oboe and English horn today, thanks to her loving, excellent teaching. Judi will definitely be missed and I know that my life has been brighter and better because I had the privilege of knowing her and being one of her students. I will miss her sweet, cheerful face and friendly voice and look forward to seeing her again in heaven. May God bless and comfort each of you as you remember her and say good bye. ~ "He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any crying or pain... Behold I am making all things new" - Rev. 21:4, 5

3:59 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My name is Emily Krause and Mrs. Famous taught me for 5 years; since 3rd grade. I wanted to let her family know that I will not forget her and that she was such a nice person. The thing I remember the most about her was that when I first started, she was the only one who thought I was old enough to play the oboe. Without her, I most likely would not have been playing my oboe today. She was an inspiration to everyone: my brother wanted to start cello because he watched me play at my oboe lessons and wanted to play an instrument. Mrs. Famous was such an amazing person and did so many things that so many people know her. I will always love her and I'm sure many others do too.

5:40 PM  

Anonymous Sam DeSpirito said...

My name is Samantha DeSpirito and I just wanted to extend my symapthies to the Famous family. Mrs. Famous was my first violin teacher in school and as a privete teacher. She helped me discover the gift of music that without her I would not have found. I'm now a sophomore at Fallston and will forever be thankful for the gifts she gave me, I'm proud to say I had her as a teacher, she will be greatly missed.

6:14 PM  

Anonymous Nancy Murray said...

My time with Judi was Monday and Thursday evenings. I am one of the tennis ladies- the ones who exercise our spirit as much as our bodies. Judi was our inspiration, our motivator and our guide. No matter how bad our day had been, Judi lifted our spirits and made us appreciate each other and the friendship we shared. I will forever remember playing throughout the cold, the drizzle, and the heat, just for the chance to get together for some laughs. My heart goes out to Earl and the family. May you know that you were her life- that which she was so proud of. Her spirit will live on each and every time we hit a tennis ball, or have a summer tournament. My thoughts, prayers and love are forever with you. Nancy Murray

9:19 PM  

Anonymous Daniel Christman said...

I came to this area in early 1995. I was told there was no place for me to play oboe or English horn here because “Harford County is a hotbed for oboists,” probably because of Judi’s phenomenal success in teaching music in this county. I met Judi when I went to the first SSO rehearsal in the fall of 1995. At that time Judi told me she wanted to resign from the Bel Air Community Band after having played with them for 25 years and asked if I would be willing to take her place. So I have been playing for the BACB for most of 10 years. I did see Judi in the BACB audience a few times. When Judi’s declining health was announced to the BACB a couple weeks ago, it was pointed out that Judi had graciously withdrawn from the BACB to make room for me. I hadn’t thought of it that way before. Since then I have heard from others that that was Judi’s way. She would step aside to encourage others to shine. Maybe she had told me she wanted to resign in order to get me to accept her gift to me and to make me feel I was doing her the favor!

11:00 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am another one of the "tennis ladies". Judi was one of the most generous people I know. She was always interested in hearing about our lives and remembered details about my family other people would forget. She would even tell us to play tennis at her court even if she wasn't going to be there. After tennis we would sit on her porch and she'd share popsicles as we listened to the crickets and chatted about family and friends. After reading all the previous comments it is easy to see Judi touched the lives of so many people. I will never forget her and will miss her. To Judi's family, you are in my prayers but know that Judi's spirit will live on through others. Meredith Coy

11:05 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mrs Famous was my music teacher in elementary school. She started giving me priviate lessons on the violin when i was just five years old. then in 4th grade, she was my orchestra teacher. She encouraged me to play every instrument i felt like playing. When it came time for concerts, she forced me to play violin. not only did she introduce music into my life, but she taught my brother the trumpet, too. he is now first chair trumpet in his high school band.

All through middle school, i went to her house a couple of times a week. she taught me everything i know about violin. i wanted to learn simple fiddle music, and she taught me the orange blossom special. she was so talented.

When i went to high school, we slowly drifted apart. The only times i'd see her was when she was doing sectionals for harford string orchestra or the occasional times i'd see her at music land.

I havent seen her in a few years, and knowing i never will saddens me deeply.

I miss her so much already, but i know the pain is a thousand times worse for her family. my prayers are with you all.

God bless.

11:53 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My heart-felt sympathies go to the Famous family with the passing of Judi. As my very first oboe instructor back in the late 70's, Judi was instrumental in initiating me along a lifelong path of becoming a musician. In addition to private study, I sat next to her in the Susquahana Symphony throughout my high school years. Now a member of the Virginia Symphony, I have Judi to thank for selflessly helping me to begin to achieve my professional aspirations.

Her approach to pedagogy combined with her caring personality was a perfect combination of ingredients for anyone who wished to develop themselves through music. While her physical presence will be missed her vibrant energy will remain ever-present with the music made from all of the souls that she has touched.

Unable to make the memorial service due to professional obligations, I will dedicate my personal performance of Mahler's Second Symphony, "Resurrection", to her honor.

With Deepest Sympathies...

George Corbett
English Horn/Oboe
Virginia Symphony Orchestra
...and proud student of Judi Famous

8:38 AM  

Anonymous Bonnie Naef said...

It just takes my breath away to think that Judi is no longer with us. But wait! She remains with us in so many little (and not so little) faces of those she has touched both musically and in learning life's lessons. As the mother of one of her oboe students, Kirsten, I remember those lessons in the house on the hill. Judi taught her well...and so much more than how to play an instrument. For that we, as a family, will remember her always!
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

8:48 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In 4th and 5th grade, your Mrs. Famous taught me how to play the cello. She was a big inspiration to many students she taught, especially to me. She never let me give up, and she is one of the biggest reasons I am still playing cello today, in 9th grade. I just wanted to let you know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Mrs. Famous was an amazing person, and she will be greatly missed.

-Brittany Hart

12:14 PM  

Anonymous Bobby Keller said...

Mrs. Famous was an amazing teacher to me back in my elemenetary school years. She taught me what a gift I had for the alto saxophone, and helped me flesh it out. I am now a sophomore, and am pursuing a career in musical composition and practice. I send my deepest regards to the Famous family, and god bless them for all the wonders that Mrs. Famous has done.

11:42 PM  

Blogger Sheldon Bair said...

There are so many memories of making music with Judi over the last 25 years! She was a consumate artist and teacher! Judi was so supportive of the SSO, and was so proud when Mark and Earl participated in the 1812 Overture almost 10 years ago. Judi was an indefatigable elementary school music teacher (she was exhausting to watch!) and students seemed to sense her wishes without her telling them what to do. She loved her students and they loved her in return! The excellent quality of the Choir at Emory Church is a testament to Judi's musicality and hard work. A fond memory was the evening we sang and played the Messiah in her music room at home, with about 25 people crammed into that space one Christmas season. Judi touched so many lives and will be greatly missed!

Sheldon Bair

7:52 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I taught at Bel Air Elementary with Judi. She was a friend. Judi had a "special charm"...Judi was a charmer. Judi would "blow" into BAES and she always made me smile. It was rare that Judi talked slowly as she was always "on the go", multi-taking her way through the day. Judi gave us energy. Judi had a "spark"...a sparkle that drew people to her....She will be missed. Because of Judi,...the world is a better place. Dian Hughes

9:40 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Words simply could not do justice to Judi. Her life spoke for itself, and it is impossible to describe how much I am going to miss her.

Friend, mentor, fellow musician, surrogate mother—all of these I would use to describe my relationship with Judi Famous. For as long as I can remember, Judi has always been one of the most important people in my life. She had the ability to bring out the best qualities in everyone—and always made you see the best qualities in yourself. No matter where you were, if Judi was there, you felt at home. Never have I met a more dedicated teacher, wife, mother, or Christian. In every aspect of her life, she always put others before herself. Anyone who knew her could see this immediately. She was the most Christian woman that I have ever known.

For the last fifteen years, I have felt as if I was a part of the Famous family, and it has been my privlege to know not only Judi, but all of the Famous's. I have more memories of Judi than I could count, but I hold each and every one of them very dear to my heart. She was the consumate musician, and quite simply one of the most amazing people I have ever known.

I feel lucky, because through Judi, I was almost Famous...

Matt Bachman

10:45 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

First and most importantly, I want to express my very deepest sympathy to Judi's family and friends.

I met Judi many years ago when our children attended school together but it was when I joined the Emory choir, under her direction, that I really came to know and love her.

As much as we may try, it would be hard to adequately put into words what a treasure she was. She was so loved by the Emory choir! It certainly has been a challenge for us to get through Judi's memorial service and all of the Easter services but we did it for her and the family that she so loved and adored.

She loved Earl and her children as much as anyone can love and she loved and adored her grandchildren. She visited Emma (and Mark and Jennifer) as frequently as possible and always came back to us with pictures and stories about Emma. When Morgan arrived on the scene, it was the same, she was equally treasure by Judi.

There are so many wonderful memories of Judi. There were the times when she had us to her home -she and Earl were great hosts and always made everyone feel so welcome.

Judi was extremely supportive and encouraging to all of us and was a tremendous mentor.

There were the times when, during her direction of the choir, "some" of us (usually the men) would neglect to follow her direction and she'd catch their eyes and let them know in her "Judi" way that they needed to follow her.

Then, there were the times that, after we'd finished singing, she would give us her look of approval - that was the absolute best! There was nothing better than doing a good job for her.

Not too long ago, our choir was allowed to move into a new choir room, which is almost twice the size of our old one. Judi asked me if I'd be available to come and help set it up - she also asked Nancy Street. Nancy and I met Judi and Earl at the church and we started to work. We took up the carpet, cleaned the floor, filed music and got the room into shape. I think I can speak for Nancy as I say how grateful we are to have had that opportunity. When you walk into the room, it is so Judi.

When asked how the choir would be able to continue, my answer was, "Before, we were singing with Judi and to the glory of God, now we are singing for Judi and to the glory of God."

I thank God for the privilege of knowing Judi and of being able to say that we were friends.


8:33 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This true story provides a snapshot in time with Judi who had an incredible passion for experiancing life to its fullest.

A thought has stuck out in my mind of Judi from a summer Sunday morning at Emory about four years ago. I was doing the music for the day while the choir was on summer break. I was prepared to sing a song written by Steven Curtis Chapman "Be Still and Know" I had trouble getting the tape player to play the tape at the right speed (it sounded like Chinese music!) anyway I finally got the problem resolved and began to sing this song after all the laughter had stopped.
Since I am standing in the front of the church, nobody but myself could see Judi standing in the back of the church. As I sang this song, (even after the funny situation before hand) I so remember Judi just closing her eyes and taking in the whole experiance of the words that I was singing, the music that was playing, the sunshine that was present outside that day and all of the appreciation for being in this life at that moment and time. Experiancing life to the fullest! When you sing in front of a crowd, especially in a church setting it is so rewarding to see someone appreciate truly and honestly the message that you so much want to give to everybody. Most people are afraid to show that. Judi was not. I have had this memory in my mind for some time now and will have it for some time yet to come.

I enjoyed collaborating with Judi to always try and deliver a message through music and song. From the age of nine when I was a beginning trumpet player, through today singing as a transplanted baratone into a tenor (sure you can do it! she said) in the choir at age 43.

Peace and Gods grace to the entire family.

Here are the words to the song I sang that summer Sunday morning:

Be still and know that he is god
Be still and know that he is holy
Be still oh restless soul of mine
Bow before the prince of peace
Let the noise and clamor cease

Be still and know that he is god
Be still and know that he is faithful
Consider all that he has done
Stand in awe and be amazed
And know that he will never change

Be still and know that he is god
Be still and know that he is god
Be still and know that he is god
Be still
Be speechless

Be still and know that he is god
Be still and know he is our father
Come rest you head upon his breast
Listen to the rhythm of
His unfailing heart of love
Beating for his little ones
Calling each of us to come
Be still
Be still

David Streett

1:44 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I may not have gone on to perform professionally, but Mrs. Famous definately touched my life. She was by far the most enthusiastic teacher I ever had. She knew that the key to music was keeping the musician interested - instead of drowning us in traditional pieces she always had us playing disney songs, or anything we seemed interested in. Her passion for music was contagious. I wasn't the best violinist - but i LOVED the instrument and her knack for making music enjoyable kept me playing beyond high school.

She touched more lives in a day than many do in a lifetime.

Everyone remembers their favorite teacher - we will remember her fondly - my deepest sympathy goes out to the Famous family at this difficult time.

When you think you feel her absence, realize her spirit will live on through the music of generations to come...

10:41 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mrs. Famous was a very special lady. My daughter Kelsey Clayton adored her. She left a huge impression on Kelsey. Mrs. Famous is that special teacher that no one will ever forget. I feel so blessed that Kelsey had the chance to be taught by her and had the pleasure to be one of her students. God blesss the family we will keep them in our prayers.

2:13 PM  

Anonymous Dolly Reinhardt said...

I first met Judi in 1974 when she started a recorder consort at Harford Community College. At the time I was at home with 2 small children and was looking for any excuse to spend an evening out in the company of adults. The recorder that I had purchased years ago while studying in Austria came out of the closet along with the fingering chart. I remember sitting out on the patio with the fingering chart and a simple piece of music, trying to learn enough to get me through that first rehearsal. Judi managed to pull this group together and bring us up to a level where we could play concerts at local churches, libraries, schools, and at the Renaissance Festival.

When Judi was preparing her recital for her Master's Degree at Towson Univ., she invited me and Barry Trent (bassoon) to join with her in performing a baroque trio sonata. She had never heard me play flute before, but, being the risk taker that she was, that didn't matter. Whenever we would go to Towson for a rehearsal, Judi would always bring treats to the house for my children to enjoy while I was gone. All went well with the recital and Judi added another degree to her credentials.

Her next mission was to talk me into joining the Susquehanna Symphony which at that time was called the Harford Community Orchestra.

In the early years of the orchestra rehearsals, the wind players often had too much time on their hands while the strings were working out their problems. Since Judi was working on needlepoint projects at that time, she sometimes carried yarn and needles with her. The players seated in front of us soon learned not to hang their coats on the backs of their chairs, because at the end of the rehearsal they had a certain amount of difficulty getting their arms through the sleeves. I can also recall our playing rehearsals with turkey feathers stuck in our hair. Again that was Judi's fault for bringing in the supplies.

I have never seen anyone who was so good at doing so many things at one time. Extended rests in music were always times of great accomplishment for our principal oboist. She often read magazines, worked on reeds, wrote letters to her children, showed us family pictures, put grades on report cards, and, worst of all, talked to me. Judi could count rests, carry on an extended conversation with me, and still enter again at the correct time. To her credit she was always very apologetic to me when I missed my entrances.

Over the 30 years that Judi and I have known each other, we have played many concerts in trios, quintets, and with the orchestra. We have traveled to Williamsburg to perform, and have attended many conventions together.

Judi has worked her magic as a teacher with her enthusiasm that has made students want to learn. She has left her mark on each of us with her energetic personality, her caring manner, and her love of live itself. I have lost a very dear friend, and I know that her memory will always be with me.

6:22 PM  

Anonymous Brian Folus said...

To the Famous family,
One cannot begin to understand the profound loss you feel but know that we all share that with you. Judi was a remarkable person. Her friendship and the memories I have of her and being with the Famous family will always be cherished.

8:12 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am another oboist in the Susquehanna Symphony. I've played oboe and english horn with Judi for 24 years. And there were times where I felt she actually was playing the instruments with me! I used to get pretty nervous if I had an exposed part to play so Judi (and Jan, our third oboist) would be sitting next to me, breathing right along with me! I know they got me through some of those solos. Judi always smiled and said "good job" after a solo, and I'm not sure I ever said that often enough back to her! She was so much like my high school oboe teacher in New Jersey and I admired both women so much. They both made oboe reeds at the same type of fold-front desk, and they both adopted the same Philiadelphia Orchestra oboe sound. That's probably one reason why I was drawn to Judi when I first joined the SSO. She was already "familiar".

When Sheldon and I were married she hosted a surprise orchestra picnic at her home to honor us. She treated us like family. I knew we could swim in the pool in the summer, drop in on Halloween with my kids in their costumes and come up and sled in the winter. And she always grabbed her camera and documented the visit with a picture or two!

Judi started my son, Zachary on the string bass the summer before he entered third grade. She made him feel special at Bel Air Elementary by allowing him to play his bass with the fourth and fifth grade orchestras and playing patriotic songs over the PA system in the morning. He wasn't her most "organized" student, but she pushed him along just the same. I had hoped that she would stay with teaching until my daughter, Morgan had a chance to study with her.

(Judi and I thought it so amazing that my daughter's name, Morgan Emma is the same as both of her grand-daughters, and my son, Zachary is the name of her nephew on the Lloyd side of the family.)

I have great memories of Judi at Music Educator's conventions (including late night talks in our hotel room), orchestra concerts in Philly and Baltimore, and car rides to Oboe Works in VA and Covey when he was in Baltimore. She had no fear when it came to stricking up a conversation with a professional musician. She'd head straight for the green room at the intermission of every concert and look for any musician who would talk to her. I was in awe of her ability to converse with Hans Holliger or James Ostrynic(sp?) or Richard Woodhams!

About two years ago Judi encouraged us to come up and worship at Emory Church. Soon after we decided to attend the church regularly, then we joined the choir. I usually sing soprano, but she needed altos, so that's where she put me. It really helped my sight singing skills. As her grand-daughters were born she wanted to take weekends off to go and visit them. Before long either Sheldon or I were conducting the choir. It turned out to be a useful experience since we were both called on to lead the choir through the Easter season this year. Although there were many, many tears back in the choir room, I never heard the Emory choir sing better than they did this season! It was a real tribute to Judi that they wanted to make music for her in the sanctuary, and keep the tears for the back room.

Twice this past year Judi and Earl let our kids sleep overnight at the farm, then they'd bring them to church on Sunday morning. I don't know about Earl, but my kids had a great time. They'd come home with hours of stories of their stay and gifts from Judi. I know she was destined to be a wonderful grandmother. Her love of children was monumental.

The last gifts Judi gave to Sheldon and me were leather bound copies of the church hymnal. They are so special to both of us. Books, food and flowers were her favorite gifts to give and she came to church almost every Sunday with something to give to someone!

I am still deeply saddened by Judi's passing, and if I feel this way, I can only imagine the depth of loss her family feels. She loved you all so much! The Famous and the nearly and newly Famous. There will never be another Judi Famous and I am privileged to have been her one of her many friends.

Barbara Bair

1:49 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have known Judi since my husband and I joined Emory Church in the Fall of 1989. My first impression of Judi and her direction of the choir was, "WOW!" What a talented and inspired musician here in this little church in Street, MD. As the years passed, my respect and love for Judi continually increased. When she was not in church, I really missed her presence.

Judi and I worked together for many years on the Worship Committee. Her ideas were always imaginative and exciting. She also seemed to challenge you to dig in and do your best.

There are so many words to describe Judi and many have already been written on this web site. When I try to find a word, I feel COMMITTED applies. Judi was totally committed to her God, her family, her friends, and her students. You could always count on Judi!

Several months ago, Judi was very concerned about me in the midst of some medical problems. At one point she told me that she did not know how I was able to deal with not being able to function at 100%. She felt that it would be impossible for her to function at anything less. I'm sure that she is functioning at 100% now in heaven. God Bless You, Judi.

Nancy McDorman

9:09 PM  

Anonymous kayla pajtis said...

my name is kayla pajtis, i was one of mrs. famous' oboe students dince middle school. i started wanting to play oboe in seventh grade after quitting trumpet and flute. my mom told her this and she said to my mom "i don't teach anyone oboe who's picked up another instrument in their life, but i'll listen to her." after she heard me play, we immediately started lessons as she was very impressed with me. i continued with lessons from her until my tenth grade year, when i went back to trumpet. she was very disappointed that i was quitting oboe, but she felt confident i would go back to playing it eventually. and she was right. she taught me so much about oboe, all of the tough notes to reach and how to make my own reeds.... i could go on forever. i was so surprised to hear right before i went on vacation ( about 2 weeks before she passed away) that she had cancer. i went to her house hoping to talk to her, but she was asleep, so i gave mr. earl a card for her. i still wish i would've gotten to talk to her. because while i was on vacation in florida at disney, she passed away and i missed her memorial service and everything. she was a great person who always had faith in me, though, even when i would fight back my hardest saying i was no good at oboe. she gave me motivation and confidence to move forward and not be afraid to make mistakes. i will never forget her or her family. i miss her so much

7:32 AM  

Anonymous Sandy Deak said...

My deepest condolances go out to the Famous family for your loss. I feel privaleged to have met Judi, and even though I only spent a few days with her (and family) on a mediterranean cruise last July, she will always be in my heart. She was such a sweet woman..... and could she ever dance!

Wishing you comfort in the midst of pain,
Sandy Deak

4:05 PM  

Blogger Caryn Lynne K. Hefler said...

As soon as I heard of Judi's illness I began praying for her and the family. When I learned of her passing I was shocked. I still can't believe she is gone. I have so many wonderful memories of Judi and the farm. The summer lessons, getting stuck on the hill in the snow, M&M's for practicing, learning to make my reeds, her helping me prepare for Carnegie Hall, Solo and Ensemble Festivals, the summer recitals, her love for everyone and everything... She was such a wonderful and amazing woman. I will never forget her or the wonderful memories. She touched so many lives and will never be forgotten. My love and prayers are with all of you!

-Caryn Lynne (Koppenhoefer) Hefler

3:11 PM  

Anonymous Alex Packard said...

I had Mrs. Famous in 4th and 5th grade and was very sad to here of her illness. As a Violist i have found that some of her small lessons have helped me persevere throung in these years in middle school and hope that all that had herbefore she left us were able to be influenced also, I am sad that she has left us but proud that I was able to be tought by a wonderful teacher.

3:28 PM  

Anonymous ryan herbert said...

my name is ryan herbert,she was the best

5:22 PM  

Anonymous Melissa Foley said...

My sister and I both had Judi in 4th and 5th grades at Forest Hill Elementary. Although I was never very good at the oboe, sometimes I would hand it over to her so she could show me how it was done and I never believed that instrument could sound so winsome. I'm 25 now and I just found my oboe today in the back of a closet. I decided to do a search for her to see if she was still teaching and unfortunately all I found was this beautiful page bearing bad news. She was truly an amazing woman.

10:48 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My daughter was a student at North Harford Middle School when I first met Judi. I was referred to her by the school and so soon after meeting her, she was reluctant to teach my daughter, Kayla, oboe at first, but said she would give her a try. Well, within 2 weeks she had her playing her first song for a summer concert on her back porch! That was Judi.....determined, patient, kind, and always an encourager! I would see my daughter walk in not feeling so good about her music and before she left she was confident! She was kind to have toys in another room for my younger child - always thoughtful and had that smile waiting to greet you when you came in. She took her tutoring very seriously and knew her music very well. I can still see and hear her playing and so thankful for this website to refer to those wonderful memories. I am blessed to have known Judi and Earl was such a key supporter and would attend and help with the concerts. He didn't know it, but I would watch Earl from time to time when Judi would play and you could see that sparkle in his eye as he adored her and the beautiful gift of music that was given to her by God. I am so thankful to be able to share this with all of you. I miss her soooooooo........much! God Bless you all and thanks to all who made this website possible - it is a well deserved tribute to a very fine lady!

6:32 PM  

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