Cover photo for Gordon Ray Julian's Obituary
Gordon Ray Julian Profile Photo
1928 Gordon 2022

Gordon Ray Julian

May 29, 1928 — May 20, 2022


Gordon R. Julian was born to J. Frank Julian and Clara (Smith) Julian in Wenatchee, WA, on May 29, 1928. Gordon died at home in Bear Canyon on May 22, 2022. His life was a long and eventful journey.

Gordon spent his youth in Wenatchee, Salt Lake City, and Idaho Falls. He graduated from the University of Utah in 1950 with a degree in zoology. He received a Ph.D. in Chemistry in 1960 from the University of Oregon. From 1960-64, he did post graduate studies as a Research Associate at the Dept. of Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School. He was Professor, Dept. of Chemistry, Montana State University, 1964-1987. In 1974-75 he was a U.S. National Academy of Sciences Research Fellow, Biological Research Center, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Szeged, Hungary. From 1975 to 1976 he was Visiting Professor at the Frederich Miescher Institute, Basel, Switzerland. After retiring from MSU, he was visiting Professor, Dept. of Biochemistry at Louisiana State University 1987-89. Gordon belonged to the American Society of Biological Chemists, The American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Chemical Society.

In 1952, Gordon married Phyllis McMahon. They had two daughters, Nancy and Janet.  After their divorce, he married Sara Williams in 1975. They were married for 47 years.

Preceding Gordon in death were his parents, and two older brothers, Dr. John Julian and Dr. Donald Julian. He is survived by his wife, Sara Williams; daughters, Nancy Julian (Pittsburgh, PA) and Janet Julian (Portland, OR); step-daughter, Clara (Rory) O’Rourke (Bozeman, MT): grandchildren, Emma O’Rourke and Liam O’Rourke (Durham, NC); and numerous nieces and nephews.

All of Gordon’s adult life he was a Unitarian Universalist. He was the oldest living member of the Bozeman Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. He was devoted to the denomination for its work and voice on social justice issues.

A special thank you to Stillwater Hospice for providing love and compassion to Gordon and the family during his last days. A celebration of Gordon’s life will be held at a later date. Donations in memory of Gordon Julian can be made to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bozeman. Franzen-Davis Funeral Home and Crematory has assisted the family.

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