Judith Blair Salzman

SalzmanJudith Blair Salzman, 76, on January 5, 2020, at her home in Tucson, Ariz. Judith and her twin sister, Jill, were born to Helaine and Marshall Salzman on September 16, 1943, in Chicago, Ill. The sisters were followed by two brothers, Ken and Robert. When Judith and Jill were halfway through high school, the family moved to Evanston, Ill.

Judith attended Washington University and North Park College, studying English literature. In 1965, she married Michael Maximov, whom she met on a blind date. Judith spent the next three years supporting the two of them as a secretary in Iowa City, Iowa, while Michael finished medical school. Together they had three children, Justin (1968), Marc (1970), and Hannah (1971). In 1968, Judith joined La Leche League, a nonprofit that provides support to breastfeeding mothers, and in 1972 she became a leader in that community. She founded the Fort Huachuca/Sierra Vista La Leche League chapter in 1973 when the family was stationed there. The family moved back to Iowa City for Michael’s postgraduate training. Judith joined the Iowa Women’s Political Caucus and completed her bachelor’s degree.

The family relocated to Tucson. Judith became involved with the National Council of Jewish Women and was the chairperson of the Southern Arizona Coalition for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). She wrote and delivered moving speeches at ERA conventions.

Judith and Michael divorced in 1983 and continued to coparent thereafter. Judith held a succession of jobs including library clerk, typist, receptionist, caterer, public speaker, shuttle driver, and an 18-wheeler truck driver. She lived on Mount Lemmon for a time and was an active member of its volunteer fire department. Later she earned her Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer certificate and worked in the IT department of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, a job she loved and felt matched her skills and personality.

Judith was introduced to Quakerism by her daughter, Hannah Maximova, who is a member of Orange Grove (Calif.) Meeting. When Judith visited Hannah, they attended meeting for worship together. Judith began to attend Pima Meeting in Tucson, where she became a member in 2011. She served on the House Committee for many years and was an editor of Pima Meeting’s newsletter. She prepared meals for the Primavera Foundation’s homeless services.

At Pima Meeting, Judith showed herself to be a person of passionate convictions. Sometimes her views and manner of expression led to ruffled feathers and frustration. She was a plain speaker who never minced words. Friends never wondered where Judith stood on an issue. Judith had a soft and welcoming side as well. She was an affectionate person who enjoyed giving and getting hugs. She made name tags for newcomers as a way of welcoming them. She served on various committees, including the Peace and Social Concerns Committee.

On First Days, Judith came to meeting for worship early to hold the space. Friends would see her sitting quietly in a corner of the room in worship. She was a steadfast presence, almost never missing a First Day, always occupying the same chair in the southeast corner of the meetingroom.

Cognitive degeneration in her later years provided a particular challenge that she battled mightily to manage.

Judith is survived by three children and one grandchild.

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