Judith Bach died peacefully on Friday, March 1, in the Berkshires, one month before her 89th birthday.
Born Judith Irene Kaplan in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, on April 2, 1930, she moved to Los Angeles as a teenager. Judy attended UC Berkeley before moving to New York City, where she graduated from Barnard College. In 1950 she met her first husband, Joseph Friedman, with whom she had three sons.
In the 1950s she worked at the famous New York jazz club The Village Gate, moving from the coat check concession to various administrative positions. Whenever Nina Simone performed, she required that Judy act as her dresser and personal assistant.
Judy worked as an actress, performing at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club and other venues in New York City, where she played lead roles in such plays as No Exit, Peer Gynt and Gaslight.
She married her second husband, folksinger Karl Finger, in the early 60s. She took a job as a researcher at MD Magazine, where assignments about Carl Jung and Rudolph Steiner sparked her interest in psychology and spirituality.
In the early 1970s, Judy moved to Monterey, Massachusetts, which became her home for nearly 50 years. In the mid-70s, she became a psychotherapist and, with her third husband, David Bach, founded the Berkshire Center for Psychosynthesis. She earned a doctorate from Saybrook University in psychology and systems theory.
Judy was a locus of a spiritual community that formed around Agni Yoga, based on the teachings of Nicholas and Helena Roerich, and was a founder of the Center for Peace Through Culture.
A painter, musician and writer, Judy co-authored (with Nanette Hucknall) The Rose and the Sword, a book exploring "feminine and masculine energies that exist beyond gender and sexual identity."
She enjoyed nature and her many pets, drinking red wine, and laughing with friends. Her joy and enthusiasm were infectious.
She is survived by her three sons, Jeffrey, William and Eric Friedman; her stepson, Rudra Bach; her grandchildren, Nicholas and Hallie Friedman; and her great-grandson, Leo Friedman.
Funeral Services for Judy were held privately for the family under the direction of Devanny-Condron Funeral Home.