She was a founding board member of Identify, Inc., Farmington's first LGBTQ community center. Palier grew up in Chicago, and when she was eleven, her family moved to the St. Louis area. She spent 15 years in the Denver area before moving south to Albuquerque to attend graduate school. She joined San Juan College in 1999 and had retired in 2016. San Juan College announced the death of retired political science professor Dr. Judy Palier, 63, on Wednesday.