Waltrip Alumni Association

Julia (Judy) Williams Kahla

December 8, 1937 – November 14, 2017

A Tribute to the Power of Passion

And a Mantra of “No Whining”


On November 14, 2017, Judy Williams Kahla went home to be with her God and the treasured loved ones that had preceded her in death and who have prepared a reunion that has been in the making for seventy-nine years. Waiting to welcome her are her dance partner Harold Kahla, her son, Grady Wayne Kahla and her parents who taught her how to navigate through adversity without whining, Grady and Dell Williams. Judy was born at home on December 8, 1936 in Angelina County, Texas. She is survived by her son, Byron Wade Kahla, two grandchildren, Julia Nicole Kahla and Paden Wade Kahla, one sister, Gradene (Gradi) Hamman, and a host of nieces and nephews. She also leaves behind a very special family of educators and a community of students who share her passion for teaching and life-long learning.


Judy’s passions for learning began when (during her recovery from polio), with no whining, she was launched into a world of books that forever crystallized her love of learning. That learning and instructional leadership lead to high school classrooms in Lamar Consolidated HS, Hardin-Jefferson HS, Waltrip HS and Cypress Fairbanks ISD. There, in Staff Development, she designed and facilitated instructional programs that would impact each and every classroom within the district. In October, 2005, Julia Williams Kahla Middle School was named for her and dedicated to recognized and honor the role she played in the academic growth of the district. Reminding us of the places passion takes us.

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