Julie was a mustang wrangler. She was the youngest of four children born over five years and grew up, somewhat, in El Granada. Julie had horses: Shetland pony geldings Tuna-Fish and the portly Exterminator Sam, a Morgan-mix rodeo-rescue gelding named Yogi, quarter horse mares Birdie and Lady. Julie and Lady were together 23 years, and the homicidal femur-busting dollar rescue mustang mares Frosty and Bossy. The first horses were kept at Friendly Acres, then Mac’s Hitch Rack near the El Granada quarry where she wrangled with the proprietor, retired Western movie stunt man Mac McNamara and embarked on wild rides with friends. While still teenagers on the Coast, Julie and her friend Betsy Wenger started Cowgirl Window Washing LLC, with accounts at The Shore Bird and The Chart House. Around then Julie met her husband, builder and folk artist Joe McDowell. Julie and Joe McDowell were together until the end. Julie was Joe’s muse.
Julie and Joe left El Granada in 1986 for Sebastopol and joined Joe’s parents, Bob and Edie, brother Mike and sister-in-law Laurie who had already relocated from the Coastside. (Too crowded.) Julie had endless energy and sheer determination. In Sebastopol Julie worked for Sharon at Bundocks Kennels for over twenty years. Julie was also a breeder of prize-winning Pembroke Welsh Corgis, “The Queen’s dogs.” At home and at work Julie wrangled assorted cats, reptiles, show dogs, humans, and mutts. She met many dear friends and subdued thousands of unruly dogs and some peacocks at Bundocks because “if one barks, they all start barking.”
Julie passed away of natural causes asleep at home on April 4, 2021, joining husband Joe who passed in 2012, her dad Dwayne, brother Jonathan, and brother-in-law Mike McDowell. Julie is survived by her mother, Alfield, of El Granada, brother Warren, his wife Jennifer, nieces Ashley and Molly, and nephew Jack, Julie’s patient sister Brenda, loving nieces Jessica and Emma, of Montara, her beautiful, adoring sister-in-law Laurie McDowell of Grants Pass ,Ore., and Laurie’s dear sons Trevor and Kevin. The dogs Ivy and Blue are together in a loving home, the mares are safe and together too. Dickie-cat is still spoiled and sleeps on the bed.
A send-off will be thrown at Julie’s place in Sebastopol in May. Her friends will get the word out. Yippie-Ki-Yay.