Date of Birth: August 29, 1964
Date of Death: November 4, 2007
Miss Julie worked at Bay Cliff for five summers in the 1980s. She was a Dining Room Aide in 1983, a counselor in Unit V (Sam’s) for the next three summers (‘84,‘85,‘86), and Unit Leader in Unit V in 1987. Julie also worked one summer in our recreational program for adults known as Camp Independence. Her life revolved around serving & teaching children & adults, specifically the blind and visually impaired.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Julie Kay Smith, 43, of Anchorage, Alaska, passed away on November 4, 2007, at Providence Hospital in Anchorage. She had been a patient for one day.
Julie was born August 29, 1964, in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., and lived most of her childhood in Lansing, where she attended the Waverly schools, and later, Michigan State University. Julie received a B.A. in Special Education and an Elementary Teaching Certificate at MSU. She worked six consecutive summers at Bay Cliff Health Camp in Big Bay.
After graduation Julie worked for one year as a Special Education Consultant in Martinsville, Va. She then moved to California where she was employed by the San Bernardino School District for a year and then with the Los Angeles Blind Children’s Center for three years. In 1992, she moved to Anchorage, Alaska, where she was employed by the Special Education Services Agency (SESA) as a specialist with visually impaired infants (birth to three years) and their families. Her work took her throughout Alaska, from Barrow to Bethel and Kodiak to Ketchikan.
While working for SESA, Julie earned two graduate degrees: a Masters of Education in Counseling and Guidance and a Masters of Education in Early Childhood Education from the University of Alaska Anchorage.
She was an accomplished knitter and loved her pet family, her golden retriever, Oliver, and two cats, Casper and Zoe. She was especially concerned with her clients, visually impaired infants and toddlers, and their families, and maintained contact long after they were her professional responsibility.
As a tribute, one of her co-workers wrote, “Julie showed her passion for life through her actions. The children and families she worked with had the privilege of being served by a talented and highly valued teacher of the visually impaired. Everyone she touched realized it was an honor to have had her as a daughter, sister, aunt, friend, service provider and colleague. Her family and friends are grateful that her contributions will be remembered, respected and valued.”
Julie is survived by her parents, Rodney and Evelyn Smith; her brother, David (Patti) Smith of Marquette, and their two sons, Spencer and Cooper, whom she adored. In Alaska, Julie is remembered by a very close group of co-workers and friends.
Contributions in Julie’s memory may be made to the Bay Cliff Health Camp, 310 W. Washington St., Marquette, MI 49855.
A memorial service will be held at the First United Methodist Church in Marquette at 2 p.m. on Sunday, November 18, 2007. A second Memorial Service will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, November 30, 2007, at the Campbell Creek Science Center, 6865 Abbott Loop Road, Anchorage, Alaska.
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