The righteous soul of Judy Lynn Romm Frankel passed from this world Friday, March 31, 2017, after a courageous fight of over 20 years with an extremely rare form of meningioma tumors.
Despite enduring numerous surgeries and medical procedures over those years, Judy never lost her zest for life and her upbeat spirit about the good in all people. She looked deep into people for that good and never let anything dissuade her from doing right for others.
Judy was born on June 28, 1954, to Shirley Romm Wender and the late Milton Romm, of blessed memory. She was a third-generation native Atlantan, the great-granddaughter of Hyman and Esther Mendel, both of blessed memory, and a proud member of the Mendel family, which reaches back to the Atlanta of the 1880s. She cherished being with her Mendel cousins, her Romm cousins and those of her mother’s family, the Hermans, originally from Jackson, Miss.
In addition to her father, Judy was predeceased by her stepfather, Donald Wender; her mother-in-law, Evelyn Tendrich Frankel; and two first cousins, Susan Jacobson Goldberg and Helen Horowitz Gardner, all of blessed memory.
In addition to her mother and innumerable cousins, Judy is survived by her husband of 40 years, Baron Jay “Barry” Frankel of Atlanta; their son, Harris Mac Frankel of Dallas, Texas; and their daughter, Rebecca Susan (Frankel) Novick, her husband, Daniel, and their son, Judy’s precious and brilliant grandson, Miles Parker Novick, all of Dallas. Judy is also survived by her brother, Stuart Romm of Atlanta; her sister, Sally Romm Berry, her husband, John, and their children, Rachel (Jon) Slone, Hadley Berry and Seth Berry, all of Atlanta; her father-in-law, Meyer Leib Frankel of Atlanta; and her sister-in-law, Shelly Frankel Forer, and her husband, Joseph, of Miami, and their children, Justin (Morgan) Forer of Philadelphia and Frankie (Ron) Linsky of Tampa. Judy was the proud great-aunt to five beautiful great-nieces: Emrie Belle and Rhen Chaite Linsky, Sterling Eloise and Sutton Juniper Forer, and Brooklyn Leah Slone.
Judy’s love for and devotion to her immediate and extended family, as well as her friends, was unmatched. She considered her first cousins and their spouses to be the equivalent of brothers and sisters. She ended her telephone calls to them and her friends with the words “love you,” and they responded in kind, both by their words and their actions. Be it for family, friends or her husband’s business associates, Judy loved to entertain, which she did both elegantly and casually without peer. Her family and friends knew that she loved to bring people together to party and to celebrate any occasion, whether it was for a wedding, a Jewish holiday, or a Texas or Falcons game that might be broadcast. If music was involved, she was always the first person on the dance floor, whether the music was rock ’n’ roll or the tune for the hora, and she did so both to have fun and to get others to follow suit.
Judy was a 1972 graduate of Northside High School and a 1976 graduate of the University of Texas. Armed with her degree in sociology, she spent five years with Fulton County DFACS, rising to the position of casework supervisor, both at the Martin Luther King DFACS office and at 800 Peachtree St. With the birth of Harris, Judy began focusing her efforts on her children, which led her to be an officer of three PTSA groups and to watch hundreds of their sporting events around the metro region and the country, most of which included her cheering with her favorite child, her bichon frise, Shaq.
In addition, Judy became a passionate tennis player, rising to the AA level in ALTA and the 4.5 level in USTA. That led her to a tennis teaching certificate and to coaching juniors and ladies on the courts of East Cobb. In the broader community, Judy used her tennis and teaching skills to help coach in the Special Pops tennis program and to participate in tennis as part of the Georgia Special Olympics, where her favorite partner was her niece Hadley, with whom she won numerous medals, including gold. Her other charitable efforts focused on the Be the Difference Foundation, which was founded by her cousin Helen Gardner to fight the battle against ovarian cancer.
Judy had an entrepreneurial spirit, as evidenced by her work with her mother in starting the Budge Factory, the manufacturer of the Can’t Budge Fudge line of chocolate and praline ice cream sauces and brownie mixes. Their “home cooking in a jar” was featured in national magazines and on the Joan Rivers holiday gift show. Judy followed that part of her life with a passion for photography of family and friends, and she and Sally used their skills to help friends and family have their own pictures turned into creative memories for posterity.
Judy’s family would like to publicly thank Judy’s teams of doctors and their staffs who fought her 20-year meningioma battle with her, including her dear friend Dr. Christopher Clare, along with Dr. Mark Codner, Dr. Jeff Shapiro, Dr. Fred Schwaibold and Dr. Lou Jacobs of Piedmont Hospital, Dr. Reid Thompson, Dr. Louise Mawn, Dr. John Shack, Dr. Anthony Cmelak and Dr. Paul Moots of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and Dr. Erin Dunbar of Piedmont Hospital and Piedmont Physicians Neuro-Oncology. They gave their all for her, and Judy’s family will be eternally grateful to them.
A memorial service for Judy will be held at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, April 2, at The Temple, 1589 Peachtree St., Atlanta, with Rabbi Alvin Sugarman officiating; interment will follow at Arlington Memorial Park in Sandy Springs with Rabbi Sugarman and Rabbi Ephraim Silverman co-officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you honor Judy’s memory by making a charitable donation to the Be the Difference Foundation, www.bethedifferencefoundation.org; the Georgia Special Olympics, www.specialolympicsga.org; The Temple, www.the-temple.org; Chabad of Cobb, www.chabadofcobb.com; or the charity of your choice. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.