In Memoriam: Faculty & Friends
Judith Tustison Kovacs of Charlottesville died Dec. 28, 2020. After graduating from the College of Wooster in 1967, she was accepted for the doctorate program at Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary. In 1969, she married her Wooster classmate David Kovacs. After a few more years in New York and Massachusetts, she and her husband moved to Charlottesville for her husband’s job in the UVA Classics Department. Ms. Kovacs also taught at the University part-time until her colleagues in religious studies, realizing that she was producing good scholarly work, gave her a tenure-track position. She was a lively and much-loved teacher of the New Testament (in Greek and in English) and of those Christian authors who wrote in the early Christian centuries. A particular specialty was the way the New Testament books were understood in later centuries down to the 20th century. Her scholarship won many admirers both in the U.S. and abroad. She took particular satisfaction in having mentored young scholars working in the former Eastern Bloc, whose interest in Christianity had been officially disapproved of. She was a lively interlocutor who valued everyone she talked to, a teacher with a gift for teaching critical scholarship without destroying faith, an intrepid traveler with a gift for foreign languages, a stalwart friend to countless people, and a devoted and loving wife, mother, sister, and grandmother. Survivors include her husband; children Mark and Ellen Kovacs Spangler (Col ’02 CM); four grandchildren; and two sisters.