In Memoriam: Julia Green

July 12, 2012 — Julia Elisabeth Green, a rising second-year student at the University of Virginia, died July 7. She was 19.

A burial service will take place at Fairfax Memorial Park in Fairfax on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. and a memorial service will follow at the Sovereign Grace Church in Fairfax at 11 a.m. (Details here.)

Green had a car accident Saturday on her way from Charlottesville to Fairfax on Route 29.

Born in Melbourne, Australia, on March 23, 1993, she graduated from Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax in 2011 and was planning to major in Spanish. She was a member of the Class of 2015.

Green grew up traveling with her parents and siblings due to her father's job with ExxonMobil. The family lived in Poland prior to her high school years in Fairfax. She had traveled to more than 90 countries and all seven continents.

Green had just returned from a six-week Spanish immersion program in Costa Rica, led by E. Michael Gerli, Commonwealth Professor of Spanish in the College of Arts & Sciences, who is originally from the Central American nation.

Gerli said Green completed courses in advanced Spanish grammar and Latin American cinema, and also performed community service in local schools. She was one of 17 students who participated.

"By the end of our time in Costa Rica, the group developed a very close bond and became very much akin to family. The news of her death marks a tremendous loss for us all," Gerli wrote in an email. "In the brief six weeks in Costa Rica, we all came to know and appreciate Julia's sharp sense of humor and her broad knowledge of other languages and cultures."

In addition to her studies, Green was active in the Center for Christian Study, the Reformed University Fellowship and Chi Omega sorority.

Chi Omega's president, Sarah Mayes, said, "With a contagious passion for life, Julia was a true leader in her pledge class. She was a friend to everyone, constantly seeking out ways to encourage and serve others. The Chi Omega sisterhood will forever be impacted by Julia's radiant joy and love."

"Her lively personality and love for people drew people into conversation with her," said Shelly Pellish, director of development, alumni and parent relations at the Center for Christian Study. "She loved people well across diverse groups and organizations. I'm seeing this seconded through the Facebook tributes. Students remember – whether they were close friends or not – that Julia made them feel welcome and cared for. That's an all-too-rare quality."

Lane Cowin, director of undergraduate ministries for women at the center, said, "Julia Green had an incredible confidence that came of knowing she was loved by God. That confidence allowed her to plunge forward into life's opportunities in an endearing and joyful way. Julia certainly plunged into all aspects of life here at U.Va. and brought together groups of people that likely wouldn't have known each other otherwise."

Green was a member of Building Tomorrow and on the Bike to Uganda planning team. She also volunteered at the SPCA and with Volunteers with International Students, Staff and Scholars, working with English language learners. She had served with the Vienna Fire and Rescue Department as an emergency medical technician during her senior year in high school.

An avid swimmer, she co-captained her team at Robinson Secondary School to the Virginia State Championships. She continued that athletic interest at U.Va. in Club Swim.

The youngest daughter of Mark and Lucy Green of Fairfax, she is survived by them and three siblings, all of whom went to U.Va.: Becca Green Garber ('08), Eric Green ('10) and Emily Green ('13). Her brother-in-law, Elliot Garber, ('03) is an alumnus, as well.

"We are so grateful for 19 years with our precious Julia," her family said in a statement. "Though naturally we wish we had more time with her, we know that our God holds all things in His hands. Now she has run her last race, she has fought the good fight, she has kept the faith. Our grief is intense but we have a clear and sure confidence that she is now with Jesus, experiencing the joy prepared for her. As her adoring family, we wait with eager expectation to join her in heaven."