Julia Emma (Owen) Gilmore

SCARBOROUGH – Julia Emma (Owen) Gilmore, 83, passed away April 27, 2021, and returned to her Heavenly Father. She was born in Pulaski, Va., to Betty Opal Webb Owen and John Evan Owen Sr.

Julia couldn’t have imagined the places her life would take her. She graduated from Pulaski County High School where she received many honors. Julia was elected student council president in 1955, following her brother, Bobby, who was elected president in 1954. This was the first time a brother and sister were elected to the office, and the honor stands today. Julia was elected an outstanding senior, best leader in her class, and a delegate to Girls’ State. Following graduation, she served as the First Deputy Clerk of Pulaski County Court. She later worked as a legal secretary for Bean, Sizemore and Harper in Arlington, Va., and the National Retail Lumber Dealers’ Association in Washington, D.C. She enjoyed the vibrancy of Washington and was fortunate to attend the inauguration of John F. Kennedy.

Julia accompanied her husband throughout his Navy career living in Italy, Iceland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maine. Julia embraced the adventures and challenges of military life immersing herself in the cultures, and people, of the places the family lived. When the Gilmore’s were only one, of two, American families living in their apartment complex in Naples, Italy, Julia learned to speak and read Italian. She never let a tight budget damper the families’ adventures, frequently packing a picnic lunch, heading out to explore the Italian and Icelandic country sides, and the iconic sites of the cities. Julia, Leonard, and Michelle enjoyed traveling and some of their favorite vacations were to Scotland, Spain, and London. During their four-year tour in Iceland, Julia organized and accompanied excursions to Scotland and England for military families.

In 1979, Julia fulfilled a lifelong goal of earning her college degree, receiving a bachelor of business administration/ accounting from the University of Maine. Julia graduated valedictorian, summa cum laude, with a 4.0 GPA, and was recognized in “Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities.” As a non-traditional college student, one of Julia’s favorite activities was to mentor, tutor, and support younger students who were struggling academically, or homesick.

Julia and Leonard lived in Brunswick for 20 years. Julia retired from the Brunswick Naval Air Station in 1999, where she was the Command Evaluation Officer. Her role included auditing, and the detection and prevention of fraud, waste, and abuse.

Julia and Leonard retired to Scarborough, in 2013. Julia was a voracious reader, lifelong learner, and looked forward to being a nightly Jeopardy contestant. Julia never lost her southern accent or southern hospitality. There was always room at the dinner table for an extra guest, and she loved a heartfelt thank-you note. Julia’s greatest pleasure was being with Michelle and her family.

Julia was predeceased by her parents; and brothers, John Evan Owen Jr., and Robert “Bobby” Webb Owen.

Julia is survived by her husband, Leonard William Gilmore, daughter and son-in-law, Michelle and Peter Hayes; granddaughter, Catherine Julia Thorpe, grandson, Jonathan Matthew Hayes, and step-grandchildren, William (Katie) and Laura Hayes. She is also survived by sisters-in-law, Judy Owen, Ada Gordon, Maxine Seekins, Ruthie Hamm, Sharon Lamb, and many cousins; nieces, nephews; and friends.

Julia was blessed with the friendship of Katie Carville for over 40 years, and was blessed to receive a weekly handwritten letter from her childhood friend, Barbara Shockley, for over 50 years, a true gift! Julia and Leonard consider family friends MF and Linda Harmon their adopted children, and appreciate their kindness and support.

At Julia’s request, there will not be a funeral service. Burial will be at the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

Those wishing to make a gift in Julia’s memory, can contribute to:

National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS),

101A First Ave.,

Waltham, MA 02451,

to honor her valiant 25-year struggle with MS.

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