Julia Renee Graettinger April 15, 1966 – June 28, 2017
Julia Renee Graettinger was the sixth child born to Edwin and DeEtte (Wunder) Graettinger. Her journey on the planet began on April 15, 1966 in Spencer, Iowa and ended on June 28, 2017 in Waterloo, Iowa. Her life will be remembered and celebrated during a Mass of Christian Burial on Thursday, July 6, 2017 at Immaculate Conception Church in Graettinger with Father Clem Currans, celebrant. Interment will be at St. Jacob’s Catholic Cemetery, Graettinger. Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m., Wednesday at the church in Graettinger with a vigil service at 7 p.m.
Julia’s arrival was a great blessing to her parents and siblings: Bill, Wynette, Tim and Marlys, as well as her grandparents and extended family. She was a precious child and was loved and pampered by all.
Julia started kindergarten during the fall of 1971 and valued the friendships and experiences she shared with her classmates until their graduation from Graettinger High School in May of 1984. As a young child, Julia developed a passion for books and spent a great deal of time reading. She loved horses and found great joy in caring for and riding Brownie and Dreamy, her Quarter Horse and Appaloosa. She even rode Dreamy at the Palo Alto County Fair!
Her first venture away from home found her in Chicago working as a nanny for Anna, the daughter of Tom and Barb (Petersen) Gaber. She spent a number of years working as an in-home caregiver for elderly clients, many of whom became dear to her heart.
After enduring and not fully recovering from a serious case of the chicken pox, Julia was diagnosed with diabetes on Dec. 26, 1972. Thus began a lifetime of monitoring blood sugar, dietary limitations, needles, doctoring, and almost constant health challenges. Her kidneys began to fail during the fall of 1991 and dialyzing three times a week became a necessity in August of 2005. Julia had to have her left leg amputated on Feb. 17, 2016, and since then had resided in special care facilities in Cedar Rapids and Waterloo.
When one would visit with Julia, they would notice her keen and inquisitive mind, a soaring and free spirit, and a focus on life and the living. She had to cope with her physical limitations, but was not held prisoner by them. She maintained a sense of humor and a sharp wit. Julia’s greatest joy was found in spending time with her family and friends. She treasured the daily conversations she had with her mom during the months she spent in Cedar Rapids and Waterloo. She savored fine music, especially when it was performed by her nephews. She delighted in the hours she spent in the company of her nieces and nephews. She was an ever-faithful Chicago Cubs fan and a dedicated supporter of the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Julia’s tender heart was ever sided with the poor and downtrodden. She supported Heifer International, ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and Habitat for Humanity,
Julia’s rich and arduous life’s journey ended suddenly on June 28, 2017, due to cardiac arrest. She will be forever missed and her life’s legacy treasured by her mother, DeEtte Graettinger of Graettinger, her sisters Marlys Graettinger of Graettinger and Wynette (Bob) Moore of Milford, and her brother Tim (Chrissy) Graettinger of Cherokee, as well as her beloved nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, extended family and many friends.
Julia was preceded in death by her paternal grandparents John and Augusta (Frick) Graettinger, maternal grandparents Hans and Myrtle (Funk) Wunder, her dad Edwin John Graettinger (1988), brother-William James (2010), and an infant sister- Irene Louise (1957).