By 1958, Captain Judy had relinquished the publishing helm of Dog World to his business partner, George Berner. Dog World said good-bye to a great friend, as well as another great asset, the building that had housed the publication for so many years.
In that same year, the magazine’s four story home at 3323 South Michigan was destroyed by a major fire. That disaster claimed most of the Judy Publishing Company’s records and contents. But Judy was undaunted. He carried on as the company’s president and director in the magazine’s new location, not too far away from its previous location just a few miles south of the heart of Chicago’s bustling downtown loop.
In the years shortly following his official retirement, Judy continued to educate the American dog owner about the importance of proper training through a correspondence course. For $18.00, dog enthusiasts could purchase a Will Judy “College Course in Canines.”
Accountability and customer service remained William Judy’s mission throughout his career. In a press release issued in 1961, Judy, still an industry leader, set new standards. He addressed the importance of obedience training in the first three months of a puppy’s life, stating “[t]he old era of the breeder-seller ‘washing his hands’ of a sale as soon as the puppy left his place, has passed.” He went on to remind breeders that the objective of breeding was not about the sale itself, but about selling well trained dogs to educated dog owners.
Though it may seem that Judy hardly even paused his work long enough to catch his breath, he was also a family man. And while he may have also had a more active “retirement” than many of his contemporaries, it wasn’t all work. The photos below show Judy relaxing with wife Ruth and sister-in-law Elizabeth, while enjoying the newest addition to the family.
Fig. b Baby Al sits on Aunt Ruth’s lap while mom Elizabeth gets a chance to smile for the camera. Garrett, PA, 1959.
Fig. c Will Judy poses for a quick photo.
Fig. d Envelope from Will Judy’s 1954 New Year’s card to his brother’s family.
Fig. e Outside of card.
Fig. f Inside of card.
All photos reproduced by permission of Al Judy. (c) 2015 Al Judy; all rights reserved.
Judy remained true to his passions, even in retirement. Among other activities, he endowed a lectureship fund in order to create an annual lecture series at his alma mater, Juniata College. For nearly 50 years, the series hosted a wide array of government, business, arts and science leaders, including comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory, science fiction writer Isaac Asimov and consumer advocate Ralph Nader. Will Judy lived out the remainder of his days in Illinois, passing in December of 1973 at the age of 82.