In loving memory:
Judith Gabriel Vinje

Judith Gabriel Vinje, 1942 – 2019

Judith Gabriel Vinje

Photo courtesy of Howard Rockstad
In 2017, Judith Gabriel Vinje addressed the crowds at a Syttende Mai celebration at Nansen Field in Rolling Hills Estates in Palos Verdes, Calif.

Scandinavian American Cultural
and Historical Foundation

The Norwegian American was saddened to recently learn of the passing of Judith Gabriel Vinje, a longtime contributor to our newspaper.

Judith Russo Gabriel Vinje Mishkin (née Kintzinger) was born Jan. 14, 1942, in Minneapolis. She passed away Dec. 15, 2019, at home in La Crescenta, Calif.

Vinje was an accomplished journalist, author, poet, musician, dancer, Viking historian, gourmet cook, and, moreover, a kind, warm-hearted, loving woman. 

She was highly respected in the greater Nordic community and was involved with numerous Scandinavian activities. She was the editor of the Scandinavian American Cultural and Historical Foundation newsletter for almost 20 years and edited the Nordic Spirit symposium newsletter until the winter of 2018-19.

As a career journalist, Vinje had a busy life, none of which kept her from many other varied activities and her family of two daughters, three granddaughters and one grandson.

Her illustrious journalism and writing career included:

• Reporter for the Glendale News Press

• Bi-weekly column for the Burbank/Foothill Leader

Wrote bestselling book The Complete Belly Dancer (1973) published by Doubleday

• Editor of American-Arab anti-discrimination publication entitled Alex

• Wrote multiple episodes of the TV series “Laverne & Shirley,” “Harper Valley PTA,” and “Viva Valdez”

• Produced, wrote and performed the KPFK radio show “Mideast in Focus”

• KPFK news director and evening news anchor

• Contributing editor and columnist for Al Jadid Magazine

• Wrote articles on Norse-Arabic history for Aramco World magazine

Coverage of the first Gulf War and the Bosnian War for NPR and The Economist

Vinje was very interested in and knowledgeable about Nordic culture and history and taught classes in it at the Norwegian “Camp Norge” in northern California. She also lectured throughout the western United States on Nordic culture and history. She loved the Nordic Spirit Symposium and counted it among the most important Scandinavian activities in Southern California.

This article originally appeared in the March 20, 2020, issue of The Norwegian American.

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The Norwegian American

The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.