Julia Somsen Quayle passed away on Saturday, April 19, while on vacation in Florida. She was born Jan. 5, 1942, in Salt Lake City, UT, to Leo Harry and Dorothy Lucile Somsen. She lived in Cokeville, WY, where she attended school and became the high school valedictorian in 1960. Julie graduated from the University of Utah with a B.A. in English and a minor in French in 1964. While at the University of Utah, she completed a study abroad program in French at LaSorbonne University in Paris, France, where she received the highest degree offered, LaDegree Superieur. Following graduation from the University of Utah, Julie earned an M.A. degree from the University of Wyoming in English in 1965. An accomplished English teacher and grammarian, Julie taught Language Arts at Utah State University until 1967.
In 1966, she married William Ray Quayle, at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Cokeville, WY. Julie and Bill moved to Owosso, MI, in 1967, where Bill began a long-term career with Ford Motor Co. Julie taught Language Arts at General Motors Institute in Flint, MI. Julie and Bill moved to Sandusky, and then to Ann Arbor, MI, where they became passionate followers of University of Michigan Athletics. In 1980, they moved to Port Clinton. A gifted educator, Julie began an outstanding teaching career at Port Clinton Middle School in 1988. Loved by her students, Julie was often cited as an outstanding teacher, winning the statewide golden apple award sponsored by Ashland Oil Co. Julie was an accomplished pianist having studied since she was eight years old. She coupled her piano playing with a very successful piano teaching career, having taught piano lessons to students in both Michigan and Ohio. Julie also studied piano at the University of Michigan under Marion Hunt, a student of The Julliard School in New York. Hand problems curtailed her piano playing and teaching. She retired from teaching in 2004.
Since retirement, travel and civic involvement have been a main focus of her life. At the time of her death, Julie was on the Community Foundation, managed contracts for the Musical Arts Series at Firelands, served as a member of the Northwestern Ohio Arts Council, and as the pianist for St. Thomas Episcopal Church. She served on past Vestries of St. Thomas, The Ida Rupp Library Board, PC Swim Boosters, PC Athletic Boosters, and the Port Clinton Parks Board. Julie was a member of PEO and the Port Clinton Literary and Social Club.
Julie is survived by her dedicated husband, Bill; her two loving sons, Douglas Brian (Mary Jane) and Matthew Garret Quayle; her grandchildren of whom she was very proud- Henry Elliot and Emma Elizabeth Quayle; and her beloved sister, Sylvia Somsen Henricks. Julie has touched many lives through her teaching and giving and is loved by all who knew her. Her courage, strength and kindness will long be remembered.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, April 26, at 1 p.m. at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 214 East 2nd St., Port Clinton. Friends may call Friday, April 25, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Gerner-Wolf-Walker Funeral Home, 216 Washington Street, Port Clinton. Interment will be in Catawba Island Township Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the Julia A. Quayle Educational Fund, to support students who major in English or classical piano which is administered by the Ottawa County Community Foundation. Donations can also be made to Strength for the Journey, an effort supporting the education of children in the Dominican Republic. Checks can be made payable to either organization. For Strength for the Journey, checks should be sent to St. Thomas Episcopal Church, with notation for STFJ, and of course, donations may be sent to St. Thomas Episcopal Church.