Julie O. Badiee, 54, professor of art at Western Md. College

May 26, 2001|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Julie Oeming Badiee, a former professor of art at Western Maryland College, died Sunday of a cancerous brain tumor at her Westminster home. She was 54.

Dr. Badiee joined the Western Maryland faculty in 1978 and served as chairwoman of the Department of Art and Art History from 1984 to 1992. She retired last year because of her illness.

"She was such a magnificent teacher. She turned on students to art history and taught them to open their eyes, look, question and explore," said Sue Bloom, who succeeded her as department head.

"Her field was Islamic art, and she was known around the world for that," Dr. Bloom said.

Dr. Badiee taught introductory and graduate-level courses in art history that addressed Western and non-Western traditions.

She was a member of the Baha'i faith, which stresses brotherhood and social equality. She was the author of "An Earthly Paradise: Baha'i Houses of Worship Around the World," published in 1992.

At her death, she was writing "An Introduction to the Arts of the Islamic World" and working on two other books, said Dr. Bloom.

"She was always energized and busy and did all she could to stay alive," Dr. Bloom said.

Tom Deveny, a professor of foreign languages at Western Maryland and a colleague for 23 years, said, "She brought a wonderful global perspective to all that she did. She really believed in the oneness of humanity."

Born Julie Oeming in Saginaw, Mich., she earned a bachelor's degree in German in 1969 and a doctorate in art history in 1978, both from the University of Michigan. She also did postgraduate work at Albrecht Ludwig University in Freiburg, Germany.

Before going to Western Maryland College in Westminster in 1978, she had been a teaching fellow in art history at the University of Michigan and an adjunct professor at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

Dr. Badiee had received the Faculty Creativity Award and the Ira G. Zepp Award for Excellence in Teaching at Western Maryland, where she also was curator of the college's art collection.

She was a 20-year member of the College Choir and in 1992 was selected to sing with the 400-voice World Congress Choir of the Baha'i Faith in New York.

Dr. Badiee also was a member of the Doo-Wop Women, a faculty women's quartet that sang in the style of popular music groups of the 1950s.

"She was a light and airy soprano who had a wide range of musical interests ... from the Baroque to doo-wop. She had an incredible sense of humor, and that's why she liked doo-wop," said Louise Paquin, professor of biology and member of the Doo-Wop Women.

Dr. Badiee was a member of the Middle Eastern Studies Association and the North American Historians of Islamic Art.

In 1998, she circled the world aboard a steamship, teaching in the Semester at Sea program.

Services were held Wednesday.

She is survived by her husband Heshmat Badiee; a daughter, Andaleeb Badiee Banta of Westminster; and three brothers, Joe Oeming of Saginaw, Jeff Oeming of Baltimore and Jay Oeming of Westminster.

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