November 12, 2021
Julie Aubin passed away on Friday, November 12 a few days short of her 71st birthday. She was diagnosed with ALS this past March, a diagnosis that was significantly late due to both the 2020 COVID shutdowns and an unrelated injury that masked the disease’s onset and initial progression. Between the delayed diagnosis and the ferocity of her case, there was almost nothing to be done despite access to the best care in the world as Julie went from a healthy and vibrant recent retiree to wheelchair bound in the span of a couple short months. After spending her final days being showered with love by family near and far, she passed peacefully at home with her beloved cat in her lap and the angels of hospice easing her transition.
Julie was the daughter of Denis and Wilma Aubin and grew up with her younger sister Lisa in Bridgeport, CT. Though her nuclear family was small, she was one of 100+ grandchildren on her dad’s side in a huge, extended Roman Catholic family that remains largely clustered in the Northeast. She inherited her parents’ deep intelligence and love of learning and was a stellar student looking ahead to a boundless future as she came of age during the tumult of the late 1960’s.
Julie’s life took an unanticipated turn when she became pregnant with her son Jeremy at the age of 18. Rather than remain in a toxic relationship, Julie made an incredibly brave decision in the America of 1970 and with the loving support of her parents, sister, and various aunts and uncles and cousins she dove into life as an unwed mother. She dedicated her life to raising her son and put every ounce of her being into making the wonderful life he has gone on to live possible.
Julie earned an associate degree while raising a toddler and that effort provided an entry into the healthcare field. She was a talented woman who was more than brilliant and driven enough to be a top doctor, but she worked for years instead as lab technician to support herself and her son. She was always there for Jeremy in the ways big and small that were most critical for shaping him into the man he has tried to be in his life.
After 18 years of modeling what it meant to be a selfless parent and the importance of a work ethic, Julie sent Jeremy off to college and simultaneously jumped into the next chapter of her own life. She considered pursuing a medical degree, but ultimately decided it was too late in life for that slog. Besides, she liked to say, “nurses do all the real work anyways.” Julie and her son graduated with bachelor’s degrees in the spring of 1992 – twin accomplishments that should both be recognized as testament to her strength and dedication.
After her graduation Julie went on to a 30-year second career as an RN that saw her provide care and comfort to patients across the spectrum of nursing from Labor and Delivery to Home Health Care. Her last stop was at Blue Cross and Blue Shield from which she retired in 2019.
Nana Julie absolutely adored and doted on her two grandsons, Parker and Wesley. She enjoyed quality time with the boys through the years and was always a beloved presence at baseball games and improv performances whenever she visited the boys at their home in Austin, Texas.
Along with rewarding work she enjoyed, the second half of Julie’s life led her to the man who became the loving partner she had always deserved. Arthur Curtis shared her Christian faith and insatiable love of classical music and shockingly converted her into the fandom of his beloved Formula One. The extended Curtis family fully embraced Julie as well and she became a loved and treasured honorary grandparent to all of them. A retired minister, Arthur’s devotion and pastoral care during Julie’s final months have been the ultimate personification of how the word “love” is best understood as a verb. He was an inexhaustible rock by her side and his wonderful family was an absolute gift for Julie, and they will all be treasured by her son for the love and care they showed his mom.
Julie’s wishes were that her ashes be scattered, along with those of her parents and her very loved and spoiled cats, in the Atlantic Ocean following a private ceremony officiated by Arthur for both of their immediate families. If you are so moved, please join her family in supporting Project ALS by making a donation at https://projectals.org/. ALS is a dreadful, horrible disease that takes far too many people far too soon. There has never been greater progress toward finding effective treatments thanks to the cross-discipline work supported by Project ALS and others, but much work remains and every dollar will make a real difference in helping others avoid Julie’s fate and her family’s painDec