Julie Antelman

Date of Birth

March 30, 1935

Date of Death

October 15, 2022

City of Death

Santa Barbara

Julie Antelman, born March 30, 1935, passed away peacefully on October 15, 2022 with her loving family by her side. She is survived by her three children; Kristin, Gretchen, and Erik; and six grandchildren; Megan, Ben, Tim, Christopher, Dakota, and Keegan.

Julie MacElwee was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, studied history at Reed College and graduated from the University of Minnesota. She began her career at the KSTP radio station in Minneapolis, for which she received a “broadcast pioneer” award in 1998. She met Gordon Antelman (d. 1994) on a blind date and they married in 1958. The young couple lived in Minneapolis, briefly in Cambridge, and spent a year in Copenhagen where Gordon was as a visiting processor. They then settled in Hyde Park, Chicago, where they raised their family and Julie built her career at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, serving as executive assistant to several directors. Julie was active in a swimming club, enjoying early morning swims to far-out bouys in Lake Michigan, competing and winning titles in her age group. After retiring in 2004, she moved to Santa Barbara to join her partner, Dr. William Ure (d. 2022), a retired internist and longtime resident of Santa Barbara.

Julie was a lifelong lover of classical music and opera, a faithful subscriber to the Lyric Opera of Chicago and then the Los Angeles Opera. She forged deep friendships and camaraderie over her love of music. She was intellectually curious and accomplished. She read widely – current events, history, novels, mysteries – and proudly completed the NYT Sunday crosswords weekly. She was also a card shark, playing competitive bridge and enjoying games (also joyfully competitive) with family on vacation.

Bucket list travel and adventure motivated Julie for many years after Gordon passed, and she never shied away from off-the-beaten-path destinations and experiences. She did several stints with Habitat for Humanity, linking weeks of building houses to history-focused trips. She touched down in many countries – Eritrea, Ethiopia, Tajikistan, Botswana, Portugal, Denmark, and the United Kingdom. Julie visited Gretchen’s family in Bangladesh, Tanzania, Indonesia and Uganda, where she shot the Nile’s class five rapids and trekked ten hours to see the Ugandan mountain gorillas (not all in one day!). She accompanied her good friend Nora Schaeffer to China to adopt Emma and has been a grandmotherly presence in Emma’s life ever since. Stateside, she zip-lined with Erik’s family in Massachusetts, and for her 80th birthday it was Julie’s idea to get a matching tattoo with her granddaughter Megan, a small acacia tree on their ankles.

Julie, known to them as Didima or Mana, was a devoted and beloved grandmother to her six grandchildren. She fostered a great love for literature in Megan, and charmed all the teachers at Megan’s boarding school in Carpinteria (in fact, over ten years later, they still ask about Julie). Julie was fortunate to have another grandchild nearby years later when Ben moved to Santa Barbara. She was always a constant in all their lives, no matter how far away; when Ben was 8-years old they talked on the phone every day (to be fair, it was required because she was an executive of the company he founded, National Office Supply Systems, aka NOSS). Julie cherished her pianist grandson, Tim, who was the only one in our immediate family who could truly “speak music” with her; he performed a private Zoom concert of the Goldberg Variations for her just weeks before her death. She taught Chris how to “shoot the moon” in Hearts and he inherited her uncanny ability to do it more often than anyone else. With each baseball season, Julie would stay involved in Keegan’s baseball career on family Zoom meetings and texting, sending him baseball-related articles she saw in various newspapers. She supported and encouraged Dakota’s love of writing and learning, sitting with him to edit childhood short stories and essays during family vacations.

Julie loved to meet new people. She delighted in stories and what they revealed. After she moved to Vista del Monte, her family often heard stories from her new friends, shared over meals or morning coffee in the library. It has been a comfort to her family to hear what we loved about her echoed through her friends in Santa Barbara. All who knew Julie feel blessed to have felt in full force her kindness, her wry and delightfully silly sense of humor, her intellect, her great pride and love for her family, and her special knack for living life to its fullest.

Her family will host a Zoom memorial on November 26, 2022. Contact Kristin Antelman (kantelman@gmail.com) for details.


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