But did you know that Julie grew up on a country farm in Rada, West Virginia, and did not attend her high school prom because the family was too poor to afford a formal dress for her to wear?
“We lived way out in the country,” recalled Julie. “We had no electricity until I was age 13. We drew our water from a well, ate food from a garden we grew ourselves. We walked a half-mile in the snow to catch the school bus. It was a hard life, but it certainly gave us a strong work ethic.”
Today, Julie’s three brothers and sister still live in Rada. “They’re very happy living there,” said Julie. “I was the only one who escaped.”
After graduating from high school (class of 1957), Julie got a job as a waitress at Mary’s Restaurant. “I was desperate to make money so I could buy some clothes and get a job in D.C., where my aunt was living,” she said. “Then, a handsome Marine walked in and we eventually got married.”
In 1958, they moved to San Diego where her husband worked as a drill instructor at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot. “I remember when Mission Valley was nothing more than grazing fields for cattle,” she said. Her husband also served at Camp Pendleton, Okinawa, Japan, and Vietnam. They were married for 21 years before he passed away from a heart attack. They had two daughters, one daughter currently lives in Ventura and another in Texas.
Julie worked for 24 years for Pacific Bell, retiring in 1991 as a maintenance administrator. She began her real estate career on a part-time basis in 1984, and has worked at real estate full-time since 1991. One of her clients while she was at Pacific Bell was Steve Wilson, who also worked for Pacific Bell at the time. Today, Steve is an active PSAR member who works with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services California Properties in La Mesa. “The home I sold to Steve and his wife Lisa they still live in today,” said Julie.
While working at Pacific Bell in La Mesa, Julie met Bill Fox who worked for Julie’s boss. Julie’s job included reviewing confidential reports from Bill and his peers. “My friends said to go-ahead and have coffee with Mr. Fox but I was very hesitant because it was clearly a conflict of interest,” said Julie. “Eventually, Bill had a private meeting with my boss and told him that we were dating. So, I transferred to the Santee office and got married to Bill.” They were married for 22 years before he passed away in 2002 after a 10-year battle with cancer.
Julie is a breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed in June 2013 and underwent a double mastectomy. “After my surgery, when I returned to my first Rally and Ride meeting, the people here at the Association hung a giant banner that said `Welcome Back Julie.’ They’ll never know how much that meant to me. My real estate friends are so absolutely awesome. We really care about each other. That’s what makes PSAR so special.”
A La Mesa resident, Julie works with the Keller Williams office in La Mesa, and has won several sales awards for top production. “It’s a very rewarding, especially when we can help first-time buyers. Many of my clients have become my very closest friends,” she said.
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-- Don’t forget to read next week’s story. Hint: She used his phone to call her boyfriend, but then later married that same guy who let her use his phone.