Deerfield - Judd
Huntley Blain, an educator and Episcopal clergyman, died in his home on March
13. He entered hospice care after suffering injuries during a fall two
weeks earlier. He died peacefully after a life filled with extraordinary
love and communion.
Born in Los
Angeles, CA in 1935, Judd moved to
Grand Forks, ND at the age of eight with his mother and
brother following the divorce of his parents. Judd’s mother, Eleanor
Rognlie, was a first generation Swedish-American whose parents started a farm
on the family homestead in Thief River
Falls, MN. In Grand Forks, she worked
as the Secretary to the Superintendent of Schools while she raised Judd and his
older brother William S. Blain. Both Judd and his brother graduated from Grand Forks Central
High School in Grand Forks.
He graduated with the class
of 1957 from Harvard
College. In a
letter written in the spring of 1957 Judd wrote “In college, I met the girl
with whom I am deeply in love.” Beatrice Young was a student at Radcliffe College. Judd and Beaty married in
1958 in a ceremony presided over by the bride’s father, an Episcopal clergyman,
in Manchester, NH.
In 1959, Judd graduated from
Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria,
VA. He was ordained a
Deacon by the Episcopal Diocese of North Dakota in 1960 and was ordained a
Priest in 1961. He was appointed to serve three congregations on the
North Dakota side of Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, Deerfield St Luke’s in
Fort Yates, St. James in Cannonball and the Fort Yates Community Church.
Three of Judd and Beaty’s four children were born during the seven years that
the family lived in Fort Yates,
Judd studied Anthropology and
Navajo during one year in New Mexico and then
took a position as the Director of a Job
in Clinton, Iowa. Judd and Beaty’s fourth child
was born in Clinton.
In 1969, Judd accepted a
position at a boarding school for high school boys, Deerfield
Academy in Deerfield, MA.
He worked in a variety of roles there until 1978, serving as Dean of Faculty
for the last five years. Judd taught English from 1979-1996 at Eaglebrook School,
a boarding and day school for boys in grades 6-9 located in Deerfield.
At Eaglebrook he also coached and performed pastoral duties for the
community. His wife, daughter, and son-in-law also worked at the school
during Judd’s tenure there.
In retirement, Judd travelled
with Beaty to China
to teach English. After returning to Deerfield, they engaged in a wide
range of activities including singing with choral organizations, delivering
library books, counseling troubled youth(Restorative Justice), and
participating in the activities of a Swedish-American society (VASA). He
also led services when needed at St. John’s (Ashfield, MA), Trinity Church
(Shelburne Falls, MA)
and other Episcopal churches in Western Massachusetts.
Throughout his life he was an
enthusiastic singer. He travelled through Europe
singing with the Harvard Glee Club and most recently sang with the Greenfield
Community College Chorus. During the last two weeks of his life he found
great joy and peace in the voice of singers who came to his bedside.
Judd helped to build and
nourish communities throughout his life. As a young parish priest in Fort Yates
he built enduring relationships and strengthened community institutions.
The same could be said of his time at the Job
Eaglebrook School, and the parishes where he
performed supply work in retirement. There were never strangers in his
midst. He was welcoming of new faces until he took his last breath.
Judd is survived by his wife
of 55 years, Beatrice Blain of Deerfield,
MA. His brother, Bill Blain
lives with his wife Ginny in Detroit Lakes, MN and Sun City,
AZ. Judd is also survived
by four children Rachel (husband Andrew Chase of Deerfield,
MA), Sarah (husband Craig Byrne of Oakland, CA), Nathan
(wife Sue Blain of Bethesda, MD),
and Peter (wife Lisa Blain of South
Judd and Beaty also have ten grandchildren; Calla, Lucy, Hailey, Lily, Sam, Saul,
Audrey, Harrison, Kyle and Seth.
A Memorial Service will be
held at a date and time to be announced.
There are no Calling Hours. The Wrisley Funeral Home, 90
Sugarloaf Street, South Deerfield
has charge of arrangements.
Expressions of Sympathy are
available at www.wrisleyfuneralhome.com.