After valiantly struggling for several months against a series of debilitating illnesses, Julia D. H. Tillou of Alexandria, Virginia passed away peacefully in Fairfax, Virginia on July 20, 2022, with her husband Kenneth B. Tillou and her children, John D. Tillou and Kathryn E. Tillou, at her side.
Julia was born in Kaysville, Utah on December 22, 1956, to Lt. Col. USAF Edgar F. Harlin and Kathryn J. Harlin. As a “military brat,” she lived in Utah, Taiwan, New Jersey, Alaska, Texas, Hawaii, Missouri, California, and Izmir, Turkey, where she graduated from high school in 1975. She went on to earn her B.S. degree from Auburn University in 1979 and her J.D. from Washington & Lee University in 1982. After graduating from law school, Julia practiced law for a time and later served as an administrative law judge in Virginia until she and her family moved to Utah in 2000. While in Utah, she continued to serve as a hearing officer for both the State of Utah and Salt Lake County. In 2021, she and her husband relocated back to Virginia.
Julia was the most loving and devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. She enjoyed spending time with her kids and grandkids, embroidery, gardening, reading, hosting parties, and traveling. Her favorite overseas vacation locales were the Amalfi coast, the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France, and Scotland’s Isle of Skye. Julia reminisced fondly about her multi-day backpacking jaunts, including a 90-plus mile trek through the Sierras on the John Muir Trail culminating at the summit of Mt. Whitney, high-altitude camping on various peaks in Yosemite, and guiding her then-teenaged sons up the chain-cable ladder to the top of Yosemite’s Half Dome. Julia was known for her dry, witty sense of humor, giving thoughtful and empathetic advice, sewing beautiful children's clothing, and her ice cream-making skills, which included such favorites as “real” rum raisin, lemon and basil sorbet, and butter maple bacon.
Julia is survived by her beloved husband of 39 years, Kenneth, her son John (Lucy), her daughter Kathryn (Clint McKelvey), and her three precocious red-headed grandchildren: Helen W. Tillou, Virginia S. Tillou, and David W. Tillou. Julia’s son, Thomas E. Tillou, her parents, and her sisters, Joyce Atkinson and Elizabeth "Janine" Wheat predeceased her.
A memorial celebration for Julia will be held in Alexandria, Virginia on a future date. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in Julia’s name to the American Heart Association.
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