Cover photo for Julia "Judy" Bamburg's Obituary
Julia "Judy" Bamburg Profile Photo
1924 Julia 2020

Julia "Judy" Bamburg

May 6, 1924 — July 12, 2020

Julia Brennan Bamburg
May 6, 1924 – July 12, 2020

Julia (Judy) Brennan Bamburg and her twin sister, Mary Ellen Carlson, were born May 6,
1924, in Evanston, Illinois. Daughters of Albert F. Brennan and Julia Reyer Brennan, the twins
grew up in Marshalltown, Iowa.

Judy graduated from the University of Iowa in 1946 with a degree in textiles. She loved
and practiced the fiber arts throughout her life, pursuing sewing, weaving, quilting, costuming
and especially dollmaking.

She married Harold Bamburg in 1949, attended by her sister and her sister’s husband,
James K. Carlson, a Navy buddy of the groom’s. For the next 60 years, the two couples were
best of friends, living hundreds of miles apart, but reuniting at least once a year and giving their children, the cousins, a chance to also become close. In later years, the sisters pursued their shared passion for opera through annual tours to famous opera houses throughout Europe and U.S.

In 1955, Judy and Harold moved to St. Louis, where they lived for 50+ years. There they
were active in the community and raised their three children: Jill, David and Bob. Primarily a
homemaker, Julia also worked for over a decade as a counselor at Reproductive Health Services, a pioneer in offering legal abortions. She was also an active member of the First Unitarian Church of St. Louis.

She was a third-generation Unitarian, a lifelong liberal Democrat, and a strident feminist
from her first reading of Betty Frieden’s The Feminine Mystique. She loved opera, classical
music and the visual and performing arts.

In 2010, following the death of her husband, she moved to Bainbridge Island, WA, to be
closer to her daughter, Jill. She was well cared for by the staff of Madison Avenue House for her final 10 years.

She was preceded in death by her sister, Mary Ellen Carlson; her husband, Harold Brown
Bamburg; and sons David Harold Bamburg and Robert Brennan Bamburg. She is survived by
her daughter Jill, granddaughter Katie Gao, daughter-in-law Nani Baran, beloved caregiver
Marion Benton (Nani’s sister), nephews Tom and Phil Carlson and their families.

Donations in her honor may be made to Planned Parenthood, Opera Theater of St. Louis,
or the charity of your choice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Julia "Judy" Bamburg, please visit our flower store.


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