The Reverend Raymond E. Judd Jr. '56

Keeping the Faith

By Donna Parker

The Rev. Raymond E. Judd Jr., who received his bachelor’s degree in classical studies from Trinity in 1956, might have retired from Trinity, but as he adamantly states, he has not retired from the ministry.

“I will be a minister as long as I live.  I’m very busy right now doing things related to that – baptisms, weddings, funerals – all of the things one would associate with the ministry.”

In fact, he and his wife, Mary Jane Grafton Judd ’57, have traveled to officiate at the weddings of former students in Aspen, baptisms in Los Angeles, and funerals in Dallas.  There will always be, he says, a relationship with Trinity.

“That includes relationships with faculty, students, and the whole Trinity community, which continue to this day,” he says.

“I received a superb education at Trinity that prepared me for whatever I wanted to do professionally.  I went onto Princeton for theological seminary and Trinity had put me in good stead for that.  As a student I found people like Frances Swinny, department of speech and drama, so caring.  We were just with the Swinnys for a one year commemoration on campus of the life of Ed Roy, department of geology.”

“I had made my decision in high school to go into the ministry.  The doors opened for me to attend Trinity and Princeton and then after graduation, when Dr. James Laurie, former University President, called me to see if I’d be interested in coming back to minister at the chapel, I didn’t hesitate.  My life since then has been much fuller than what I had expected.”

The Rev. Judd attended Trinity from 1952 to1956, and his class was the very first to graduate from the existing skyline campus. He was the University chaplain from 1967 to 1999 and now serves as chaplain emeritus.

“I’m still close to the campus and goings on, but my wife and I have time to travel a great deal to Mexico and we’re just back from Big Bend – not to mention our recent Celtic adventure to Ireland, Scotland, England, and France.  Everywhere I go, I learn something that I didn’t know.  Travel opens the doors to knowledge.”

While at home, he also continues to build his famous Christmas book collection.

“We still collect and exhibit parts of that collection.  It started when we were first married and was a natural extension of the ministry.   Our collection has grown leaps and bounds and now includes Texana and Christmas, as well as a big collection on White House Christmases, which we displayed last year at the Institute of Texan Cultures.”

Active in the San Antonio arts community, he still makes plenty of time for family, spending many days with his two grandsons – Reed, 9, and Blake, 5.

“I am also in a nursing home every day to visit my mother, who is 103!”

But Trinity remains the fabric of his life.  In 1999, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award and his wife was given the Spirit of Trinity award in 2007.

“We’ve always been a good combination team and are still just as busy as we can be.  I wouldn’t trade my life for anything.   Attending Trinity and working there for so many years has afforded my wife and me unexpected joy.”

You may e-mail the Rev. Judd at rjudd@satx.rr.com.