Judy Kiser, 73, died at Bridge Hospice in Findlay, Ohio on Thursday, November 30, 2017. She is survived by her husband of 38 years, James P. Carpenter, daughter Juli Ann Phillips Hernando, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents Gerald and Margaret (Phillips) Kiser and her brother, James Kiser. Judy is also survived by her sisters Cara Black and Shirley Kiser, and sister-in-law Linda Kiser. She wanted to acknowledge her special friend Shondell Hawkins and her daughter Hannah Goldsby.
Judy was born on July 26, 1944 in Risingsun, Ohio. She graduated from Lakota High School in 1962, and attended Bowling Green State University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology in 1966. Judy attended graduate school at the University of Michigan where she received her Master of Social Work in 1968. Judy’s career in social service spanned over five decades. She began as a caseworker at Lucas County Children Services, then worked as a clinical therapist at Family Services of Northwest Ohio and the Elizabeth A. Zepf Community Mental Health Center, and later in her career was a clinical supervisor for local nursing homes. In 1974, Judy was hired as one of the first two faculty members to teach in the newly formed BSW Program at Bowling Green State University where she taught for 36 years.
In her tenure at BGSU, Judy assumed many roles including Assistant Professor, Program and Field Director, and assisted the program in five successful accreditation renewals. Her dream was to bring social work education to the rural areas in Northwest Ohio. Judy retired in 2010 and was recognized as Assistant Professor Emeritus by the Bowling Green State University Board of Trustees.
One of Judy’s primary area of interest was advocacy. She was a staunch advocate for social justice and for the social work profession. She worked with social workers all over the State of Ohio to establish, strengthen, and grow the Ohio Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). She was a member of NASW for over 40 years and held leadership positions at the local, state, and national levels. She received many awards for her work including Social Worker of the Year, Outstanding Service and Lifetime Achievement at the local and state levels. She also was nominated in 2017 for the NASW National Lifetime Achievement Award.
Judy was a board member at several organizations including the Hancock County ADAMHS Board and Connecting Point. In her advocacy for the social work profession, Judy testified at the Ohio General Assembly and supported the passage of licensing for social workers in the State of Ohio. She was the 8th person to receive an Ohio License to practice social work. In 2017, she was recognized by the Ohio House of Representatives for her years of community service.
Judy’s spirit of giving also extended to her family. She was a magnet for people who needed someone to talk to about a problem or concern, or just wanted some advice. She was described as the glue that held the family together, which was a role that she cherished. Judy loved spending time in her garden, completing word search puzzles, cooking and listening to music, especially Christmas music. She loved everything about the Christmas holiday and demonstrated the spirit of Christmas all year long. In her lifetime, Judy’s love of people and desire to make the world a better place was felt by countless students, professional social workers across the state and country, family and friends. She will be missed greatly, but she will never be gone from the hearts and memories of those with whom she meant so much.
In lieu of flowers, please send memorials and tributes to the Bowling Green State University Social Work Program. Graveside services pending through COLDREN-CRATES FUNERAL HOME, Findlay.
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