1939 – 2021
Judith Scher passed peacefully at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital on June 24th, 2021. Born in New York City in 1939, Judith was the daughter of Abraham Geller, Supreme Court Judge of the City of NY and Dorothy Geller, Chairwoman of the United Jewish Appeal Women’s Division. She is predeceased by her sister, Susan Platt, artist and brother, Bruce Geller, writer and producer of Mannix and the original Mission Impossible TV series. She graduated from Columbia University and started her work life as an actress and model for TV commercials. She joked that with her illustrious family that her claim to fame was that she received an award as the original hand model for the “Let your fingers do the walking in the Yellow Pages” commercial. She lived in London during the 1970s where Judy sang in clubs and acted in lunch-time theater. As a composer and lyricist, she wrote three musicals, one produced as a showcase off Broadway. Jazz saxophone player, Illinois Jacquet, recorded one of her songs. Judy sang with Illinois at Ronnie Scott’s music Club in London.
She then left the theater and became a book editor and occasional writer. She compiled and edited Transformation of the Heart, The Dharmic Challenge, Inspired Medicine and Let the Clock Run Wild as well as edited other people’s books and stories, the most recent The Black Wall of Silence by Father Paul Morrissey. When Judy moved to Santa Barbara, she briefly returned to TV by creating and producing with Derrick Curtis, as well as writing, Dare Kids to Dance. They aired five shows that were born out of Judy’s great passion for ballroom dancing. In Santa Barbara, and through spiritualism and dance, Judy forged a community of adoring friends.
Judy traveled extensively with her second husband, Jack Scher. After 16 visits to India and Sathya Sai Baba, Judy shifted her life’s focus to service and spirituality. She worked in hospice as a Pastoral Care Assistant and Bereavement Coordinator, where she ran Bereavement groups and training. She was also a mediator for the Court in VA when she lived in Charlottesville. After years of seeking enlightenment, she described herself as “giving up the search to hope she had become love.” Towards the end, Judy described her life as “full and interesting” with a feeling of being “complete.”
Judy is survived by her two loving daughters: Dorothy Geller and Batsheva Hayes, son-in-law Bill Hayes, as well as her two beloved grandchildren, Noah and Jyotie.
Judy was a special, authentic, engaged and vital person, a dear friend to many, and a profoundly cherished and devoted mother and grandmother. She will be deeply missed by all who knew her.