JUDITH SHEILA STRAUSS, musician and music educator, passed away at Kindred Hospital Sunday, June 15, 2014, at the age of 74, after a long illness. She was a 1959 graduate of Cleveland Heights High School, and a resident of the Heights her entire life. As the principal in her firm, A Musical Journey in Jazz, she was a music instructor and jazz musician for over 50 years, and a major contributor to jazz education in Northeast Ohio. Her musical career is featured in Mary Unterbrink's Jazz Women at the Keyboard, and she appeared at concerts featuring, among others, Cannonball Adderly and Shirley Scott. As a piano instructor, she taught over 1,000 students of all ages both classical and jazz music. Her expertise ranged from performing in concerts and club settings to program development; she produced or co-produced five multi-media educational programs for public music appreciation. She served as President of the Northeast Ohio Jazz Society, and organized the event Women in Jazz. Five recent performances by Ms. Strauss that demonstrate her lyrical, introspective style may be heard on Soundcloud at https://soundcloud.com/judy-strauss.
Throughout her life, Ms. Strauss was actively involved in the civic life of the Heights. She was a life-long member of the Workmen's Circle, and served on its Executive Board for better than 15 years. She was also an active member of the Shaker Heights Area Development Corporation since 1976, and was continuously involved since its inception better than twenty years ago with The Lomond Association of Shaker Heights and especially its Youth Committee. She was a dedicated and tireless advocate for children, youth, and young people her entire life. Her last major event was the design and implementation of a "Poetry Jam" for the youth of Shaker Heights. Ms. Strauss was the daughter of Harry and Carrie Strauss (both deceased) of University Heights. She is survived by two brothers, George H. Strauss of New York City, and Robert P. Strauss of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, her step-children Blair A. Wise and Jon M. Wise of Shaker Heights and several cousins, nieces and nephews.