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Remembering a Beloved Champion of Youth, Judy Spangler

It is with deep sadness and a heavy heart that I share that Judy Spangler, our colleague and friend, passed away on August 6. Prior to retiring, in 2018, Judy was the Chief Program Officer with BBBS SEPA, now known as Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence. Judy was someone who helped shape Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence into the thriving organization it is today. She was always a defender of the underdog, demanding that the status quo be challenged, and equity and justice be sought – especially where children were concerned.

Some of Judy’s many contributions during her 20+ years with BBBS include helping multiple BBBS affiliates across the country implement the Amachi Program with Reverend Dr. Wilson Good, Sr., which gained national recognition for excellence in mentoring youth with incarcerated parents, a force behind creating Mentor Partnership & Resource Center, which is now known as MENTOR Independence Region, assisted with the launch of BBBS Independence’s Montgomery County back on Track Program, a unique program focused on youth involved with navigating through the juvenile justice system, and she was instrumental in BBBS Independence’s merger with additional counties, ensuring that all received the best resources.

After Judy’s retirement, BBBSA’s Agency Support team had the pleasure of working closely with Judy while she conducted on-site program audits with some of their agencies. Judy found such joy in learning as much as she could about programs across the country and offering her expertise to continue strengthening the BBBS brand. Judy also stepped in on more than one occasion to take on the role of Interim CEO with several BBBS agencies during their times of transition. Judy truly loved Big Brothers Big Sisters and contributing to the mission any way that she could.

Judy will be fondly remembered for the meaningful things she accomplished during her time with Big Brothers Big Sisters. She was fully dedicated to young people, including many of BBBS Independence’s employees for whom she served as a mentor. Below are just a few verbatims of what those employees shared regarding what they learned from her:

  • No matter how big we get or how successful we become, we must always keep our mission and child safety at the forefront.
  • Even if your viewpoint is not popular, do not be afraid to speak up – put it all out on the table
  • Judy taught me the importance of personally caring about the people you work with and those that report to you. She said it wasn’t immediately unconditional, but something that needed to be earned – and when it was earned, it should last forever.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, August 19th, in West Chester, PA. The family has provided instructions for donations and gifts in honor of Judy’s memory at the following link: Obituary: In loving memory of Judith Marie Spangler.

With gratitude,
Marcus Allen