WESTBROOK — Ian Julian’s family and friends struggled on Monday to understand how a man who had so much to offer and inspired so many people could have his life cut so short.

“He was one in a billion,” said Will Otis, one of his best friends from Portland. “He was the person that everyone gravitated to. … He was an unbelievable person. He was it for us. He was our heartbeat. We’re at a loss right now because he’s gone and we don’t know what to do.”

Mr. Julian died Sunday after long and courageous fight with brain cancer. He was 31.

He was a loving son of Christine Julian of Westbrook and William Julian of Auburn. In addition to his parents, he leaves a brother, Christopher Julian of Westbrook.

He was remembered by his family on Monday as a strong, friendly and generous person who put others first. His brother said Mr. Julian showed up for his friends. He said if someone was sick, he brought them soup. If a friend needed help moving, he was there. If a friend was in trouble, he was the first to step in.

“Literally, he was the protector. Ian would fight for anyone,” his brother said. “He considered his friends his family. If anyone (needed) help, he was there. He always put himself on the line for people.”

James Caton of Kennebunk, his close friend for the past 20 years, said Mr. Julian was an inspiration to everyone he knew.

“He blessed us all by fighting his cancer for so long,” Caton said. “He gave us time so that he and I were able to tell each other how we felt. There are no regrets. There is nothing left on the table. Ian knew where I stood with him and I knew where I stood with Ian.”

Another of his close friends, Ben Dunnam of Portland, said Mr. Julian was the best man at his wedding and the godfather to his daughter.

“He was amazing to me,” Dunnam said. “He was the strongest man I’ve ever known. As bad as it got, he always pulled through. … He wanted to get married and have kids. He would have been a great father. I am kind of angry right now. It’s not fair for someone like that to pass away so young.”

Mr. Julian graduated from Westbrook High School in 1999. He had a passion for music and art and enjoyed painting murals and portraits. Most recently, he worked with his father in his carpentry business.

He was diagnosed with brain cancer when he was 21. Throughout his illness, he kept a positive attitude and lived his life to the fullest. Mr. Julian’s family said he often reached out to help people on MySpace who were struggling with brain cancer.

He died Sunday at his home on Main Street in Westbrook. His mother, his brother and a few of his close friends were by his side. His brother struggled Monday to accept his death.

“I’m angry as hell,” he said. “He was the purest person I knew. He never smoked. He never did drugs. He was one of those people (who) was against everything negative. And God had to take him? Ian didn’t deserve it.”

Mr. Julian’s wake will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Blais & Hay Funeral Home at 35 Church St. in Westbrook.

His obituary will appear in The Portland Press Herald later this week.

 

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at: [email protected]