Julie was the type of person who made life¬long connections with people after only short interactions - her loving heart, bright smile, and giving disposition com¬bined to make others feel loved in an instant. It was with this impact on lives that Julie was woven into the fabrics of the many communi¬ties in which she resided over the years.
Born in Bermerton, Washington, Julie spent the first 17 months of her life gracing the town of Hansville with her charismatic smile; a smile which would become a trademark for all that knew her. In the spring of 1971 she moved with her parents, Pastor Roy and Judy Obermeier, to Columbia County, Oregon where she met her life-long friend, Jennifer Winans Crawford. In December of 1973 Julie and her parents moved to Ekalaka, Montana - a place that was filled with lov¬ing memories of dear friends, snow tunnels from the front door, and the arrival of her two younger sisters, Jody and Jenny. In the spring of 1978 Julie and family returned to Oregon, living in a little place that Julie often spoke fondly of, Shiloh Basin. The year spent in Shiloh Basin was full of many memories, she was especially joyful at hav¬ing been reunited with her first best friend, Jennifer. In the summer of 1979, the family moved for the last time, settling in Willowcreek, Oregon, just outside of Vale. After attending Willowcreek through 8th grade she went to Vale High School until her graduation in 1988. From there Julie attended Treasure Valley Community College where she joined the college choir and was privileged with singing in the TVCC VOCAL EXPRESS in Japan. If any experience shows how fully Julie was able to impact lives and make those lifelong connections, it was this trip to Japan - the family that hosted Julie during her Japan trip would later come to Oregon, bringing their children to stay with Julie and her family on two different occasions.
After she completed her time at TVCC, Julie moved to La Grande, Oregon to attend Eastern Oregon University and complete her degree in multidisciplinary studies to further her life goal of working with chil¬dren. While attending EOU Julie found work at a local daycare center. That job would change the course of her life, as she met her first true loves - Austie, Taylor, and Jesse. It did not take long for Austie to convince her dad, Robb Gregory, to ask her very pretty and very loving daycare lady out on a date. Julie, it seems, had a weak spot in her heart for blue eyes, and found the package deal of Robb and the kids too much to resist! Julie and Robb were mar¬ried Dec. 12th, 1992 - the same day that Julie officially received her teaching license.
Before long Julie and Robb settled their family in a cozy home in Island City, where Julie spent the next several years as a very beloved part of the Island City Elementary school PTO. Julie had a knack for finding ways in which she could help make celebra¬tions bigger, better, and more memorable for all of the kids. She could often be found heading up decorations for the Christmas program, coordinating the PTO raffle for the carnival, and working to make each class party just a little better than the last. Outside of the school, Julie’s bright disposition spread joy to all that she encountered. Her home was often the neighborhood gathering place as children filtered in and out for snacks and playtime throughout the days. She encouraged any-one and everyone to stay for a meal at her table. It was her time in Island City that brought Julie Childs into her life, and soon the Julies became best friends; so close in fact that the mailman asked if they happened to be sisters, and in a way, they were.
In 2004 Julie and Robb moved one more time, into the home which they worked to build together out in the valley. Here Julie was able to get back to her country roots, and before long she was baking her famous cookies using eggs from her own chickens. This new home had a special place in Julie’s heart, from her meticulously designed kitchen to the hand stained porch, she never failed to rise to the challenge of building a house alongside her husband and then making that house into a home. Along with the move from Island City came a transfer of schools for Taylor and Jesse into the Cove High School, where Julie once again became a staple of the community. Whether she was using cookies to bribe the neighboring farmers not to plow fields on windy days, or schmoozing the teachers with her homemade bread - Julie had a wonderful talent for making everyone feel loved through her food! Once again, Julie threw herself into school functions, making many dear friends from fellow parents and staff members alike.
As her children grew and began to start families of their own, Julie did not hesitate to make their spouses feel just as loved as she had made her children feel. She had a unique talent for that, making people feel loved. But when her first grandchild, Cabella, was born in 2007 Julie found a whole new passion in life - she became more than a wife, mother, daughter and sis-ter… she became Nanny. This role, of being Nanny to precious children, was one that she cherished. It was rare that you could find Julie without one of her own 8 grandchildren on her hip or closely in tow. In addition to those that came to her from her own children, Julie embraced many other little hands and hearts over the years - she was truly a Nanny for all that entered her home.
Julie is survived by many - her husband Robert Gregory, who she adored with all that she was. She is survived by her chil¬dren and their families; Austie and Bradley Baird and their children Isaac, Abigail, Moriah, and Eliza; Taylor and Brandi Gregory and their children Cabella, Hayden, Barrett, and Kember; and Jesse and Kayla Gregory. She is survived by her parents Roy and Judy Obermeier; her sisters and their families; Jody Obermeier-Barlow and her nieces Mikayla and Jorgie; and Jenny and Mark Dayton and her nephews Carson and Troy. She is survived by numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
While no one was ready for Julie to leave this world, she left us all with an incredible legacy of love to pass on to oth¬ers. By her examples we have all learned how to be more patient, loving, and accept¬ing. We have all learned the value of spreading love through smiles, hugs, and food. She possessed a grace that will live on through those that remember the ways in which she used her own time and talent to serve. As we remember her, we will honor her by continuing to love thy neighbor in the most literal of senses, just as she spent her own life doing.
Funeral services will be held at the Nazarene church in La Grande, OR on Friday April 12th at 2pm. A luncheon will follow.
The family requests that in lieu of flow¬ers, donations be made to the grandchil¬dren’s future.