Judith Carol Mendelson nee Rose was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on June 30, 1931 to Sylvia Alice Rose nee Klein and Jacob Herbert Rose. She graduated from Walnut Hills High School and attended the University of Cincinnati for two years.
Judith’s husband Donald attended Hughes High School; although they had both attended Avondale Elementary School, they didn’t meet until college. She first saw him “on the bus going to the University of Cincinnati,” she said in an interview conducted by her son Braddon in November 2015. “I was sitting down and he was standing up and I looked over and thought, ‘oh my God, that’s a handsome guy.”’ She finally met him at a sorority dance. “I was with another guy and Don was with one of my sorority sisters, and that’s how we met.” Judith married Donald Mendelson on June 17, 1951. The marriage was officiated by Rabbi Stanley Brav of Rockdale Avenue Temple.
Her father and husband worked for the family business, The King Drug Company. When it was sold, they decided to move to California, where much of her family lived. Her daughter Margo and son Daryl were born in Cincinnati. Her son Braddon was the only child born in California.
She started dancing when she was two years old. Judith’s mother sent her to Garrett Dance studios, where she took ballet, tap dancing and toe-dancing. She loved ballet and danced for a number of years. When she was older she studied under Marion Lecour at the Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati. She danced in many local shows and then began choreographing, including two years of A.Z.A. shows.
After arriving in California, Judith continued dance lessons, as well as piano lessons, with her daughter, Margo. “One of the best shows I danced in was at Temple Beth Hillel [in North Hollywood, California], produced by Broadway producers. It was called, ‘High and Flighty.’”
While living in Sherman Oaks, California, Judith ran a one-woman campaign petitioning for a traffic signal at the intersection of Del Gado and Sepulveda Blvd. (“That’s MOM’s traffic signal,” explains son Daryl.)
She thoroughly researched and published a family tree compendium complete with Library of Congress number; she was a Den Mother in Cub Scouts; an accountant for a family business; an accomplished dancer.
As a child, her parents took her on trips with her Aunt Kate and Uncle Otis to Canada, Niagara Falls, Yosemite National Park and many other destinations. When she moved to California she and her husband enjoyed vacationing in Desert Hot Springs with their children, as well as annual trips to Disneyland. Judith and Donald took their first big trip on their 25th anniversary -- a cruise to Hawaii. They would go on to take 42 cruises throughout the remainder of their 65 years of marriage, traveling to destinations that included Mexico, Europe, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Australia and Hawaii.
Judith Carol Mendelson passed away on April 28, 2020. She is survived by her children: Margo Jean Sellers, Daryl Abram Mendelson (Jackie Mikulka), and Braddon Leigh Mendelson (Heather); grandchildren: Jason Stuart Sellers, Marissa Gaea Sellers, Laird Jacob Mendelson and five great-grandchildren, and her brother, Richard Jordan Rose. She was predeceased by her husband Donald who passed away July 7, 2016. Donations in her memory can be given to The World Health Organization Covid-19 Response Fund https://covid19responsefund.org/