Deborah Jean Stoudt, a longtime journalist and educator, died November 20, 2020, after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was 68.
Deborah was born and raised in Miami, Florida. Her father, Howard, a veteran of World War II, was a mechanic for Eastern Airlines, and her mother, Celia, was a seamstress and homemaker.
Deb attended Miami Christian School and Miami-Dade Community College, where she first fostered her passion for journalism. She finished her college career at the University of Florida, where she worked on The Alligator, an award-winning student newspaper.
After graduation, Deb interned at The Bradenton Herald and Sarasota Journal on Florida’s Gulf Coast before moving north to the Philadelphia area. She worked at several odd jobs while getting her journalistic feet wet with freelance assignments for various publications, including The Philadelphia Inquirer.
While freelancing at The Courier Post in southern New Jersey, she met her future husband, Mike Judge. They both took full-time jobs at The Press of Atlantic City shortly thereafter, and their friendship became a romance.
They were married in 1983 and welcomed their first son, Benjamin, in 1984. They moved to Miami (back to Miami for Deb) in 1986. They worked at The Miami Herald, where Deb did some writing and editing. Her History Around Us column, featuring many Miami area landmarks and institutions, was popular with readers. Deb and Mike had their second son, Matthew, in 1989.
In 1998, the family moved to the Washington, D.C., area. Deb worked for the Newseum as a writer and researcher from 2000 to 2006. Later she worked as a paraeducator, assisting teachers with special-needs students in middle school.
Along with her passion for journalism, Deb loved music, flowers, the beach (lighthouses in particular) and endless photos of babies.
Deb lost her father when she was in community college. Her brother Gary (Howard Gerhart Stoudt Jr.) died in 2018, and her mother died in 2019. Besides her husband and sons, she is survived by brothers Harold (Dawn and family) and Martin (Herah and family) of Georgia; sister-in-law Kathy of Georgia; daughter-in-law Laurie Holmes of Baltimore; and several nieces and nephews and grand-nieces and -nephews.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or the Alzheimer’s research organization of your choice.
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