Judith Bullock Nisbet was born on 4 September 1919 in Red Springs, North Carolina, the youngest of five children born to agronomist George Bullock and his wife, a Woman's College (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro) attendee. Judith spent her childhood in Puerto Rico, where her father worked for American Tobacco Company, and then returned to Red Springs where she attended high school. After graduating from high school, she spent two years at Peace College in Raleigh. Bullock transferred to Woman's College, where she majored in art and graduated in 1941.
In August 1942, while taking defense courses in Raleigh, Nisbet enlisted in the WAVES. She was called up in December and attended basic training in South Hadley, Massachusetts, at Mount Holyoke College. She completed her training in February 1943 and was assigned to Public Works in the maintenance department of the Bureau of Aeronautics in Washington, D.C. She served as a messenger for several months and then held a series of other jobs in the maintenance department until the end of the war. Nisbet was put on reserve in November 1945.
Nisbet married her first husband, Edward "Shorty" Thomson, on 24 April 1943. After the war they moved to Charlotte and had three children. Edward Thomson died in 1987, and Judith Nisbet remarried in the mid-1990s. Nisbet passed away in January 2012.