WALLACE - Friends and family are mourning the loss of former State Rep. Judy Nerat, who passed away this weekend.
Nerat, 64, of Wallace, died Sunday, leaving behind many friends and family members and a list of accomplishments.
Nerat was born Aug. 12, 1948, to the late Leo and Irene (Milbeck) Kaczmarczyk, and graduated from Stephenson High School class of 1966.
She was the first Democratic woman elected to the Michigan House from the Upper Peninsula, serving the 108th District, which represents Delta, Dickinson, and Menominee counties. She also served as a Menominee County road commissioner and as chairperson of the Self Insurance Fund for the County Road Commission Association. Nerat has been credited with implementing Snowplow Safety in area schools.
Nerat owned and operated Judy's Beauty Salon and was a member of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Birch Creek, Mich.
Gail Jerzyk, of Wallace, was a neighbor of Nerat's and had known her since moving to the area in 1978, as both of their sons went to school together.
"Judy was the kindest, nicest, most honest person I think I've ever met," said Jerzyk. "Judy was just a special person and if she could do something for you, she did."
She called Nerat a good mother and said she was very religious, sticking to her beliefs no matter what.
"I would just call her a good person all the way around and a very, very good friend," said Jerzyk.
Menominee County Road Commission Engineer/Manager Darrell Moilanen knew Nerat as she served on the road commission board from 1999 to 2008.
"She was very knowledgeable on road issues and very determined, not only for the county, but for roads in general," he recalls.
Moilanen said Nerat took this knowledge with her to Lansing to fight for road issues and other issues in her 10 years of being a road commissioner.
Mari Negro, of Hermansville, got to know Nerat when she was a road commissioner and Negro was a township official. She also calls Nerat a personal friend.
"Judy is probably one of the finest people you ever met," said Negro. "She was one heck of a great lady and an all-around, wonderful person."
She described Nerat as a very intelligent, humble, and classy lady, and that she would do things for others without expecting anything in return.
"She was just one-of-a-kind," said Negro. "She's one of those people you'll never find anyone like her ever again."
Nerat's obituary can be found online here www.dailypress.net/page/content.detail/id/539954/Judy-Ann-Nerat.html?nav=5004