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Judy Nall, longtime Rodgers Forge resident and former insurance consultant to NFL players, dies

Judy Nall, a longtime Rodgers Forge resident and former insurance consultant to NFL players and their families, died Feb. 21 at the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center from complications of an infection. She was 66.

A lover of entertaining, gardening and loud music, with a witty, dry sense of humor, Ms. Nall lived for her children and relished her role of helping football players navigate the often perplexing world of health insurance, her family said.

“She was a very patient, thorough person,” said Frederick N. Rasmussen, a Baltimore Sun reporter and her husband of 11 years. “Never blew anybody off. She always felt for the underdog.”

The former Judith Williams was born June 6, 1952, in Spangler, Pa., the daughter of Robert L. Williams, a Kraft Foods Co. executive, and Mary “Mimi” Lovette Williams, a lifelong educator.

Ms. Nall was raised in Drexel Hill, Pa., and Penn Valley, Pa. Her father was transferred to New York City when she was 16, and the family moved to Westport, Conn., where she graduated from Staples High School.

She graduated from Cazenovia College in Upstate New York in 1972 and later completed a professional course at the Katharine Gibbs School, now known as Gibbs College, in Boston.

Ms. Nall began her career as a secretary at the Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston and later worked as a legal secretary for law firms in Denton, Texas, and Modesto, Calif.

She had three children from an earlier marriage that ended in divorce and moved with them to Baltimore in 1987 for a job as an office manager at Williams, Thatcher & Rand, a consulting firm partly owned by her brother.

After the firm was acquired in 1999 by Aon Hewitt Consulting, an international insurance and consulting company, Ms. Nall worked as plan administrator on a contract with the NFL, advising active, inactive and retired players on their benefit packages, along with the NFL Players Association, the Management Council and the Player Benefits office.

Ms. Nall married Mr. Rasmussen in 2007 and retired five years later. The couple lived in a home on Round Oak Road in West Towson.

Ms. Nall had an eye for refinishing antique furniture and enjoyed collecting glass and other art. She was an enthusiastic perennial gardener and loved to cook and bake for friends and family.

Neighbors could always tell when Ms. Nall was home by the sound of the Beatles; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; Randy Newman; Arlo Guthrie; Ella Fitzgerald; Frank Sinatra, or any number of other records rattling the windows.

Her son Zach Nall of Dallastown, Pa., recalled a time when he was washing his car in the driveway of their longtime home on Murdock Road in Rodgers Forge and a neighbor approached from five or six houses away.

“I really like your mom’s salsa music,” he recalled the neighbor saying, “but I can hear it with the air conditioner on and the windows shut.”

There was no use asking her to turn it down. Ms. Nall’s music had two volumes: on and off, and she was in charge.

“You’d just laugh because there’s nothing you could do,” Zach Nall said. “I’m sure all of us have some degree of hearing damage. I really can’t remember a time when Mom was home when she wasn’t playing some kind of music.”

Her father, a clarinet player, stoked her lifelong love of music as a child, said Bob Williams of Roland Park, Ms. Nall’s brother.

“Her father was a jazz musician,” Mr. Williams said. “She grew up in a house with people playing music.”

Ms. Nall liked to bake bread from her grandmother’s “memory recipe” — proofing up to eight or 10 loaves at once in a big, ancient pan, said Ellie Nall, her daughter.

“She made huge batches of my great-grandmother’s bread recipe,” she said. “She made her own jams.”

Ms. Nall loved her children dearly and put them first throughout her life, Zach Nall said.

“She basically lived her life for us kids, and I don’t think as kids we appreciated it at the time,” he said. “She helped us become the successful people we are now.”

A private memorial gathering is scheduled Sunday.

In addition to her husband, her son, her brother and her daughter, Ms. Nall is survived by another son, Dan Nall of Springfield, Va.; two sisters, Marilyn Harlow of Timonium and Alison Seaton of North Bend, Wash.; a stepson, James H. Rasmussen of Cockeysville; and seven grandchildren.

cmcampbell@baltsun.com

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