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Obituary: Virginia Julian

Virginia Julian of Chapel Hill, N.C. died Monday, May 10, 2010. She was the last living member of her family, as her parents, Ora and Henry, as well as her brother, Frank, predeceased her.

Virginia was born on June 17, 1921 and grew up in Greensboro, N.C. She graduated from Grimsley High and took many art courses under Dr. Ivey at Women’s College (UNC-Greensboro). She worked at a bakery owned by Ira Julian and met his youngest brother, Milton, when he returned from the war in 1945. They were married at the end of the year. Virginia infused Milton’s life and business with a strong energy and an artistic flair. In their first two years together, she helped him establish Milton’s Clothing Cupboard in Chapel Hill.

Then Virginia turned her focus on family and pottery. She had seven children. Her son Andrew died in 1970; surviving are Phillip and wife, Carol; Shannon and wife, Susan; Bruce and wife, Bonnie; Kimi and husband, Robert Slepin; Jami and husband, Barry Haigler; and Tim and wife, Carla. Her grandchildren total 10, and there are many great-grandchildren.

In the early 1960s, Virginia started her love affair with horses. She learned to ride, became an accomplished huntswoman and made a significant contribution to the world of Dutch Warm Blood horse stock through breeding her stallion, Tampa. She was honorary Whipper-In for the Sedgefield Hunt in Guilford County from 1967 through much of the 1970s. Virginia’s start as a breeder began with a thoroughbred stallion in 1967. Tampa was her last stallion, and many of his offspring are champions in the horse world.

Virginia will be remembered for her beauty, her love of animals and her 64 years with her husband, Milton. Virginia said that the happiest day of her life was when she and Milton moved out to their farm south of Hillsborough in 2005. Now she had everything she loved in one location: her horses, Milton, the farm, the deer and birds and her garden. It was a wonderful life that was strong to the end.

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