Judith A. Blumberg, 51, graphic designer, art director at firm

January 02, 2004|By Doug Donovan | Doug Donovan,SUN STAFF

Judith A. Blumberg, an accomplished graphic artist and painter, died of complications from multiple sclerosis Tuesday at St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson. The Rodgers Forge resident was 51.

Born Judith Toler in Baltimore, Mrs. Blumberg graduated from Northern High School in 1970 and attended Maryland Institute College of Art for a year. In 1973, she graduated with a bachelor of fine arts degree from Stratford College in Danville, Va.

She worked as a graphic artist at several Baltimore-area studios and advertising agencies before landing a job at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland in 1981.

Shortly after becoming the health care insurer's art director, she met fellow employee Andrew S. Blumberg. They were married in 1983, and Mrs. Blumberg began working as a freelance graphic artist.

In 1984, she joined a family-run company, Accent Displays, as an art director and graphic designer.

Mrs. Blumberg was also an accomplished painter who worked in oils and watercolors and gave her work to family members and friends. As an illustrator, she self-published a portfolio of ink drawings of Florence, Italy, that she had drawn while studying abroad in college. "She was a very creative person," Mr. Blumberg said. She also loved to play piano and guitar and enjoyed reading and writing poetry.

Mrs. Blumberg received a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in 1992. By 1998, her deteriorating health forced her to retire from Accent Displays, but her husband said she maintained a positive attitude. She was a "very spiritual person," he said.

"Concerning her illness, she was an absolute saint - she never complained," Mr. Blumberg said. "The illness attacked her body, but it could not touch her soul."

A memorial service will be held at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 20 at St. David's Church, 4700 Roland Ave. in Baltimore.

In addition to her husband, Mrs. Blumberg is survived by her daughter, Jessica L. Blumberg of Rodgers Forge; her parents, Dumay and Dorothy Toler of Catonsville; a brother, Laurence Toler of Martha's Vineyard, Mass.; and a sister, Cynthia Nelson of Dagsboro, Del.

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