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Judith Bissett

August 8, 1957 — January 28, 2024

Judith Ann “Judy” (Templeton) Bissett passed away peacefully on January 28, 2024, after a short battle with cancer. She was surrounded in her last moments by family, food, and football.

Judy was born on August 8, 1957, in Washington, D.C., the second child of Jack and Julia (Tolbert) Templeton. She graduated from Paint Branch High School in 1975, where she played varsity tennis and softball, and was a member of the Student Government Association and editor of the school yearbook.

After a brief intermission to become a wife and mother, Judy began attending Bowie State University, and in 1990, graduated with a degree in Elementary Education. She then went on to receive her Master’s Degree in Reading Education, also from Bowie State, in 1998.

Judy spent the next 30 years as a teacher, reading specialist, assistant principal, and principal within the Prince George’s County, Maryland Public School system. Her career was dedicated to serving underprivileged populations, and she was a well-loved, highly intellectual, and generous human who profoundly touched the lives of countless family, friends, and acquaintances throughout her all-too-brief life.

In addition to her devotion to helping at-risk students, Judy was also civically-minded and politically active, voting in every election; participation in numerous anti-Ku Klux Klan rallies, and attending various political marches in Washington, D.C., including the inaugural Women’s March in 2017.

Judy had an adventurous spirit and traveled and hiked across the country as often as possible with her best friend and common-law sister, Annie Johnson. The pair were on one such adventure in October 2023, when Judy began to feel unwell and her cancer was discovered.

An avid reader, Judy was also an expert-level bird watcher who could identify hundreds of species by sight and sound. She and Annie also took great pleasure in monitoring the bluebird trail and all of its nests at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) in Edgewater.

Like the rest of her family, she had a keen eye for the arts and would often spend time drawing, painting, or behind a camera photographing her beloved birds. Her most recent creative endeavor included baking with her “sweet angel” granddaughter, Julia.

Judy is preceded in death by her parents, and Brother-in-Law, Ivan Tepper. She leaves behind her son, Steven Bissett, of Baltimore, along with his wife, Jamie-Leigh, and daughter, Julia; her brother, Jack “Pete” Templeton, his wife, Lisa, and their daughter, Hillary, of Poolesville; sister, Joyce Templeton, of Edgewater; and sister, Janice Tepper, along with her children, Jenny and David, of Richmond, Va.

A private service will be held in Chambersburg, Pa., followed by a public celebration of Judy’s life in Maryland at a date and location yet to be determined. Arrangements are by Thomas L. Geisel Funeral Home, Chambersburg, PA.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to Hospice of the Chesapeake Foundation, John and Cathy Belcher Campus, 90 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena, MD 21122, or by visiting:

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Judith Bissett, please visit our flower store.

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