Rev. Judy Lee Wheeler Loehr (Oct. 10, 1942 - July 21, 2020) was a dear friend and ministry colleague, and we join her daughter Elise Loehr and other family members in grieving the sudden loss of this highly gifted, joyful, hospitable and compassionate servant of God.
With her family’s permission, we invite Judy’s colleagues and friends around the Church and nation, to celebrate her birthday, October 10, by sharing here your own special memories of her. Photos, memories, event programs are all welcome.
Judy’s rich and diverse educational, arts and ministry contexts included:
- graduation from Baylor University;
- active participation in Christian Arts, Inc., youth musical theater, Bonn, Germany;
- diaconal ministry of music, Towson, MD;
- five years as music ministry staff with the Section on Worship of the General Board of Discipleship, and liaison engagement with The Fellowship;
- diaconal music ministry in Coral Gables, FL;
- graduation from Vanderbilt Divinity School and subsequent ordination as Elder in the Tennessee Annual Conference;
- pastor of 61st Street UMC, Nashville;
- staff for The Liturgical Conference, Washington, DC, and pastor of a UM congregation in nearby Virginia;
- retreat leadership at Scarritt-Bennett Center;
- and, following retirement, residence in Lago Vista, Texas, with congregational music ministry and Lake Travis Music Theater.
She returned to the Nashville area to be near her daughter, continuing to graciously serve as needed until her death.
Judy’s vibrancy and buoyant spirit have inspired folks of all ages and situations for many decades, in many settings, as she has sung, taught, directed, preached and embodied both faithful Alleluia and Kyrie eleison. We remember her with gratitude.
By Richard Eslinger
Merciful and loving God, at her baptism, your Holy Spirit graced your servant Judy with the gifts of music and song. These gifts came to full blossom in her singing and her encouragement of your faithful people in their hymns and songs and spiritual songs, and joyful dance. When the time was right, you called her to the ministry of Word and Sacrament, evoking other baptismal gifts for prophetic passion and pastoral compassion. Her legacy continues to bless and equip your people for their ministries that build up the Body of Christ and lead them in mission to your world. Her memory abides with us and we give you thanks for the gift of Judy to us and to your people. We bless you that you have blessed us with her service, her spirit of joy and caring, and her faith in you.
Pie Jesu Domine, dona eis requiem.
Dona eis requiem sempi eternam.
(O sweet Lord Jesus, grant them rest;
grant them everlasting rest.)