Judith Gartner – A Visionary for Vail Place and Clubhouses around the world

Judith Gartner – A Visionary for Vail Place and Clubhouses around the world

“She was truly an amazing woman, and one who definitely made a HUGE difference in this world.”

Judith Gartner was a lawyer by profession and a tireless, influential advocate for people living with mental illness. Her impact was profound on Vail Place, where she served on the Board of Directors from 1983 to 2004 – including a term as Board Chair.

She brought a uniquely profound and insightful vision to Vail’s development because of her passion, dedication and leadership in the development of the Clubhouse movement.  She was a founding member of the Clubhouse International Board of Directors and helped imagine and promote the Clubhouse model around the world.

Judith (born Judith Lee Rubinow) was a Connecticut native and the daughter of Judge Jay E. Rubinow and Eleanor S. Rubinow. She graduated in 1958 with high honors from The Chaffee School in Windsor, CT. In 1962, she received a BA from Wellesley College and in 1963 a Master of Arts in Teaching from Harvard University. Judith attended the University of Minnesota Law School, graduating cum laude in 1980.

Judith was a resident of Edina and St. Paul for 25 years and co-founder of the law firm Orbovich and Gartner in St. Paul.  When she retired from her law practice, she moved to the southeast where she continued to promote the Clubhouse model.  She was instrumental in the creation of HOPE Clubhouse in Fort Myers, FL and served on their Executive Committee.

Judith died on September 10, 2011.  The comments of family, friends and colleagues capture the enormous impact she had on those who had the privilege of knowing her:

  • Judith’s strength of spirit, enthusiasm and never-ending support will live on forever in the hearts of all who knew her.
  • Judy was one of the most amazing persons I’ve ever known. I remember her energy and positive attitude and her boundless intellectual curiosity.