Judith Page Westing, 64, nursing professor

January 06, 2003|By Tricia Bishop | Tricia Bishop,SUN STAFF

Judith Page Westing, a retired nursing professor at Harford Community College and former lieutenant in the Army Nursing Corps, died Friday of cancer at her home in Bel Air, less than two weeks after celebrating her 35th wedding anniversary. She was 64.

Mrs. Westing was born Judith Huff in Roanoke, Va. The daughter of a traveling salesman, she spent her childhood moving with her parents from town to town, finally settling in Salisbury in her teens.

She graduated from high school in Salisbury in 1956, and earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland School of Nursing in Baltimore in 1960.

Mrs. Westing spent the next three years in the Army Nursing Corps. She was stationed at a hospital in Denver and then in Frankfurt, Germany. While stationed abroad, she and her nursing friends traveled as often as they could, visiting Egypt, Greece and Scandinavia.

After finishing her service requirement, she returned to Salisbury, working as a nursing instructor at Peninsula General Hospital for a few years before moving to New York City. There she met her future husband, Edward R. Westing, in 1966 and attended New York University. She earned a graduate degree in medical and surgical nursing in 1967. She and Mr. Westing, a now-retired technical writer for Westinghouse Electronic Systems Group in Baltimore, married that year.

The couple moved to Maryland in 1968, and Mrs. Westing began a 28-year career at Harford Community College, where she worked her way from instructor to professor and finally chairperson of the Nursing Division. She retired in 1996.

She taught thousands of nurses over the years, her husband said.

"When I would go out shopping with her to the supermarket or the mall, we would constantly run into former students of hers," Mr. Westing said. "A lot of the students really liked her a lot. She was a hard task master, though. ... Judy really felt that the patients lives were in the nurses' hands, and the patients deserved the best care they could get."

"She was a very loving person who really cared about the program and the students more than anything," said Gloria Hastings, whom Mrs. Westing hired to join the nursing faculty in 1972 and later became a dear friend.

Mrs. Westing was a member of the American Nursing Association and the Maryland Nurses Association, serving in various leadership roles in both, as well as vice chairwoman and past president of the board of directors of Harford Hospice Advisory Committee.

One of her favorite volunteer efforts was working with children at her church, Oak Grove Baptist Church in Bel Air, where she taught Sunday school and Vacation Bible School.

Watching her mother juggle a successful career and family life, while still having time for community service, left a lasting impression on her daughter, Karen P. Watson of Anacortes, Wash.

"My mom was really a great role model for me," Mrs. Watson said. "Even though she would come home late from work, she always made dinner every night and took the time to be involved in lots of other activities most would say they don't have the time for. ... She really believed strongly in giving back to your community."

Mother and daughter took many adventurous trips together, including going white-water rafting and another that involved off-roading along narrow, bumpy paths.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Highview Memorial Gardens, 3433 Fallston Road, Fallston.

In addition to her husband and daughter, Mrs. Westing is survived by a brother, Page M. Huff of Virginia Beach, Va.

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