When you hear "Berea Girl" or "Donut Queen" our 41st Grindstone Award Winner Judy Stull, immediately comes to mind. A 4th generation Berean, Judy's great-grandfather Lawrence Walczak immigrated from Poland, settled in Berea with his family and worked in Berea's "Big Quarry". His picture is on the cover of Patricia Mote's book "Berea, Ohio Images of America". Her grandfather, John Walczak , married and raised his children on Waite St. (Fifth Ave.). He was a volunteer fireman, installed many of the slate roofs in Berea and worked for a local furnace company. Her father, Larry Walczak was a photographer and also had a large collection of old photographs of old Berea. A deep sense of pride in Berea was passed on through the generations to Judy. She was always willing to share the photographs that were once her father's.
Upon graduation from Berea High School, Judy worked as a dispatcher for the Berea Police Department and in 1967, she and her husband Ralph Stull, purchased the Spudnut Hut donut shop at 95 Front Street. Shortly thereafter, because of Urban Renewal, the shop was moved to 15 Riverside Dr. on the triangle. This business soon became the "meeting place" for Bereans, young and old. Some of the "old-timers" tell about how Judy welcomed the 'paperboys' before store hours and treated them to hot cocoa and warm donuts on cold mornings until the delivery truck dropped off their papers. In 1976, Urban Renewal again relocated Spudnut to their new home at Prospect and Sprague Roads. Her loyal customers followed and once again this became a "meeting place" where you could go and have one of the "indescribably delicious" crème-filled donuts. After the death of her husband in 1980, Judy continued to run a successful business for 21 years. She retired and sold the donut shop in 2001. Lucky for Berea, she now had more time to devote to her favorite organizations.
One of her first loves was preserving Berea's history and she did so by being actively involved with the Berea Historical Society. She was president in 1975 and 1976 and worked diligently before, during and after on bazaars, luncheons and garage sales to raise funds to purchase the Buehl Home as the future Berea Historical Museum (Mahler Museum). Judy worked closely with Otto Mahler to help him fulfill his dream of a museum for Berea's many artifacts during his lifetime. Time was of the essence as Otto was nearing his 80th birthday and not in good health. The Otto Mahler Museum was opened July 4, 1979. If you want to witness Judy's love of Berea first hand, sign up for the Lolley the Trolley ride at the July 4th Mahler Museum Ice Cream Social. As you ride along in the trolley, you will hear Judy talk about the century homes, famous and not so famous Bereans and other interesting facts about Berea like it was her child; like it is her private home.
Another interest of Judy's is the Heritage Awards. For the past seven years she has served on the committee which chooses a posthumous Grindstone Award Winner.
Over the past six years, Judy has volunteered at Church Street Ministries by helping with the unpacking, organization and selling of merchandise at the Second Mile Shop.
Love of her alma mater and giving back to her school is very important to Judy Stull. For the past six years, she has been President of the Berea High School Alumni Association, served on the Board for seven years and treasurer for two years. She organized their first reverse raffle, served on the Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame Selection Committee, and was principally responsible for achieving the organization's non-profit status. She is also currently serving on her class reunion committee.
Last, but certainly not least, is Judy Stull's love of the Berea Rotary. She was the first female member joining in 1989, and was the first female President 1994-1995. She has served as Secretary, Assistant Secretary and on the Board of Trustees for many years. Berea Rotary's top awards, the "Paul Harris Fellow Award", and "1992 Rotarian of the Year" are just two of the awards she has received. Whether chairman or member of a committee for the District Youth Exchange Program, Reverse Raffle and Silent Auction, World's Greatest Garage Sale, Charity Golf Outing and others too numerous to mention, you can always expect a job well done from Judy. Rotary's motto, "Service Above Self" exemplifies the way Judy Stull has lived her life.
Judy's immediate family consists of her mother, Gladys Walczak, brother Jack Walczak, son Marc, daughter Shari, and son-in-law Gary Hook. Her grandchildren include McKenzie Palmer, Kyler and Rayce Hook.
If you ever worked with Judy on a Rotary project, a BHS Alumni Association project, a Heritage Award, or sorting merchandise in the Second Mile Shop, your life would be enriched. But, if you have ever toured Mahler Museum or rode the trolley on the 4th of July with Judy, you would see her love and pride in Berea.