Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Julie Ann Thorburn Padula

July 31, 1962 - April 26, 2008

It is with profound regret that I report the passing of my dearest friend Julie Ann. We'd been friends for over 30 years, and I fully expected to have her in my life for another 30.

Julie was so full of life. She truly lived everyday to its fullest. When you walked into her house, she made you feel welcome and at home. She could sense if you were down and had the right words to lift your spirits. A soothing cup of tea was never far from hand. She couldn't help but make you feel good.

Julie Ann was the mother of two wonderful children, Matthew and Emily and the wife of Peter.

For years she was actively involved in the Canadian Music industry. Many of her friends will remember calling Julie when Bruce Cockburn was performing in their town to beg her for tickets. I can't hear one of his songs without thinking of her (I hope to be hearing lots of them).

My children will remember her as being 'fun' and for the greatest children's parties. They won't forget her dragging them to see the 'Mudmen' at the Medieval Faire in Milton and ensuring that we sat close to the front for a 'good' view (and a lap full of mud).

Julie was my inspiration for starting this blog. She was a graduate of the journalism program at Ryerson in the mid 80's and it impressed me that she could write stuff and willing offer it up for others to read. I am trying to do my best, but I will never have the flair that seemed to come so naturally from her.

Good-bye my friend, you shall be missed.

Please add your favourite memories of Julie in the comments section and I will pass them along to her family.


Anonymous said...

Julie Ann brought all the best in everyone; she had a magical way of using her wit, her intelligence, her charm and her beauty to make everyone feel special. I have been truly blessed to have been considered one of her dear friends.

Julie Ann always said that there were two kinds of people in this world, those who were girl guides, and those who wished they were. Julie loved to camp, and even with her ratty old t-shirt covered in dirt she was more glamorous than I could ever be in my best ballgown. I was always amazed at the camp fires she could start, and she never ceased to remind me that I was never a girl guide.

Julie Ann was also an avid reader, and was involved in a Book Club long before they were ever popular. She inspired me to start my own Book Club in London, and we fashioned our group after her group.

My heart will be broken forever with the loss of my friend. Tears are the price you pay for loving someone, and I just can't seem to stop the flow.

May God rest your soul, my dearest friend.
Love, Patricia

Anonymous said...

Julie played a huge role in developing the careers of some of the top directors, producers and musicians in Canada when she was Program Director at VideoFACT. Although she was relatively small in stature, she left some pretty big shoes to fill when I stepped into her role. My deepest condolences go out to her family and friends. I know she will be dearly missed.
Beverley McKee
Executive Director

Anonymous said...

I am devastated. Although I haven't spoken to Julie in 4 or 5 years the news of her death struck me to the core because I don't know anyone who lived life like Julie.

We met in the late 80's. She was quick witted, smart and smarmy! A perfect match for dinner conversations. Whenever I needed to unload about work Julie was always patient with me on the phone or in her office (and I never thought for a moment that she revelled in the inside dish i was giving her about our artists - okay, maybe she revelled a little).

I tried to keep in touch with her once she left the music business but we msuic types are all so shallow and that never works. I know that she loved her kids more than anything and she constantly encouraged me to find someone and settle down and have little Waxmans running around. Well I finally am settling down - this weekend as a matter of fact.

Julie your smile you smile is in all of our hearts. My deepest condolences to peter and the kids as well as the rest of the family.

Steve Waxman
Warner Music Canada

Anonymous said...

I am so incredibly sad. Julie Ann was a wonderful person and a good friend. We've been friends since we were in Grade 7. She was always full of life, ambition and passion.

In high school, her home was always open for gatherings of friends. When she was at Ryerson and I was at Western studying, we got together for a crazy trip to Quebec City. It was always Julie Ann who planned the adventures.

Even when I moved away from Ontario, we kept in touch through cards and photos. Julie Ann flew out to Alberta for my wedding. I loved meeting her gorgeous children when we were able to get together in Ontario in the years that followed.

I will always admired Julie Ann for her charm and compassion. I count her as one of my life long friends.

Julie Ann, we will all miss you. My heartfelt condolences to Peter, Matthew and Emily and to all her family.

Jantina Van Zandwyk

Heather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I was fortunate enough to be a part of Julie-Ann's family by marrying her step-brother Mark Newman, 5 years ago.

While I did not have much history with her, the times we did share will always stay with me.

Besides being a gorgeous woman with a kind heart and beautiful smile, I was always impressed with her devotion to her children, Matthew & Emily.

She lived for her children - they were her life.

The shock and resulting sadness at her sudden passing is beyond description.

She lives on in our memories and will be greatly missed by those who loved her.

Anonymous said...

When I was about 7 years old there was a British Invasion in our neighbourhood, the Thorburns moved in. Little did I know at that time what an impact this charming family would have on my family for the rest of our lives? They somehow quickly became entwined in our lives, the same school the same church and Julie-Ann joined our Girl Guide group.
Julie-Ann quickly became my idol; I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. She was charming, fun, pretty, smart, kind, outgoing, witty, everyone liked her; she could fit easily into every social situation. She seemed to me to be the type of person that was just naturally good at everything. Even though I was a few years younger she never treated me as the younger kid sister of her friends.
She was just another big sister for me. As I became older and age didn’t matter anymore Julie-Ann and I became better friends. There are many happy memories of weekends or weeks spent staying at Julie’s on her couch. She always opened her door and heart to someone in need of a place to stay or a wonderfully cooked meal. She always had the best dinner parties; you never knew what interesting person would be at the table when you got there.
She was always willing to listen, or to give advice, be it about boys, careers, helping with cover letters, concert tickets, or helping me plan my back packing trip around Europe.
I always thought of Julie-Ann and her whole family as the type of friends that you have for a lifetime. It didn’t matter if you hadn’t seen her for months or years when you did see her she still loved you the same, always had a big warm hug, and as soon as you started talking it was like it was yesterday when you last saw her. I never thought this friendship would end so soon in my life. I thought we would all grow old together and she would dance at my wedding one day.
I will miss Julie-Ann very much. I will never forget all the wonderful times we spent together or all the wonderful things she did for my family. She is family to me.
My heart goes out to Joan (Ma T.) Stuart, Ian, Blair, Emily, Matthew and Mr. Thorburn.
With lots of hugs
Love Nancy Tucker

Anonymous said...

Julie-Ann was my very first dear friend in life.

My fondest memories of her and our time together were as very little girls, "working" in our back yards making perfume out of rose petals - some of which had fallen to the ground - and some that hadn't. It didn't matter - to this day, that perfume remains the sweetest fragrance in the world.

Although our paths never crossed again after those very early years, (my life taking me abroad for a good part of my life), I often thought about her and feel so incredibly sad by her sudden passing.

My love and prayers go out to her loving children, husband, parents, and her brothers and their families.

Heaven has welcomed a beautiful Angelic "English Rose" into the higher realms, and I will always remain grateful for the joy Julie-Ann and I shared as little girls. I was so blessed to have such a wonderful first friend...

Anonymous said...

Julie was the tiny, perfect executive assistant who later became the perfect executive director. When she first came to True North Records she couldn’t have been much more than 20 years old, but quickly proved to be a huge asset to the company. When it came time to set up VideoFact, a foundation to assist new artists fund their videos, it was apparent to me that Julie was the perfect person to assist me in setting up the systems and run the day to day business of that organization.

Julie was smart, the kind of thinking on your feet smart that kept things running smoothly. She was funny, with a quick, sometimes caustic wit and always a pleasure to have around.

The organization has grown and changed over the years but still operates in essentially the same manner that it did when we opened our door to the music industry all those years ago.

Julie and I were friends as well as working colleagues; I was at her wedding and remember how happy she was that day. When she decided to leave VideoFact to start a family, I was sorry to see her go but wished her well. Our contact over the years diminished as it tends to when people are getting on with their lives, but I hope she understood that she would have always had a warm welcome here.

Her death is shocking news; my heart goes out to her family.

Bernie Finkelstein
Finkelstein Management - President
VideoFact - Chairman

octopus said...

I didn't know Julie as well as I would have like, but I can honestly say the world is a sadder place today without her in it...

My deepest condolences to her family and extended circle of loved ones,

Nick Krewen

Anonymous said...

My Mother and Julies Mother were Friends when we were young I used visit them and hang out and swim with Julie then we parted ways for 20 some years when I actually ran into her in Toronto we recognized eachother imediately and we chatted for about an hour and lost contact again

This news is very saddening to me I found her to be a very Kind and loving person who touches your heart and you just never forget her my sympathy to her family she Will be saddly missed

Dave Vollett

Anonymous said...

I was saddened to hear of Julie's passing. And I want to offer my deepest condolences to her family and friends!

I first meet Julie in 1985, through her work with VideoFACT. I had numerous meetings with Julie in her office, and I always looked forward to seeing such a bright, cheerful and positive person! Over the years that Julie was the program coordinator of VideoFACT, I found her to have that rare talent of being both a 'people person' as well as a 'brilliant administrator'.

I know that Julie will be missed by everyone that knew her!


Scott Eldridge

Anonymous said...

I was part of Julie's large circle of friends back in high school in St Catharines and remember her for the energy and mirth she always brought with her. We also shared the same date of birth and joked about being twins with each birthday. We gradually lost contact as the years went by, so I only learned of her passing today (I've lived in Singapore for the past 9 years). I'm shocked and saddened that we've all lost such a special person, but will continue to cherish those fond teenage memories of Julie and the gang...
-Glenn Nosworthy

Anonymous said...

We just found out last night about Julie Anne's passing, I have been crying since. My next-door neighbor mentioned yesterday that he saw a message about one of the school volunteers by the name "Padula" in one of the St Patrick's School newsletter. He thought it was probably her mother in law. As soon as we got home we had started going through all the school's newsletters until we found the message. The words "honoring Mrs. Padula, a parent volunteer" strike us. We could not believe, could not be true. We are her neighbors from across the river, and we had no idea this happened. We did not have a chance to say good buy to her. We loved her so much, each time we saw her she always placed smiles in our hears! Such a wonderful person! We will miss her so much! I can't stop crying, sorry! .

Sept 1, 2008

Anonymous said...

Well!! Peter has sold their old house and is having an "Estate Furniture Sale", probably Julie Anne's belongings, this is so sad...
If you want a memory, you can go to her house before the closing day on Dec the 12th.

Gare Joyce said...

I can't express how this saddens me. JAT and I were classmates and room-mates and often mistaken for brother and sister. I really did love her like a brother or more. I used to do an impersonation of JAT for kids in our class at Ryerson and friends. She was an absolutely pure soul. She was the only one I ever allowed call me by my middle name and she did it dozens of times every day. My heart breaks when I think of how I never tried hard enough to stay in touch -- an email here and there, a chance meetinf at the Eaton's Centre, never followed up on. My one JAT story: She took me to her mum's for T-giving dinner back in, oh, say, 1983. I hadn't eaten meat in almost ten years at that point and she and I drew the assignment of stuffing the turkey. At that point, I blacked out--I hadn't even touched meat in all those years and I fainted like Margaret Dumont. When I came to, JAT was there. She was the best friend I ever had and I never told her that. And I'll never get by it. Gare Joyce.

Heather said...

Hi Gare,
Thanks for your rememberences. I didn't recall the one of the turkey, but prehaps she was using discretion and didn't share that one. I do remember her talking of you a lot through out the years. You truly made a big impact on her life.

Anonymous said...

Life has ways to hit and hurt you, and in those instances you feel absolutely helpless as only a child can feel. Then grief descends upon your soul. Fate has ways to strike when you least expect it. Then memories come down in a cascade, and you gaze into the past with a frankness you are not prepared for. Last week, on a business trip to China and back in my hotel, for some reason I started to remember my college years in Canada, and I immediately thought of this family who took me as one of their own. Suddenly I clearly recalled and felt what I thought had already faded. I recalled the mornings when Ian came down half awake with a towel over his head, and Blair, the little Blair, always jolly and mischievous thinking how to “bug” Ian. In my mind, I also saw Stuart with his ever patient mien. And the two extraordinary women in the Thorburn household: Joan and Julie-Ann. Joan, or Mrs. Thorburn as I always called her, was the center around which everybody gravitated. The mixture of love and discipline she imparted has set an example for me as a parent too. I also remembered the walks and the talks under the winter snow or a summer sunset. These moments instilled more than I could have ever learned at school. Even Tasha and Cleo’s fierce fights and plays in the middle of the night came to my mind. The seven months I spent under her wings will always live both in my mind and heart. And Julie-Ann. The day after I arrived at her home, she came with Joyce, one of her best friends, and they took me to Niagara Falls. She wanted to make sure I felt at home, but I felt even better than that if that is possible. Afterwards, she introduced me to her friends: Patricia; Heather; Heather’s sister, Nancy (I think); Patrick and several others I don’t remember anymore. More important, she always showed patience, and kindness, and joyfulness, and wittiness, and smartness, and so many other things. Now that she is gone, I can only say that I will elevate a prayer for her soul every night the same way I do for my beloved wife who died the same year in June.
Muyun-muyuntas purishani, manañam tariykiñachu. Astawansi yuyarini, sutiykita yuyarispa.

Jaime Alberto Galarza Castañeda

Heather said...

Dear Jaime. I have thought of you over the years and of meeting you at the Thorburns. I wondered if it was you when I saw a visitor from Peru.

I forwarded your message to both Ian and Blair and they would like to get in contact with you. Please email me directly at heatherdpear at hotmail dot com.

Andrew Foster said...

Here it is 3 years later, and I am only just finding out about Julie's passing. As it is with people after the high school years, we tend to drift in different directions. I'll always have very fond memories of Julie's effervescence (laughing out loud at the cinema watching "A Room With A View"), and the very welcoming nature of her mother and siblings. Sleep well, Julie Ann.

Andrew Foster

Unknown said...

I just on a whim googled my old primary school friend and am completely gutted to hear of Julie Ann's death. I've lived in the UK for over 30 years and lost touch with Julie Ann during our high school years. Reading the comments here, it seems all of her friends have the same lasting impression of her, that beautiful, empathic person with a huge love of life. It was always there, that inspiring spirit sprang from childhood, and even against the upheaval of moving country as such a young girl, she remained confident, loving and cheerful. I remember our sleepovers, Saturday matinees, decorating the Xmas tree, and playing with all of the girls after school. Very belated condolences to all of the family. I remember you all very fondly.

Lisa Greenspan