Judith Paula Mosoff

June 20, 1947December 20, 2015

Judith Paula Mosoff June 20 1947 – December 20, 2015 Late on Sunday December 20th 2015, our Judy lost an unfair and ultimately unbeatable battle with cancer, without pain at home with family. She was, and her memory will forever continue to be of a kind, exceedingly loving and smart daughter, spouse, mother, sister and friend. Judy was a professor of law at the University of British Columbia for the past 24 years. Before that she was a professor of psychology at Ryerson University for 8 years. She was a founding member of Steps Forward, an inclusive post secondary initiative, and sat as president of the board of directors. Judy has had a tremendous impact on disability rights across this country and was considered a brilliant mind, strategist and pragmatist with a huge heart. Beyond her working resume, Judy loved books; usually reading 3 at a time. She cooked inventively and daringly, she appreciated art, poetry and music, and was always ready to try the next fitness craze. Judy was an enthusiastic world traveler and was never happier than with a packed suitcase. She was patient and unwaveringly supportive, and a great many people would agree. Judy was a person who would do your friend’s mother’s neighbour a favour. It was a privilege to have known her. A brief list of her achievements and our kind words cannot truly describe Judy. With impossible sadness we say goodbye to an unforgettable person.

Left to mourn are mother Sara, spouse Jim, son Ben, daughter Leah (Sam), brother Mark and special friends Nancy Goodman, Maureen Malloy, Isabel Grant and many important others too numerous to name here. The Guest Book can be accessed at this website:

A memorial for Judy will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to Steps Forward ( or a charity of your choice.


Judith Paula Mosoff

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Sharyn Lewis (Urman)

June 9, 2016

Sharyn Lewis(Urman)

June 9, 2016

Sharyn Lewis (Urrman)

June 9, 2016

Sharyn Lewis

June 8, 2016

Judy was my Maid of Honour at my wedding in Toronto on December 26, 1966. Unfortunately we both got married and overtime lost contact with each other. How sad I was to learn of her passing just the other night. I have so many fond memories, of school, summer camp, sleepovers at each other's homes every weekend and so much more. I can still see us sitting in the kitchen discussing our social life with her Mom while we smelled some delicious cake or cookies baking in the oven. Although I do not think I ever met you Ben or Leah, and for sure not Jim, I wanted you to know that my heart broke and my mind was flooded with great memories when I heard this news. (June 6, 2016). As everyone said, she was a very special person. It seems like just yesterday we spent hours on the phone after being with each other all day in school. I am sad. Life is special and I am sorry we lost contact. (Still have some great photos if you ever wish to get in touch with me:
Sharyn (Urman) Lewis and Tony Lewis

March 20, 2016

We will be gathering to honour Judy on Friday, April 1st at Cecil Green Park House on the UBC campus. Doors will open at 3:30 p.m. with a formal proceeding at 4 p.m. A reception with refreshments will take place afterwards. The street address is 6251 Cecil Green Park Road, approximately opposite the law school as you head towards UBC on Chancellor Blvd. There is parking on Cecil Green Park Road with additional parking at the Rose Garden parkade on Northwest Marine Drive. The building is accessible and there is a driveway to the front door but no parking at that level.

Anne Hughson

February 25, 2016

To Judith Mosoff's family; my deepest sympathies to Jim, Ben and Leah.
It is not enough to say that Judith was an intelligent, creative, loving, insightful, kind woman with wit and a finely tuned sense of humor (often making us laugh when we only wanted to rant or whine.) She was like no one else, unique but not apart an amazing person who could blend endless curiosity with generous acceptance of people for who they are, AND with the ability to critically analyze what was needed to advocate against injustice, misfortune or cruelty. She made substantive contributions as a lawyer, legal advisor, lecturer, researcher and scholar, advancing the rights of people with disabilities. Canadians are the beneficiaries of her work now and into the future.
It was my amazing good fortune to meet her at a time when she was intent on expanding inclusive pathways for young adults. Together as parents and comrades, Judith and Tamara Hurtado became a remarkable force, stepping up to innovate the STEPS Forward Inclusive Post Secondary Education initiative, first at UBC then successfully growing seven more BC inclusive post secondary campus initiatives over the next fifteen years. In this work, Judith never lost hope or missed an opportunity to build relationships, seek new places and spaces for dialogue, ask big questions and offer coherent ideas that won the hearts and minds of other academics, families, friends, funders, policy makers or administrators. In her -day to day- actions, I saw her unshakable ethic, vision for and commitment to students and their families. Judith knew that enlightened engagement in the same struggles was endlessly needed to increase the likelihood of a good life', one student at a time. Clearly students, families, friends and faculty have been the beneficiaries of her skilled negotiations to expand the quality of higher education for everyone.
It feels so unfair to lose her. We miss her and all that she gave so freely. Most keenly, I miss my friend. I am grateful for the many times she was willing to talk about the dark side, examine all parts of an argument, risk untested notions that just might shift the inevitability of life outcomes; all without losing perspective or an appreciation of the absurd. Regardless of time and distance we could pick the conversation up from where we left off - in spite of lousy cell connections in coffee shops, cars or street cafes. She was above all adventurous, loyal, funny, kind, trustworthy, loving, honest, smart and an inspiration to me. She was the most loving mother and spouse, generous friend, recommender of good books, fabulous cook; a bon vivant who would share a dirty martini and shop for cashmere sweaters. She was never pretentious, always credible - you could count on Judith. She was the real thing. She will always be in my heart.
E. Anne Hughson
Associate Professor, Community Rehabilitation & Disability Studies, Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary

Colin Desjarlais

January 15, 2016

My heartfelt condolences to Professor Judith's family. Judy was my clinical law instructor and law professor in disability law. We enjoyed some good laughs, she was incredibly supportive of me as a law student and She always had a sincere interest in my success.......the disability community has certainly lost a champion...thank you Judy I will certainly miss you! Colin Desjarlais, Toronto, On (class of 1995).

Debra Parkes

January 11, 2016

I had the privilege of working as a research assistant for Judy while I was a law student at UBC in the 90s. She was a brilliant, original thinker who was deeply committed to social justice. She challenged me to think in new ways and I learned a great deal from her. Her research, teaching, and activism have made a lasting impact. But she was taken from us too soon. My deepest condolences to her family and friends.

Mark Gervin

December 31, 2015

I knew Judy in Law School when I was a student and she was a professor and have now worked with Jim as a lawyer for many a year. Both Judy and Jim are and were very fine people and will miss Judy and my condolences to Jim and their family. Mark Gervin

Aurora Bewicke

December 28, 2015

To Judith's family, on behalf of International Bridges to Justice China and her friends in Beijing,

Those of us who had the honor of spending summer 2014 with Judy in Beijing were all profoundly moved by her generous spirit, sense of adventure, easy going attitude, and friendship. Her work has helped improved the lives of thousands of people living with disabilities in China and her warmth was felt by all those who had the good fortune to meet her. We are truly grateful for the time she dedicated to our work and we will carry on her legacy for many years to come. She remains in our hearts.


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