By Neil Doyle
BLOOMINGTON – Judy Markowitz, the first and only woman ever elected mayor of Bloomington, has died at the age of 82.
Markowitz was elected Bloomington’s 52nd mayor in 1997 and served two terms. During that time, she helped bring an arena to downtown Bloomington and the performing arts center.
Judy was the promotions coordinator at WJBC for 10 years, during which she organized the community’s “Debt of Honor/Welcome Home Vietnam Vets” parade. She was hired by longtime WJBC morning show host Don Munson.
LISTEN: Don Munson shares his memories of the former Bloomington mayor with WJBC's Marc Strauss Judy Markowitz https://t.co/ZLB636WF5f
— WJBC AM-1230 (@WJBC) February 17, 2021
“She wanted a place to get involved and she thought WJBC would be a good place to do that,” Munson told WJBC’s Marc Strauss. “She was a trailblazer in a lot of ways, a heck of an organizer, but mostly, she was just a bubbly force of nature.”
“I said on a Facebook post that she introduced herself to darned near every human being in central Illinois, but to me, she was the happy dynamo who helped make WJBC so special. Judy Markowitz was one of a kind,” Munson said.
Judy has received numerous honors, including a YWCA “Woman of Distinction” award in 1994 and she was honored by the McLean County Museum of History in 2013 as a “History Maker.”
A private family service was held, according to Carmody-Flynn Funeral Home in Bloomington.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Moses Montefiore Temple, the Girl Scouts of Central Illinois or the Bloomington Public Library, all close to Judy’s heart.
Neil Doyle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org