Julie Smith, died at home June 4th aged 96
To many of you, Julie was a sweet and vibrant woman who loved dancing, and in particular Scottish dancing, and had the most incredible smile. And you are not wrong—even in her nineties Julie was all this. But I want to tell you a little about the younger Julie, a woman with the courage of a lion, the determination to live fully in her own unique way, and as adventurous as anyone I have ever known.
The 1992 Conference Booklet said that she had visitied 23 countries, many of them not the usual tourist destinations. When she visited the Middle East, she learned enough of the local language ahead of time to be able to travel off the beaten track and to mingle with the local people in the small villages. Nothing daunted her.
Julie loved Northfield and held a number of positions during the many years she attended with her husband Bob, who delighted us with his accordion playing and his affection for Northfield. Julie and Bob lived in a beautiful old home in Newton where I spent a few days some years ago. They were members of Evergreen B and B Club and put up loads of people visiting Boston over the years, many of whom came back year after year and always took them out for a nice dinner!
When I was there I told Julie I wanted to visit the art museum and she said she knew it well but sadly had been unable to visit for some years as the walking was too much. So we went together and I pushed her around in a wheelchair and had a wonderful guided tour.
Julie was also unfailingly gentle, polite and kind. The last year at Northfield we roomed together and she was concerned about her failing health and being a bother. It was clear this would be her last time with us and so it was special for me.
Julie was certainly a dancer, and I loved my quiet time with her.
I always left our talks feeling blessed by her spunk, her gentleness, and her beautiful, open heart. She’s dancing in those mystery fields of love now, sprinkling her light, of that I am quite certain.
I miss her. Dorothy 💟
My memories of Julie go back to about 1975. That’s when my family started going to Northfield. We were both Residents of Newton which gave us a nice bond. I loved her dancing too. She was a constant presence for me for many years and certainly a favorite icon of Northfield. She will be sorely missed.
Her quiet presence, her sweet smile, her gentle voice was always a gift. Whether helping at Registration or dancing in the evenings, she was an important part of our community and a seemingly endless source of energy. She was a treasure that will be deeply missed. I hope she and Bob are laughing together again.
I loved seeing Julie in the Chapel every morning, as she attended the singing bowls. The last year we were together, I quietly entered the chapel a little early, and witnessed Irene, gently holding Julie, as they sat together on the pew. It was obvious that Julie was failing, but that moment is a treasure for me. Unconditional love.
I was inspired by the dance of her life, and how she kept dancing….moving and flowing.
I want to have many of her qualities as I age. She has inspired me greatly.
I could always count on Julie to dance with me. She was one of my favorite dance partners.
With love and gratitude,
When I think of Julie, two things come immediately to mind. She was in my very first family, and her name tag was “Jewelee”. It was years later that I discovered her true name. But for me, the original stuck and the jewel lightly hidden in it proved descriptive rather than wishful.
I know others will write of her calm, generous smile. And admire her incredible youthfulness. But for me, it was her relationship with Bob which taught me a great deal about what I wanted in my own relationships. I will not put words to it, for I knew neither intimately, but I saw between them a loving spaciousness, an unfettered tensile bond the mechanics of which I always wish I better understood. I now recognize it for that which I have. And it is simple, really, in its incredible complexity. It is love.
I want to celebrate, for that is what she leaves. Love of living. Love of being. Delight and sweetness.
And condolence to those for whom her absence will be felt daily.
xoox Allison (Bishop)
She will be missed. She and Bob were a big part of the community, especially
in my earlier days. I drove Julie to Nfld. and/or back on many occasions. It was a
special time to bond with her and hear some great stories.
I’ll always remember her as being present for dancing, whether it was the first night or final dance night. Dear sweet woman will be missed.
I’m sorry to hear that Julie passed away. She was such a dear soul.