As the child of a physician father and a devoted church volunteer mother, she grew up in a household where patients came to the door at night and Presbyterian missionaries could be found at the breakfast table in the morning. She graduated from Kennett High school with thoughts of being an actress, and attended Mary Baldwin College, Southeast Missouri State University, and the University of Missouri at Columbia. She entered the Miss Missouri competition and was runner up, to the great relief of her parents.
With the outbreak of war in 1941 she went to Washington D.C. and trained as a fingerprint classifier with the FBI, until her marriage to Lieutenant Commander Edward D. Taylor in August of 1944. After the war they remained in Washington, and Julia was devoted to her stepsons, Warren and Ned. She soon had two daughters, Julie Ann and Catherine, and enjoyed life as a housewife and mother. A great reader, she collected books and reread her favorites many times, including the works of Samuel Pepys, the poetry of W.H. Auden, and the novels of Anthony Trollope.
When Ned became ill in 1963 she moved the family back to Kennett, and with the help of extended family nursed him through an eight-year illness. Upon his death in 1972 she moved to Atlanta and worked in the customer service division of J.C. Penney until retirement. In Atlanta she lived with her daughter Julie and enjoyed being close to granddaughters Jennifer and Susanna Green. A life-long Democrat and early champion of civil rights, she generously supported liberal causes. Gun control and human rights were particular passions. She was an avid Braves fan, and followed the team faithfully. A blue-stocking Presbyterian, she taught bible study at Covenant Presbyterian and most recently was a member at Morningside.
She will be lovingly remembered by her family as an elegant and intellectual woman who taught her children to forego pretension and value all people equally.
Julia is survived by her daughter, Julie Green and partner, Mardee Rightmyer ,of Atlanta, Ga.; daughter, Catherine Taylor and husband, Robert Dean, of Blacksburg Va.; stepson, Warren Taylor and wife, Norma, of San Rafael Calif.; stepson, Ned Taylor and wife, Marge, of Maryland; four grandchildren; nine step-grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter. A Service of Witness to the Resurrection and Thanksgiving for her Life was held at 1 p.m., Monday, Jan. 24, at Morningside Presbyterian Church in Atlanta.
Those wishing to honor Julia are encouraged to give a gift to Emily's List at emilyslist.org. Alvin Lofton Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc. Lilburn Chapel, 850 Indian Trail Rd, Lilburn, GA. 678-615-7605. www.alvinloftonfh.com.