My Family Tradition

At seminars and other chiropractic events I have attended over the years it always makes me smile when someone comes up to me and tells me they went to school with (or are friends with) one of my relatives. Everyone seems to have a good story.

James E. Judge and Christopher Judge became 4th generation Judge chiropractors, and numbers 31 and 32 after graduating from Palmer Davenport, Iowa. There were over 100 of my family members there to share in the celebration. Palmer allows alumni parents of student graduates to go on stage and present a diploma to their son or daughter. However, at this graduation ALL Judge family alums were invited by Palmer College to go on stage during the presentation of the diplomas. This equated to 23 of my surviving family members on stage with President Donald Kern. He said this was the largest “group” presentation the school has ever had. The family received a standing ovation from the full auditorium.

Following the graduation a special reception was held by the school in Lyceum Hall honoring the legacy of the family as the second largest family in chiropractic in the world. We had a post-commencement gathering at the Radisson Hotel that would rival the best of family reunions.

Our first family chiropractor was my great uncle James B. Judge, who graduated in 1917 (’47). His brother, my grandfather, John S. Judge had 7 surviving children, who ALL became DCs (or married them). They were John S. (’48), Thomas (’53), James E. (’54), Eugene (’54), and Bill (’62) (my Dad). My Aunt Ellen married George Dickerson (’54) and my Aunt Mary Pat married Merle Hodges (’60). They have a cousin, Bill Heffron (’60) who has 7 children, 5 of which are chiropractors in Iowa.

James and Chris said it was their grandfather, James E. Judge (’54) (Uncle Ed to me) that impacted them the most…they learned as much as they could from him until his death in 1998. James wore his grandfather’s WWII dog tags around his neck during graduation and held them high while walking off stage. We knew the spirits of our uncles and fathers were with us that afternoon.