July 8, 1931 — Sept. 5, 2013
Julia Mark, 82, died peacefully at her home in Dayton on Sept. 5, 2013.
Julia was born July 8, 1931, in Durban, Natal Province, South Africa, to Norman L. and Eunice Phelps Rice. She was the youngest of four children; their parents served as missionaries in South Africa.
The Rice family returned to the U.S. in 1934. They lived in Oklahoma and North and South Dakota before moving to Freewater in 1945. Julia graduated from McLoughlin Union High School in Milton-Freewater in 1949. She was valedictorian of her graduating class and in the spring of 1949 she was crowned queen of the Milton-Freewater Pea Festival.
Julia attended Whitman College in Walla Walla, graduating with a degree in music in 1953. While at Whitman, Julia met Bill Graham, and they married in September 1952 in Walla Walla. Julia and Bill raised four children, Ken, Brian, Larry and Margaret. The family lived in Sauk Rapids, Minn., Seattle and Vancouver, where Bill served as pastor at local congregational churches. Julia and Bill divorced in 1972.
In 1975, Julia married Ron Mark in Vancouver. Julia and Ron lived for several years in Black Canyon City, Ariz., and worked as long-haul truck drivers. Later, they served as campground hosts on the Oregon Coast. Julia and Ron divorced in 1999.
Julia moved to Dayton in 1999 and soon became active in the community. She was choir director and pianist for the First Congregational Church in Dayton. She participated in many of the fall musicals at the Liberty Theater in Dayton, playing viola in the orchestra, serving as prompter and also performing onstage. Julia also worked for the Dayton Historic Depot and the Boldman House Museum.
Julia is survived by her three sons, Ken, Brian and Larry Graham, all of Dayton; her daughter, Margaret Graham of Seattle; and two grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister, Cynthia McCrae of Raymore, Mo.; and her sister and brother-in-law, Helen and Gene Pickett of Chatham, Mass. She was preceded in death by her parents; and her brother, Lincoln Rice.
A celebration of Julia’s life will be held Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, at the First Congregational Church in Dayton at 11 a.m., to be followed by a potluck lunch.