Surrounded by the Judge family graduates of Palmer College, Dr. Kern, front row, fourth
from right, welcomes two new Judge graduates after the ceremony that took place
Oct. 22, 2006, on the Davenport Campus. To the left of Dr. Kern is James E. Judge, and
to the right is Christopher Michael Judge.
The legacy of chiropractic runs strong in
some families, continuing through multiple
generations. When Drs. James E. and Christopher
Michael Judge crossed the stage to
receive their Palmer College of Chiropractic
diplomas at Palmer’s Davenport Campus on
Oct. 20, 2006, they became the newest
chiropractors in their family. With the graduation
of Dr. James and his cousin, Dr. Christopher,
32 members of the Judge family
are chiropractors, nearly all of them Palmer
College graduates, spanning four generations.
“It was definitely a huge milestone for
our family,” said James E. Judge, D.C.
“It’s kind of hard to realize the impact that
my grandfather and his uncles left on all
of us, but seeing us all on stage really hit
home. It is a big family, but we manage
to stay really close through the years and
chiropractic and Palmer truly have a lot
to do with that. It is our fountainhead and
I don’t know what life would be like if
things were different.”
Around a hundred members of the Judge family came to
Davenport for the October graduation to honor its two newest
chiropractors. Many of them hail from the LaSalle-Peru, Ill., and
Phoenix, Ariz., communities. Seventeen members of the family, all
Palmer alumni, were on stage to participate in the diploma award
ceremonies for Drs. James and Christopher Judge. To honor the
Judge family’s legacy at Palmer, the College hosted a reception
following graduation for the 100 or so family members.
“Today’s graduation is a continuation of a family tradition—serving
people and helping them to become healthier,” said Daniel
K. Judge, D.C., a 1970 Davenport Campus graduate practicing
in Apache Junction, Ariz., and a member of the third generation
of Judges in the profession. “Chiropractic is a way of life for our
family. My father and all four of his brothers were chiropractors
after World War II, and came to Palmer on the GI Bill.”
The first generation of Judges to become chiropractors was represented
by James Bernard Judge, D.C., a 1925 graduate of the
then Palmer School of Chiropractic. He died in 1956, after practicing
first in Iowa, then in British Columbia, Canada, and finally
in his hometown of Albia, Iowa.
According to a family history, “whenever illness occurred among
the nine brothers and sisters and their spouses and progeny,
there was never a question of where to go. ‘Doc’ took care of
everything except obstetrics and broken bones. If a patient wasn’t
up to a trip to town, he would hang a sign on his office door
and make a house call.”
While serving in the Navy in World War II, Dr. James B. Judge’s
nephew, John J. Judge, decided to enter the profession, and the
second generation made its entrance. Dr. John’s brother-in-law,
George Dickerson, entered Palmer, then a few months later,
John’s brother, Thomas, became a student, too. Eventually, all
four of John’s brothers, three in-laws and one cousin graduated
from Palmer following the war.
There will be even more Judges practicing chiropractic in the
years to come. Currently, there are three members of the fourth
generation of Judges at Palmer’s Davenport Campus: Kalie
Elizabeth Judge, T.J. Sheedy and Zack Sheedy.
It seems that some families have a kind of chiropractic gene.
Donald Kern, D.C., president of Palmer’s Davenport Campus
and a member of a five-generation Palmer family, had this to
say: “I think that generations of families who’ve become
chiropractors are a continuing testimony of the attraction of
service to humankind. A person must embrace a specific value
system before considering the healing arts as a career choice.
Then, in many cases, that same value system is passed on to