February 18, 1933 - September 30, 2020
Delavan, WI- Beloved Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Aunt and dear friend to many, Julia passed away on September 30, 2020 at Agrace Hospice in Janesville, WI.
Julia was born on February 18, 1933 to Owen and Viona (nee Wilkins) Snyder on her family's farm, Snyder Jersey Dairy, in Footville, WI. Growing up on the farm, and working alongside her family, contributed to her life-long love for animals and her remarkable work ethic. Julia attended Janesville High School, where she excelled academically and in the arts; she was adored by her peers. In December 1951, Julia married Donald Erdman, also of Footville, and together they had three adoring children, Elaine, Scott and Marshall. Julia was widowed in 1984 and later married Richard ("Dick") Meredith in 1987. Dick and Julia had many great years together, until Dick passed in 2018. The Meredith family - and she being part of their family, for 30+ years - was as a great source of love and joy for Julia.
While being a caring and loving mother to her children, Julia worked in textile and clothing businesses. She was ambitious, creative and always impeccably dressed. When the occasion arose, and timing allowed, she opened her own women's clothing store "Julia's" in Delavan, WI. Her store was an immediate success - she dressed career women and women attending special occasions, from Chicago to Lake Geneva to Madison, and beyond; this success allowed her to open her second "Julia's" store in Lake Geneva, a few years later. Her career as a store owner and personal buyer for her selective clientele made her legendary in Southern Wisconsin and Chicago circles. To this day, many women speak of Julia's flawless taste and the personal attention she gave to them as she styled them for every season, for many years. She designed her own window displays (at times featuring live models), and produced her own fashion shows, always with elegance. She was a member of the Advisory Committee of the Merchandise Apparel Center (Chicago), Chamber of Commerce (Delavan), and American Legion Auxiliary, as well as many other organizations.
Julia was a creative, wise, artistic soul. She had a beautiful singing voice - serving as the musical director of several choirs throughout the years and as the vocalist at numerous weddings for family, friends and even strangers that had witnessed her harmonic gift. She was a talented artist - her drawings and paintings were beyond impressive, yet she chose to keep them to herself. She was an avid golfer for many years and was a "member" of a group of Lake Geneva women that enjoyed their ladies luncheons after retirement. Never idle, she spent the last decade volunteering at "READS," a program in which she tutored young children in reading, often developing strong bonds with them. She, herself, was a voracious reader who devoured books, even in her final days.
Julia was a loyal and devoted member of the United Methodist Church (Delavan), where she was involved in creating the garden that is still flourishing. She committed herself to decorating the altar and the sanctuary for holidays and other occasions, and her involvement readily increased after her retirement. Her church held a very special place in her heart - she loved her fellow congregants dearly, and her affection was clearly reciprocated by them. Julia channeled her faith, her family, and her dear friends to guide and comfort her during the heartbreaking loss of her son, Marshall, in 2011.
Julia was a classic, natural beauty with a gorgeous smile and kind green eyes that make everyone feel warm. Simply put, she made the world a happier place and she lived life fully, every single day. She will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.
Julia is survived by her daughter Elaine (William) Sullivan; son Scott (Daniele) Erdmann; stepdaughter Pamela Meredith; stepsons Rick (Renea) Meredith and Rex (Fran) Meredith; grandchildren David Erdman, Christopher (Taru) Meredith, Skylr (Tyler) Walker, and Dalton Meredith; great-grandson Landon Meredith; and sister-in-law and dear friend, Helen Whitehorse. She was preceded in death by her parents, Owen and Viona Snyder; husbands Donald Erdman and Richard Meredith; brothers Owen and Edwin (David) Snyder; and her son, Marshall (Jacqueline) Erdman. Her family wishes to extend special thanks to Becky Corning, her home-health caregiver and loving companion, and to Agrace Hospice, who kindly and respectfully cared for Julia in her final days.
In light of these extraordinary times of Covid-19, the funeral and burial will be private. Please no flowers, instead please consider donations to Agrace Foundation, 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711 or to Delavan United Methodist Church, 213 S. Second Street, Delavan, WI 53115.
ALLEN-MEREDITH FUNERAL HOME
103 W. MAIN ST. EVANSVILLE, WI 53536
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