Judith Feinberg Brilliant

b. 21 November 1938; d. 3 July 2017

Judy passed away on 3 July 2017 to the great sorrow of the officers and members of the St. Louis Society of the AIA. Her obituary in the St. Louis newspaper provides an accurate summary of her life, but is an incomplete perspective on her many contributions to St. Louis Society of the AIA.

Judy became a lifetime member of the AIA in 1973 and received the Joukowsky Award from the national organization in 1992 in recognition of her significant contributions to archaeology on both the local and national level. She served as president of the St. Louis Society from 1985 to 1987. After that, she was always on the board of directors of the St. Louis Society and chair of the Education committee until the serious decline in her health during 2016.

One of Judy's greatest concerns was that the AIA reach out to the public and specifically children and young adults. Nothing made her happier at a monthly meeting than to see High School students in the audience.

Judy helped with the fundraising for the Youth Education outreach projects, the annual lecture programs, and for several local archaeological excavations. She was more than an armchair archaeologist. Judy particiated in the excavation of Crusader burials in Field C at the Caesarea Maritima dig in Israel - important work that was supervised by Dr. Edgar Krentz (Lutheran Theological Seminary in Chicago) and directed by Dr. Bob Full (Drew University in Madison, NJ). Judy had a significant role in the creation of the St. Louis AIA dig in the Lemp Neighborhood at a site linked to the Underground Railroad. Judy was involved in 2015 in the planning for the "Young Adult Service Learning" archaeological project co-sponsored with the Thomas Sappington House Museum site.

Judy hosted dozens of receptions for visiting lecturers in her home and she told the best stories during the AIA dinners. She will be missed by our membership.

Sit tibi terra levis (ancient Latin, may the soil be light upon you)

Judy Brilliant (center) at the Archaeology Day activity held at Mastodon State Park in 2011.

Judy Brilliant in 1999 on a tour at the Roman site of Maktar, Tunisia.


Here is the text of her obituary that she prepared for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper before her death:

Brilliant, Judith Feinberg Judy born November 21, 1938 died July 3, 2017, age 78. Daughter of the late Adolph K. and the late Virginia (nee Burke) Feinberg. She is survived by daughter Virginia Merrill Brilliant of San Francisco. Sister of Daniel Burke Feinberg and John Jay Feinberg, wife of the late Sidney N. Brilliant. Judy attended Barry College, North Miami, and received a B.S. from the University of Miami, Coral Gables in February, 1960. She did graduate work at Washington University St. Louis in Law, Art History, and Archeology. She held a Missouri Real Estate Broker's license for over 50 years. She was on the board of the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem in the early 1990s, and the national board of the Archeological Institute of America (AIA). During the last 45 years she has been active in the AIA, St. Louis. From 1981-2016 she organized the Lecture Program for the AIA, St. Louis Society. In the late 1980s she organized an archeological education program that enhanced an existing curriculum for middle school students. The program was a collaboration of the St. Louis Art Museum, the Partnership of the St. Louis Public Schools, and the AIA, St. Louis. It was funded by Missouri corporations and foundations. As a result of its success, she was invited in 1993 to Jerusalem to assist in establishing the education programs for the new Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem. Based on the St. Louis program, a program with Jewish Israeli and Muslim Israeli students was established which continues today. Judith also is survived by many friends, cousins, and special friends Diana Bank Weinberg (late Shai), of Berlin, Germany, Rosemary Doody Rosenthal of St. Louis, and Rosemary Scharaldi Camas of Scarsdale, New York. Memorial contributions preferred to the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry, 10950 Schuetz Road, St. Louis, MO 63146 (314-993-1000). Services: Funeral and burial private.

webpage 11 July 2017