Julie was born November 2, 1955 in Appleton, Wisconsin to Kenneth and Joan Hermsen. Her family moved to the Washington, D.C. area (Rockville, Maryland) when she was 11 years old. She graduated from Richard Montgomery High School, studied for a year at the local community college, and then entered the University of Delaware, majoring in chemistry. She transferred to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to complete both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in environmental engineering. Her intelligence and thirst for knowledge led her to work on many projects with her professors during her time at school, many of them related to the groundbreaking field of alternative energy sources. After graduation, Julie went to work for the Department of Energy in downtown Washington, D.C., enjoying the proximity of her office to many museums and cultural events.
Julie lived in Germantown, Maryland with her then husband, Wilson, where they had their twins, Noah (who passed away shortly after birth) and Andi (who passed away February 16, 2023). She lived in Cheshire, England for two years, then settled in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. There, Julie volunteered with the Chicago Architecture Center and became a docent, leading tours around downtown Chicago.
Julie’s interest in the mind/body relationship led her to explore Feldenkrais, a method of movement therapy, and she took courses to become an instructor. She eventually opened an office to practice the discipline, helping many clients over the years improve or regain mobility and ease of movement. She was a well-regarded teacher; often, her students and clients became dear friends.
All along the way, however, Julie’s number one priority was the care of her dear daughter, Andi. Andi had special needs, and Julie made sure to give her the fullest life possible. Julie and Andi moved to the Rochester, New York area in 2019 to give Andi the best opportunities, and when Andi passed, a huge piece of Julie did too.
Julie’s cancer battle began in 2021. Her inner light helped her keep a positive attitude throughout her treatment, bravely accepting each new diagnosis and its challenges.
All her life, Julie enjoyed art, reading, travel, design, architecture, and walking everywhere! Her beaming smile and infectious laugh attracted friends wherever she went. She had such a generous heart- even in quarantine, she volunteered remotely for her church.
Julie is survived by her siblings, Peter Hermsen (Cheryl), Paul Hermsen (Evangeline), Jean Hermsen Brodie (Kevin), and Jane Hermsen Coughlin. She will be missed by her brothers and sisters, her nieces, nephews, and extended family, as well as countless friends from all over the country.
Julie will be buried with her children, Andi and Noah, at St. Rose of Lima Church and Cemetery in Gaithersburg, Maryland. A Memorial Celebration will take place in Fairport, NY at Mountain Rise United Church of Christ on Sunday April 23, 2023 at 2:30 PM.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Rochester Regional Health Hospice Care. Their staff gave Julie and her family the comfort needed in her final days.
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