Judith Lamer Bole Roepke was born in Winnipeg Manitoba Canada in 1934, the first child of Janet (Macaulay) and Elswood Frederick Bole. Her sister, Nancy Richards (Bole) Cullen, was born six years later and they grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, enjoying summers at the Lake of the Woods in Ontario.
Judith graduated from Kelvin Technical High School on Winnipeg and earned a Bachelor's degree in Science from the University of Manitoba with a major in Dietetics where she learned about the science of Nutrition. After completing a Dietetic Internship at the University of Minnesota hospital, she was employed in Minneapolis Minnesota, where she met and married her husband Harlan (Hal) Hugh Roepke. Hal was a graduate student in Geology.
Judith worked as a hospital dietitian in Alexandria, Virginia for two years before moving to Austin, Texas where Hal undertook doctoral work at the University of Texas. While in Texas, Judith worked in the Austin/Travis County Health Department for five years. It was then that her passion for Public Health was formed. Their daughter, Janet Elizabeth, was born in Texas and was breastfed for 8 weeks. Judith learned about La Leche League upon moving to Muncie Indiana when Hal became employed to teach Geology at Ball State University. Their son, Douglas Andrew, was born in Muncie. Judith became active in La Leche league during which time she learned how to help empower women to breastfeed their babies. ln addition, Judith worked as a volunteer with League of Women Voters and worked with community organizations to bring the County and City Health Departments together to form the Delaware County Health Department.
After completion of her MS in Health Education with a minor in Public Health Education, Judith was invited to teach a nutrition course for the then called department of Home Economics at Ball State and soon realized she wanted to do that the rest of her life. This led her to Purdue University to pursue a PhD in Nutrition, which she earned in 1977. Judith was then invited to join the regular faculty at Ball State University where she taught various nutrition courses for about 20 years. During this time, she participated in an administrative development program which led to being appointed Acting Associate Provost in 1985 and later Associate Dean in the College of Applied Arts. She was later appointed Associate Provost for faculty development and in 1990 Dean of the then School of Continuing Education from which she retired in 2000.
Since retirement Judith pursued volunteer work first as chair of the International Board of Lactation Consultants and later as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for neglected and abused children. ln addition she worked with TEAMwork for quality living as Circle Ally.
The Judith Roepke Scholarship for Dietetics was established to provide scholarships to Ball State University students with the following preferences:
- Students who are pursuing a graduate degree in dietetics who also received their undergraduate degree from Ball State.
- The scholarship shall be applied to the term in which the recipient is registered and receiving course credit for their internship.