Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Julie Bernadette Muir 1950 - 2008

Julie Muir has died. I was very upset when I heard.

Julie was equally well known to me as 'Jools' in the days when her surname was Hearn. I worked with her for a year in the late 1960s at Childwall Library in Liverpool and she was one of the kindest and most vivacious people I have ever known. I think I was a bit in love with her in those days - but then she was such a wonderful person it would have been hard not to have been. Any new member of staff was cared for in a way that never occurred to management. Julie would show them the ropes and generally make them feel very welcome. The readers also took to her and her easy manner.

Julie, pictured below in her red leather hot-pants in 1970, married a former schoolmate of mine who had also lodged very briefly in my flat in Leeds. I was pleased because although I didn't know him well what I did know of him was good. So far as I could tell Iain was worthy of her and it seemed a good match. Thirty eight years and two sons later I was obviously right. He has spent the last year as her full-time carer.

After qualifying in Librarianship in Manchester Julie worked for Hammersmith and Fulham where her Under 5's Sessions of music, stories, finger rhymes songs & instrument playing were renowned.

Julie and I lost touch for many years and then around the year 2000, out of the blue, she contacted me through Friends Re-united. Since then we've swapped Christmas greetings and news and the occasional e-mail but at no time did she tell me of the cancer she had first been diagnosed with in 1995. Nor did I know until her death that she had been a volunteer telephone counsellor for Breast Cancer Care.

It sounds as though the memorial service was lovely and it included, of course, Gerry Marsden’s “You’ll Never Walk Alone” – Julie was an active and ardent Liverpool supporter. Indeed, everything she did she did ardently, with heart and soul.

I cannot begin to imagine the impact that Julie’s death has had on the lives of Iain, Dominic and Patrick. That Julie has been taken from them seems so unfair. I can only hope that as time goes on the happy memories from all those years with Julie overtake the bad ones that her illness and death may have left.


  1. She was young, as was my mother. It sounds though, that she lived a full life sharing her nature with many; obviously touching lives for purpose. She touched yours.

    It also seems that she was able to continue speaking into the lives of others who needed to hear her words, even after cancer entered her life.

    I will lift up her family in prayer. I do believe that the spirit of her life will remain in their hearts and that they'll feel her presence continue on inside of them.

    Thank you for sharing this ;o).

  2. I am so very sorry.

  3. What a beautiful memorial to Julie! She sounded like such a wonderful person. I am sorry for the loos of your friend.

  4. Such a beautiful spirit, SS; Her energy and love of life shines out of her in both pictures.

    My mother was 58 when she passed and it is never easy for those left behind. What is at least some comfort is that if we have nothing left unsaid with our loved ones, and I am guessing that Jools managed that with her beloved family.

    You have offered her life a fitting tribute for those of us unfortunate enough not to have known her. My thoughts are also with you...

  5. She must have been a remarkable woman; that's a wonderful tribute to her. Sorry to hear the news.

  6. You wrote a wonderful piece about her. I'm sure she's smiling on you today!

  7. Thank you for the comments. The photos were both taken by Iain. I wasn't privileged to be around to see the 'older' Julie but the 1970 picture absolutely sums up the Julie I knew.

  8. I'm so sorry to hear of the death of your friend. You are in my thoughts.

  9. Thank you for that entry, even though it came as a shock.

    I knew Iain from Leeds (indeed you and I probably met there as well through Iain), and first met Julie when she visited. We lost touch after I emigrated.

    Our last meeting was a fleeting one to see them both shortly before their wedding, which I could not attend.

    Julie was indeed a lovely person.

    May I ask you to pass on my (very belated) condolences to Iain and their two sons.



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