“Everyday and every moment is ordained by God. Be still and listen. Change what you can, let god change the rest. No job too big for Him that loves us. Trust in Him. He leads, we follow, has us honed in” - Andy Julius (thoughts from Andy's personal Bible)
An underlined quote from Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the lord your god will be with you wherever you go”
Leal Andrew "Andy” Julius passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on March 5, 2021, after an adventurous life lived in the outdoors. A good friend recently said, “Andy lived the life of at least three men”. Andy filled every day to the brim working hard but was sure to play harder; funny thing though, his definition of “play” was the casual person's definition of “work”.
He shared his experiences, knowledge and passions with those whom he cherished most. He was never afraid to spice up a story and bring it to life using his witty humor!
Andy was the second eldest of five (Laurel, Jon, Charles, and Carson), born to Beverly and Andrew Julius on March 6th, 1950 in Glenwood Springs Colorado. Beverly was a school teacher for the Rifle School District and his Father Andrew had been an airplane mechanic for the Flying Tigers in World War 2. Between both of his parents, he was taught to respect the wilderness and learned the skills of a working man, all while keeping his brothers and sister in line; or, maybe it was them who kept him in line; that truth may never surface. Andy and his siblings were a part of the Rifle school system, as were their parents, and all had graduated from Rifle High School. They each contributed to the community in various ways. Andy was an avid runner; he was part of the track and cross-country team throughout high school. In the 1965-1966 school year, the cross-country team won the Northwestern League cross-country title; this set him up for success later in life when he had to periodically chase down his son Jake for being ornery.
After graduating from Rifle High School, Andy joined the Navy where he spent much of his time in the waters of the pacific as a Frogman. His passion for diving and swimming was apparent and was a natural calling; one that remained dormant while he lived in the mountains but would surface the moment he came across any body of water. Andy went on to serve our country for four years in the Vietnam war and was a participant in the American Legion.
After Vietnam, Andy attended college at Colorado School of Mines in Denver Colorado where he studied engineering; he later attended Colorado Mountain College (CMC) to study outdoor education. Learning about how things worked and survival were essential to Andy, he could never learn enough for his liking and never stopped asking questions.
After attending Colorado School of Mines Andy returned home to work with his family running sheep around the mountains of the western slope. Marie Davis says, “To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles”; well, Andy didn’t just walk in nature, he lived there. In addition to running sheep, he would sometimes have his father and brother(s) drop him off near Glenwood Canyon for “a few days” and they would later go looking for him to take him home after his solo adventure. He lived life in the outdoors as raw as one could, without the luxuries and gear we have available to us in today’s world. While living life outside, he would often entertain himself with good company (family), a harmonica and a good book. Some of us living today were there with him while others can only imagine him next to an Aspen tree in the Lead King basin sitting just above the town of Marble, and other wonderful places around the Rockies. The mountains presented Andy with serenity and lessons about the value of life and how to live peacefully without the business many of us today are involved in. He knew the ins and outs of those hills better than the individuals living in them.
Andy married Rose (Jewell) in 1980 and they grew a family with four children and countless dogs: all while running sheep together with their families. He and Rose shared much time in the mountains of Colorado working and raising their children. There was always a good book to read or movie to watch, "White Fang" was a go too. After 11 years and much effort, their marriage ended. Despite this hurdle, they continued to co-parent and provide a stable foundation for their children.
As Andy continued throughout his life, he unknowingly learned to be a jack of all trades; he was just that interested in all he could get his hands on. He worked harder than most and took the time to do a job well; no matter what that job was. He spent time working in coal mines around Colorado. One being the infamous mid-continent mine near Coal Basin. He worked this mine, in particular, with his brother Carson, they gambled with life daily, many of their co-workers were involved in explosions within the mine while others barely escaped with their lives. When he wasn’t working in the mines, he spent many of his summers working in Aspen haying, spraying weeds and irrigating along with his brother Jon while his other brother Charles shared the same passion running a farm with his family near the Colorado/Nebraska border. Andy also ran a successful outfitting business with his partner Reed Stevens that attracted hunters from all over the world. He then built a weed spraying business “Julius Ag” from the ground up. His businesses provided him with many friends which he still held close to his heart. Both businesses continue to thrive today and are run separately by two of his children.
Not only was Andy a successful businessman, he prided himself on being an excellent father to his children. He taught them all he possibly could about life and set them up for success through his lessons as a father. Not only did he teach, he showed his children and those around him what life as a hard worker looked like. Other essential skills involved knowing to “throw the first punch”! He taught them to never let a day go by without telling those they cherished that they loved them. For being a tough son of a gun, he seemed to have his priorities straight! His children grew up close to the outdoors as well, after all, they were essentially a part of the pack (of hound dogs)! His children were much like his dogs and his dogs much like his children – being that, his dogs sat in the truck beside him sharing his jerky stick and drooling on the center console while listening to his silly stories, meanwhile the kids were outside in dog boxes, hunting and begging for treats!
Years later, Andy was introduced to Nancy (Bullock) by a mutual friend. It didn’t take but a few minutes until they discovered they had attended CMC’s 1974-1975 outdoor education class some twenty years earlier together. Surprisingly, they had gone on an overnight survival trip and Nancy remembered Andy as the “older handsome gentleman howling at the moon” and “making fire from friction”! She presented him with a newspaper clipping from their shared trip which she had kept all of these years and still cherishes. Andy and Nancy had been married December 19, 1997 in Rifle CO and built a beautiful life centered around their combined families. Andy gained another daughter that day; April, who brought new adventures and much joy to his life. Andy and Nancy built the foundation of their marriage on the rock of Jesus! Andy's renewed relationship with Christ kept a marriage strong and made all of the relationships with family deeper.
Andy continued to be a devoted husband, father and friend as life continued forward; he was always present throughout essential dates and events and always wanted to give more than he had to help those in his life whom he cared about. He was a pool shark at night and a geologist at heart, he continued to mine and pan for gold as a hobby. He and Nancy shared a life filled with adventure on the road and across the country and the world. They sailed often on Lake Huron while visiting Nancy’s grandparent’s cottage in Michigan and later would sail in Pinedale Wyoming on lake Fremont. It was here that they wished to settle and life more simply and fully.
When Andy was diagnosed with cancer, he fought extremely hard with Nancy by his side until he entered the Lord's kingdom, March 5th, 2021. He is remembered by many individuals in different ways but by all for his enthusiasm and love for the wilderness and wild, for his unique sense of humor, and for his love and respect for his family, friends, and life itself. Andy was preceded in death by his parents Andrew and Beverly Julius, and his sister Laurel. He is survived by Nancy, his wife of 23 years; his children Wendy (John), April (Jon), Charlene (Dan), Jake (Leah), Katie (Kua), brothers Jon (Bonnie), Charles (Cindy), Carson (Jerrie), grandchildren John, Julia, Whitney, Cecelia, Andrew, Evalynn, Alexis, Kairo, William, and a multitude of cousins, nieces and nephews.
One last quote to leave you with is from Herbert Harold Read, he says “I suggest that the best geologist is he who has seen most rocks''. If Mr. Read is correct; then it is without a doubt, Andy was the best geologist that ever lived. He has overturned more rocks than those who make a career out of it, than those who claim it to be a habit combined. He has gone on countless adventures by foot, without a plan or supplies and just simply for the joy of being in the wild and being free. He had truly lived life to the fullest plus a few times over. He will be deeply missed. As Ron Hill says, “May the lions be plentiful, and the hounds track true”. May you rest peacefully and be remembered for all you have done in this world and all you have sacrificed so others may benefit and live more simply.
Services will be held at First Christian Church, 306 E 3rd Street, Rifle CO on June 9, 2021 at 10 AM
Military honors will follow the service graveside at Rose Hill Cemetery ~11 AM
Reception will follow both, tentatively, back at the church.
Check your programs at the service for confirmation, ALL are welcome.
Please bring your stories, written is best but if not kindly allow us to record your stories so we can make a book.
You can also email stories to firstname.lastname@example.org , We look forward to seeing you all there to celebrate Andy’s amazing life with all of us.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Leal Andrew Julius, please visit our floral store.