In Memory of




Obituary for Judith Lothian (McLaughlin)

It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the death of Judith Lothian, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, nurse, professor, scholar, researcher, editor, childbirth educator, advocate for birthing women, world traveler, mentor, and matriarch. The eldest of six children, Judith was born to Francis and Ruth McLaughlin in Melrose, Massachusetts on April 4, 1945. A devout Catholic, Judith attended Catholic University where she graduated with a B.S.N. in Nursing in 1967.

In her freshman year at Catholic, she met her cherished husband James in a Western Civ class. She brought him donuts and their sixty year love story began. They married on June 21, 1969 and built a remarkable life together. Judith gave birth naturally to six children, James, Mary, John, Ann, baby Margaret, and Elizabeth.

Judith started her nursing career working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at New York Hospital. After marrying James she moved to Chicago where he was pursuing his PhD, and worked at Michael Reese Hospital. In 1972 the growing family moved to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn where they would reside for over 50 years.

Being a mother was one of Judith’s most treasured roles. After giving birth she found her great calling in life, becoming a childbirth educator, maternal child nurse researcher, and an extraordinary advocate for women and their babies. With four children at home, Judith returned to another one of her great loves, education, earning a Masters at New York University, followed by a PhD. While finishing her dissertation she gave birth to her “bonus baby”, Elizabeth.

In an already exceptional life, Dr. Judith Lothian’s professional career was especially impressive. An internationally recognized speaker on birth and breastfeeding, Dr. Lothian served as Chair of the Certification Council for Lamaze International, as associate editor of the Journal of Perinatal Education, and as co-author of The Official Lamaze Guide: Giving Birth with Confidence. Her advocacy work included national leadership positions in Lamaze International and national work with Childbirth Connection, the American College of Nurse Midwives, and the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services. She started at Seton Hall in 2000 as an associate professor in the undergraduate College of Nursing and in 2016 was promoted to full professor in the graduate department of the College of Nursing, serving as chair of that department for almost ten years. She served on the Faculty Senate, the Faculty Guide Committee, the Health Intervention and Communication Team, and numerous academic task forces. Often recognized through various research and service awards. Dr. Lothian was honored with the 2016 Albert Hakim Faculty Service Award and the 2021 Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid Medal for Distinguished Service. She was the recipient of the Elisabeth Bing Award for outstanding contributions to childbirth education in 2015. She was also inducted as a 2015 Fellow for the American Academy of Nursing. The true essence of what it means to be a nurse, she exemplified all of the qualities that have moved the profession forward throughout her lifetime.

In 1991, Judith found her second home in Ireland. She treasured the over thirty summers she spent there beside the sea. In 1998, she and James bought an old farmhouse in Dunkelly, Goleen, Co. Cork where she found great joy reading beside the fire, hiking through fields, picking blackberries, having visits with neighbors of the Northside, and enjoying a glass of wine and the outstanding local seafood just pulled from the sea.

Judith is survived by her husband James, children James, Mary, John, Ann, and Elizabeth, daughters-in-law Sheila and Jaqueline, son-in-law Glenn, grandchildren Nora, Molly, Maisie, Maggie, Nellie, Cate, Jimmy, Claire, Robbie, Frances, Stevie, Rohan, and Michael, sisters Marie, Ruthie, and Noreen, and brothers Christopher and Kenneth. She is predeceased by her parents Francis and Ruth, her in-laws James and Margaret, and her beloved baby Margaret.

The wake will be held on Sunday, September 17th, from 2-5 pm and 7-9 pm at McLaughlin & Sons Funeral Home, 9620 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, New York. A Requiem Mass is planned for Monday, September 18th, at 10 am at Our Lady of Peace Church, 522 Carroll Street, Brooklyn.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, 8005 NW 316th Street, Gower, Missouri 64454 (, Lamaze International, 2001 K Street NW, 3rd Floor North, Washington, DC 20006 (, and
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 3 International Drive, Suite 200, Rye Brook, NY 10573 (