Judith Liles Hart (Judy) of Cleveland, 76, passed away Friday, May 6, 2022.
She was born to the late Arthur and Myrna Liles in 1946 in Birmingham, Ala., and graduated from Jones Valley High School, received her bachelor's degree in history from the University of Alabama in 1968 and a master’s in education from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1975.
She was a Stokely Fellow at the University of Tennessee in 1989 and was awarded an invitation to the Strom Thurmond Institute of Government and Public Affairs examining environmental, social and political policy at Clemson University in 1994 and 1995. Judy completed additional post-graduate studies and workshops at Samford University, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
She was married to Kenneth Charles Hart Jr. (Ken) in 1967 while living in Birmingham before relocating to Cleveland in 1970. Judy is survived by her husband, Ken, and daughters Shannon (Allen) Clark of Cleveland, and Courtney Hart of Gainesville, Fla.
She is also survived by her brother, Sid Liles, of Birmingham and grandchildren, Maeve and Spencer of Cleveland and Teagan and Atlas of Gainesville. In addition, she leaves behind several nieces, nephews, cousins and their families.
Judy was preceded in death by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Liles; in-laws, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Hart Sr.; siblings, Bill Liles, Johnny Liles, Melody Liles; and sisters-in-law, Carla Liles and Mary Liles.
Judy had a lifelong dedication to learning and teaching. She taught in Birmingham schools, Cleveland City Schools and Bradley County Schools for more than 34 years, and most of her time was dedicated to Trewhitt Junior High School and Bradley Central High School. She continued teaching a number of students through after school programming in mock trial, academic contests, visits to the Nashville legislature and study trips to Boston, New York City and Washington, DC.
She loved her many years volunteering at Unity Center’s after-school program, and she was thrilled to assist with the early trips to Washington, DC, to share the awe and inspiration generated through that experience.
She shared her passion for learning through Broad Street UMC’s Triplett Class, Peace and Justice Committee, History Committee, hand bells and grant writing for the Hartford School for Girls in Sierra Leone; she was also very committed to United Methodist Women at the local and district levels as well as the Emmaus community.
Judy took great pleasure in the relationships and learning with her two book clubs, Bibliofillies and Great Books, to which she committed more than 30 and 10 years.
More than anything, Judy loved great conversations with her people. She was known for her endless knowledge of history, random facts, stories of her family and travel tales. One was guaranteed to see a twinkle in her eye with a sly smile as she pulled yet another bit of knowledge to share.
Visitation is scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, May 22, 2022, at Broad Street United Methodist Church in Cleveland. The service will be held immediately after. The family requests donations in lieu of flowers be made to Unity Center, Trousdale School or a memorial of your choice.
You are invited to share a personal memory of Judy or your condolences with her family at www.companionfunerals.com.
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