Remembering Judith Scherr, activist, journalist, teacher: 1943-2016

Judith Scheer. Photo: Scheer family
Judith Scherr. Photo: Scherr family

By Judith Scherr’s family

JUDITH’S JOURNEY OF LIFE

James and Ruth Scherr gave earth a treasure on April 28, 1943, in the City of New York.

Judith Ellen Scherr attended North Hollywood High School and completed College at UC Berkeley.

After college, Judith traveled to many places exploring life’s cultures. She lived in different places of the world, Colorado, Rwanda, and Paris just to name a few.

While in Paris, France in 1972, Judith delivered her most prized possession: Monsoon Paul. After the birth of her son, she traveled to Berkeley, California where she decided to make her home.

Judith’s first step of activism was working with parents to save public preschools. Judith organized, along with others, in the Berkeley Community Anti-Apartheid Group.

Judith had a caring and conscientious heart with a goal to help and assist with causes of justice and peace to improve our world on a consistent, continuous basis as she journeyed through life. She had a serious passion for a legacy of Hope, Beauty, Compassion, and Solidarity, with the sufferings of the world.

Around 1980, Judith served as a World Class Special Education Teacher who showed unique character, wit, optimism, and was committed to whatever she put her mind to. Many say her sense of humor would appear just at the right time!

1981- Judith participated in organizing Educators for Social Responsibility in the Bay Area.

Judith Scheer with her son Monsoon. Photo: Scheer family
Judith Scherr with her son Monsoon. Photo: Scherr family

1981-1982: Judith, along with others, worked diligently to organize The Founding Conference, which was attended by teachers and held at St. Ignatius High School in San Francisco, California. She ensured that Special Needs individuals were allowed access to attend this conference.

In 1983, Judith participated in the 20th Anniversary of the March on Washington.

In 1988, Judith volunteered for Jesse Jackson’s campaign where she worked in many different capacities including assisting in putting together the campaign flyer. They used the photo she had taken for the front page of the flyer. Judith was an active member of the Oakland/Berkeley Rainbow Coalition.

She lived her life as a widely respected, committed, truth-telling journalist with high ethical writing standards. She was the editor of the book “Ying Lee: from Shanghai to Berkeley”

Haiti Action Committee was a continuous project for Judith. She traveled to Haiti to work with the Medical Delegation and the Political Unrest. Judith traveled to Haiti several times. Speaking French fluently, she was determined to help with the Just Causes of the people and improve their circumstances.

Judith wrote for many different news outlets, including the San Jose Mercury News, West Contra Costa Times, Berkeleyside, the Berkeley Daily Plant, and the Rainbow Reporter.

In 2015, the NAACP presented Judith with a Certificate of Achievement in Recognition of Journalistic Style and Fair and Impartial Reporting.

Judith enjoyed nature; it lifted and restored her spirit!   Working in her garden she tended the wild tomatoes that sprung up spontaneously in her yard. Living her life in Berkeley, her house was green heated by the sun, her yard flourishing with plants, flowers, and trees. She made it a must to hike and walk exploring the trails of Point Reyes. When Judith would go camping – as often as time would allow – she would come back inspired to do more with new ideas and inspirations on how to do it. She also enjoyed doing TAI CHI CHUAN for many years.

In addition to Judith’s exceptional career paths, she was also a great mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend.

Monsoon has been an amazing son and caregiver. Judith was very proud of the son she raised.

Cherished Memories in their Hearts forever: son, Monsoon Paul Scherr, (Kakiah);
brother, Robert Scherr (Susie); grandchildren, Clifford, Crystal, Leilani, Ky’Ron, and Malik. Great Grandchildren: Ka’Leiah, Alaina, Charlie, Kyndall; and host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Judith was preceded in death by her mother and father, James and Ruth Scherr, and her sister, Barbara Trenk.

There will be a service for Judith on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 11.00 a.m. at Chapel of the Chimes, 4499 Piedmont Ave., Oakland. Repast will be immediately following at the Albany Community Center, 1249 Marin Ave., Albany.

Berkeleyside is always honored to publish, at no charge, obituaries of members of the Berkeley community. Please email text and photo(s) to editors@berkeleyside.com.