Judith Hoyer, 57, school official, congressman's wife

February 07, 1997|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Judith Elaine Hoyer, a Prince George's County school official and wife of Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, died of cancer yesterday morning at her home in Mechanicsville, St. Mary's County. She was 57.

Mrs. Hoyer was coordinating supervisor of early childhood education for the public schools in Prince George's, whose former county executive, Gov. Parris N. Glendening, issued a written statement remembering her efforts.

"We are, of course, well aware of the many contributions of

Congressman Hoyer to this State," Mr. Glendening said of the 5th District Democrat. "Judy's contributions may be less well known, but are of everlasting importance to all of us.

"She devoted her life to children. Her significant work -- particularly in the field of early childhood education, such as Head Start and pre-school programs -- was often invisible to the public eye; but it had an enduring impact on our children."

State Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, also of Prince George's, who took note of Mrs. Hoyer's death in adjourning the Senate at noon, said it was a "deep personal loss." He described her as a "very beautiful person, inside and out, who was a steadying force on her husband.

"They grew up as kids together, went to high school, developed an interest in politics and married early. I recall her as a young mother knocking on doors in Steny's first state Senate campaign in 1966," Mr. Miller said. "Steny had been constantly at her side in recent days and is understandably devastated by her death."

She was born Judith Pickett in Washington and raised in Suitland, where she met Mr. Hoyer. They were married in 1961 -- the year Mrs. Hoyer began her teaching career after earning a bachelor's degree in early childhood education from Towson State. She earned a master's degree from the University of Maryland in 1985.

She was named an education resource teacher for early education by the Prince George's schools in 1978, and created a multisensory language-arts curriculum for kindergarten, first- and second-grade students.

She was appointed Prince George's County supervisor for early childhood education in 1986, and in 1989 was named coordinating supervisor, overseeing the curriculum for more than children in kindergarten, first and second grades in 117 elementary schools countywide,

Mrs. Hoyer was active in civic and charitable programs, including the Salvation Army, and was a former member of the national board of the Epilepsy Foundation and former president of the Prince George's County Arts Council.

She also was a board member of the Wolf Trap Institute on Early Learning Through the Arts, Doctor's Community Hospital in Greenbelt, and Stephens Engineering.

Services will be held at 10: 30 a.m. tomorrow at Broadview Baptist Church, 5757 Temple Hills Road in Temple Hills, Prince George's County.

In addition to her husband, Mrs. Hoyer is survived by three daughters, Susan Taylor of Lutz, Fla., and Stefany Hemmer and Anne Hoyer, both of Arnold; her mother, Murilian Pickett of Suitland; and two grandchildren.

Pub Date: 2/07/97

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