WAYNESVILLE — Judy Kier was the picture of health, according to her family and those who worked with her in the Waynesville school district.
Despite her dedication to fitness and healthy eating, Kier succumbed to a brain tumor in July 2006. She was 64.
Kier, the daughter of Dick Brant of Brant’s Hardware in Lebanon, left quite a legacy and is still missed by many. Waynesville school officials held a small reception in her honor Monday night, June 14. Her husband Bill Kier was presented with a plaque commemorating his wife’s service to the school district, which started in 1967.
A different commemorative plaque will be installed to signify the renaming of the elementary school office as the Judy Kier Elementary Office, according to Waynesville schools Treasurer Ron James.
During a 10-year period, Judy Kier had undergone four surgeries to remove the tumor, Bill Kier said.
“I miss her everyday,” he said. “She loved the schools, and they loved her.”
A district parent who attended the reception said “As a working mom, she was my lifeline.”
Jean Hartman, elementary school principal, credited Judy Kier for helping her get hired in the district and recalled how Judy always provided whatever was needed in charitable efforts.
“She hated seeing anyone go without. She was full of compassion,” Hartman said. “Whatever it took to organize an event or complete a project, she gave it her all and her best. She was thorough and a perfectionist.”
Bev Giehls and Ann Torino, who both grew up with Judy Kier, remembered their friend as an “awesome,” hardworking, fun-loving woman.
“I always thought she was so positive,” Giehls said. “Especially with what she had to go through at the end, she still stayed positive.”
Treasurer Ron James, who gave an emotional speech during the reception, said Judy Kier “was one of those people who did it all.”
At one time, Waynesville schools had planned to build a new elementary school on approximately 12 acres adjacent to the district’s property that was purchased from the Kier family. The plan was shelved in 2007 when growth slowed because of the economy.
The district bought the property for $680,000, with funds saved over three years from open enrollment activity; the Kier family donated $130,000 back to the district as part of the land deal, school officials said.
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