Traverse City Record-Eagle

May 20, 2014

Judith J. Lindenau

Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — ELMWOOD TOWNSHIP — Judith Lindenau, 72, of Elmwood Twp., passed away on Tuesday, May 13, at Orchard Creek Health Care. Judith was born on May 22, 1941, in Zanesville, Ohio, the daughter of Vernon and Jean (Hogan) Wood.

Judith had a multi-faceted career spanning nearly 45 years. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Baldwin Wallace College and Master of Arts in American literature and history from the University of South Dakota (USD), she accepted a teaching position at USD. She would later spend five years at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen as an instructor of music (flute) and creative writing.

After leaving Interlochen Judith served as a Green Lake Township Supervisor in Green Lake Township. She was a key figure in the creation of the township’s first public library.

In 1978 Judith was hired as the executive vice president for the Traverse Area Association of Realtors (TAAR), and she served in this capacity for 29 years before retiring in 2007. During her tenure Judith was instrumental in the development of the first computerized Multiple Listing Service (MLS), Board of Realtors Information Service (BORIS), which was the precursor to the modern day online MLS system. She helped develop the statewide MLS property database in Michigan, designed and implemented two charitable corporations, HomeStart and HomeStretch, that focus on affordable housing.

In addition to her local work with TAAR Judith became a widely respected and nationally known figure within the National Association of Realtors. Upon earning the William E. Magel Realtor Executive Award in 2003 she called it the “pinnacle of her career in association management.” She was a charter member of the RCE certification board and a member of the National Association of Realtors Strategic Planning Committee, as well as serving on various state and national committees.

Judith’s interest in real estate association management wasn’t limited to American borders. She served on the board of the International Real Property Foundation whose mission is to assist in the creation of free, efficient, transparent and equitable real estate markets anchored to private property rights outside of the United States. Her consulting assignments included stints in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bosnia, Georgia, Russia, Africa and Armenia.

For the past seven years Judith focused on running her own consulting companies, JWL and Associates and Focus Consulting and Coaching. She held other consulting roles with the National Association of Realtors, NorthSky Nonprofit Network and the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors. She served as a mentor, coach and trusted advisor to many in association management and the real estate community.

Outside of her impressive career Judith loved playing Celtic music. She established the TC Celtic group which played at the Loading Dock in Traverse City for many years and is still in existence. Judith was also one of the founding members of the Original Dulcimer Players Club (ODPC), which gathers every July for a festival in Evart. She was currently focusing her musical talent on mastering the hurdy gurdy and penny whistle and loved playing music every Monday night and at various gigs in between.

Judith was also an accomplished creative writer and loved writing short stories and poetry. Most recently she published many of her stories on her personal blog ( She was a prolific reader who especially enjoyed mystery novels. Judith loved staying on top of the emerging technology trends and in particular teaching herself how to use the latest electronic gadgets. As a seasoned traveler she always enjoyed learning about new cultures, and after her retirement she spent several winters staying at Culmer Cottage located in Tarpum Bay on Eleuthera Island (Bahamas).

Of the many things Judith accomplished in life she was most proud of her two children, Jonathan and Sarah. Raising them as a single working mother she made countless sacrifices to ensure both were successful and happy.

Judith is survived by her children, Jonathan (Lisa Preckel) Lindenau and Sarah E. Lindenau; stepfather, Samuel Burkhalter; and a brother, Douglas D. Wood.

She was preceded in death by her parents; and brothers, Vernon “Pete” Wood Jr. and Alan F. Wood.

A celebration of Judith’s life will be announced at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to support the Judith Lindenau RCE Scholarship established the day after death. Donations should be sent to AE Professional Development Fund, National Association of Realtors, 430 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611. Alternatively, the family requests donations in her name be made to the American Cancer Society or the Cherryland Humane Society.

Please share memories with Judith’s family at their online obituary at

Arrangements are with the Martinson Funeral Home of Suttons Bay.