SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Juliann Russell, 67, died April 12, 2017, at home of brain cancer. She was born Sept. 15, 1949, in Oskaloosa, Iowa, the daughter of Charles Arthur and Mary Emily (Alsop) Russell.
Julie graduated from Oskaloosa High School in 1967 and she was looking forward to her 50th high school reunion this summer. Following graduation she attended the University of Denver and the University of Iowa.
In 1969, Julie married Craig Muhl and they had a son, Eli. She married Rusty Myers in 1983 and became a loved nana to his children as well.
Using her love of sewing, inspired by her grandmother, Emma, Julie enjoyed creating many objects of cloth including awnings, bags, boat upholstery and sails. She was able to formalize this skill with the business she started with Rusty called Russell/Russell Canvas when they moved briefly to Franklin, Maine, and then to Norton, Kan. In Kansas, Julie discovered the work that would sustain her professionally as a librarian. This aspect of her career began with driving a library book van to rural communities. With the move back to Maine she was offered the position of assistant librarian at the Southwest Harbor Library in 1989, where she remained until the onset of her illness in 2012.
Julie was lovingly known by friends and family as an attentive listener who always offered comfort and support through her kindness and compassion. She expressed a similar spirit toward all living creatures, from tenderly moving a dead animal to the side of the road to saving a bug in a shower!
Julie loved exploring new places, including hiking, kayaking and swimming here on MDI and on her travels. Always in search of life’s meaning, Julie’s gentle charm shone through in her love of singing, dancing and laughter!
In the end, she showed an inner strength and graciousness to all.
Julie was predeceased by her father, Chuck, her brother Arthur and her beloved beagle, Peanut. She is survived by her son, Elijah Muhl, his wife, Jen, and their children Oliver and Ruby, Colorado Springs, Colo.; mother, Emily Russell, Oskaloosa, Iowa; sister, Kate Russell Henry and her husband, Eric Henry, their children: Beau Lisy, his wife, Melanie, and their children, Per and Bos, Southwest Harbor; Emily Henry, Bar Harbor; and Rachel Jane Henry, Portland, Maine; brother-in-law, Tom Lee, Bass Harbor and Brooklyn, N.Y.; beloved stepchildren, Andrew Myers his wife, Jennifer, step-granddaughter, Mackenzie, Ellsworth; Sara Sims and her husband, Roger, Boulder, Colo.; Sean Myers and his wife, Jennifer, Denver, Colo.
Julie leaves many special friends, including her dear friend Betsey, her woman’s group, “The Kittens,” Osky friends, Toddy and Byrd, and the SWH Library staff and friends.
Special thank you to her caregivers, Cathy, Gina, Mona, Carla, Renee, Sandy, and her doctors, hospice volunteers and nurses.
A service celebrating Julie’s life will be held Saturday, May 6, at 2 p.m. at the Neighborhood House in Northeast Harbor. The family suggests memorials in Julie’s name be given to the Southwest Harbor Library, P.O. Box 157, Southwest Harbor, ME 04679.