Judith Ann Kebl (nee Bonk) and best known as Judy, age 82, of Bloomfield Hills Michigan, passed away peacefully with family members and close friends by her side on September 19, 2023, at Ascension Providence Rochester Hospital under hospice care for congestive heart failure.
Judy was born on January 8, 1941, in Cleveland, Ohio to the late Julius and Sophie Bonk. She is survived by her sisters Dr. Noreen Garman of Pittsburgh PA., Sandra Kerber, Esq. (Richard Norman) of Fairview Park, Ohio, and Kathy Bonk, (Marc Tucker) of Brooksville, Maine, and nephew TR Garman of Pittsburgh. She was married to and later divorced from Albert Kebl. Judy was the loving mother of her son Kelly Kebl who predeceased her in 2012 and has a grandson, Alexander (Sasha) Kebl.
After Judy graduated from Brooklyn (Ohio) High School, she went on to study at Bowling Green State University where she earned both a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in primary education with a concentration in speech and hearing therapy.
Upon graduating with degrees in speech and hearing, Judy embarked on her first professional career as a speech and hearing therapist in the Oakland County School District in Michigan. After retiring from teaching, she owned a party-planning business, and then joined the International Visitors Council of Metropolitan Detroit, now called Global Ties Detroit, a program supported by the United States Department of State.
In 1998 Judy began her role as Program Director for IVC Detroit’s Community Connections Program-a US Dept. of State Program for Russia & NIS. Judy arranged 3-week business placements, professional training, homestays, cultural events, and field trips for participants from Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan. During the many years of Judy’s Community Connections oversight, she managed programs that involved more than 20 participants each visit requiring Judy’s professional skills and diplomacy.
Judy annually visited Washington DC on behalf of IVC Detroit, also training programs in Tucson, Arizona & Roanoke, Va to gain insights and pertinent information on implementing best practices. She led delegations of IVC Detroit hosts to Russia and Ukraine to enhance their understanding and complete the full circle of international exchange Judy was a true “Citizen Diplomat”. She welcomed “the world” sharing her heart and home to many besides inspiring others to do the same.
Judy enjoyed countless traditions as she loved catering for many events including but not limited to weddings, showers, church groups, family/friends’ dinners, and holiday gatherings. Throughout Judy’s adult life she loved playing bridge She made multiple trips to Hilton Head with family and friends. Additionally, she was a world traveler as she loved other cultures. She travelled throughout much of Europe including France, Italy, Greece, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia and the Philippines.
The Funeral Mass will be held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church 3400 S. Adams Road, Auburn Hills, Michigan on Saturday October 7, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. with a celebration of Judy’s life after the funeral Mass. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Sacred Heart Parish Music Ministry, Robert Meyer, Director of Music, 3400 S. Adams Road Auburn Hills, MI 48326.The Internment will be at a later date for family and close friends.