WALLACE - Friends and family are mourning the loss of former state Rep. Judy Nerat, who died Sunday.
Nerat, 64, of Wallace was the first elected female state representative in the Upper Peninsula. She represented the 108th District - which includes Delta, Dickinson, and Menominee counties - from 2008 to 2010. She also served on the Menominee County Road Commission from 1999 to 2008 and as chairwoman of the Self Insurance Fund for the County Road Commission Association. Nerat has been credited with implementing snowplow safety at area schools.
Gail Jerzyk of Wallace,was a neighbor of Nerat's and had known her since moving to the area in 1978, as their sons went to school together.
"Judy was the kindest, nicest, most honest person I think I've ever met," Jerzyk said. "Judy was just a special person and if she could do something for you, she did."
She called Nerat a good mother and said she was very religious, sticking to her beliefs no matter what.
"I would just call her a good person all the way around and a very, very good friend," Jerzyk said.
Menominee County Road Commission Engineer/Manager Darrell Moilanen Nerat served the road commission well.
"She was very knowledgeable on road issues and very determined, not only for the county but for roads in general," he said.
Moilanen said Nerat took this knowledge with her to Lansing to fight for roads and other issues in her 10 years of being a road commissioner.
She was born Aug. 12, 1948, to the late Leo and Irene (Milbeck) Kaczmarczyk, and graduated from Stephenson High School in 1966. Nerat owned and operated Judy's Beauty Salon and was a member of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Birch Creek.