Although she was taken from her loved ones much too soon, Julia Smith touched the lives of so many in such a special way. She has been described as a beautiful soul as her beauty was on both the inside and the outside. Deeply devoted to her loved ones, Julia was blessed beyond measure to witness her family tree blossom to include numerous branches of loved ones who made her so very proud. She had a contagious zest for life, and her outgoing personality drew others near with ease. Life will never be the same without Julia here, but she leaves behind a timeless legacy that her loved ones will proudly carry on in her footsteps.
It only seems fitting that Julia’s journey began during a time that was as vibrant as she was. It was the 1960s when civil rights topped the nation’s headlines, we elected the young John F. Kennedy as our 35th President of the United States, and by the end of the decade we had put the first man on the moon. Elvis was king, Psycho and West Side Story entertained us while Gilligan’s Island, Bewitched, and the Beverly Hillbillies were all part of our homes. It was during this same time that William and Phyllis (Watson) Smith were pleased to announce the birth of the baby girl they named Julia on May 24, 1966, in Vicksburg, Michigan. She was the older of two as she was joined in her family by her brother, Jeff. Julia’s father worked as a machinist while her mother worked as an operator. She was a typical young girl of her generation and attended local schools including Vicksburg High School. There, Julia was an avid softball player, was in track, and also played the clarinet in the marching band. Softball continued to be an interest during her adult life as Julia played co-ed softball for a time. And she was an avid Michigan State Spartan fan.
There was never anything that was more important to Julia than her family and friends. She was thrilled to welcome three children, Adam, Stephanie, and Makenna, into her heart and home. Later, she was blessed to add two grandchildren, Sophia and Mia, into the family. As her family and friends can attest, it was easy to see that Julia’s granddaughters were her greatest source of pride and joy. For more than 20 years, she was blessed with the companionship of Chris Pillars after meeting him at a New Year’s Eve party.
Throughout her life Julia was one to keep busy in a variety of ways. She spent more than 16 years working at Linden Woods Dental, and she also worked at Main Street Pub in Vicksburg for over 10 years. Julia treasured the relationships she had with her coworkers, and they regularly spent “girl time” together. In fact, she recently got back from Costa Rica with the girls from the dentist office. Julia loved Keno and traveling, and when at home she loved a good Lifetime movie. She always liked to look her best as she made the time to get her hair and nails done on a regular basis. Julia enjoyed her beverages of choice including both White Claw, Bud Light, and she was known to have what she referred to as “Shot Time.”
All who knew Julia Smith would agree that she was truly extraordinary. She was a free spirit who didn’t shy away from doing things her own way, and she was even said to be a crazy at times. There was no greater gift in her life than her family and friends, and it was when surrounded by their love that Julia experienced her greatest joy. A beautiful gift and an integral part of the lives of many, Julia will be forever missed.
Julia Marie Smith, of Vicksburg passed away on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at the age of 53. Julia is survived by her companion of 20 years, Chris Pillars; three children: Adam (Ryan) Phillips, of Canton; Stephanie (Michael Alexander) Phillips, of Kalamazoo; Makenna Pillars, of Vicksburg; two grandchildren: Sophia and Mia Alexander, of Kalamazoo. She is also survived by her mother: Phyllis Smith, of Scotts; and brother Jeff (Kim) Smith, of Vicksburg. She is preceded in death by her father, William Smith; grandparents: Edward and Betty Smith and Richard and Evelyn Watson. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 25th, 2020 at 11am at the McCowen & Secord Funeral Home, Rupert-Durham Chapel, 409 South Main, Vicksburg, MI 49097 (269-679-5622). The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service beginning at 10am. Due to COVID-19 concerns, it is recommended that people that attend please wearing mask and observe social distancing, as well as any of the current CDC guidelines imposed on the day of the event.
While visiting Julia's webpage at www.mccowensecord.com please sign the guestbook by lighting a candle, share a memory with the family, and get updated service information. In lieu of flowers contributions may be directed to the family c/o Stephanie Phillips. The family is being assisted by the McCowen & Secord Funeral Home, Rupert-Durham Chapel, 409 S. Main Vicksburg, MI 49097 269-649-1697.