Dr. Julia Karen Wade
Published 4:34 pm Wednesday, August 30, 2023
Dr. Julia Karen Wade, 77, of Johnson City, Tenn., passed away at her home on Tuesday, August 29, 2023.
Dr. Wade was a native of Johnson City, Tenn., where she lived most of her life. She was the daughter of the late Harry Wade and Nell Gouge of Johnson City, Tenn.
Dr. Wade graduated from Science Hill High School in 1964 and received her BS degree in biology from East Tennessee State University in 1968. Her graduate degrees include an MS in zoology from the University of Kentucky, a MS degree in wildlife science from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Tennessee. She was an avid animal lover (except for snakes and mosquitoes) and revered the natural world. Her research included population and reproduction studies on prairie voles (ETSU), short-tailed shrews (UK), striped skunks (Cornell), and the green anole lizard (UT). Professor Wade taught numerous biology courses at Pennsylvania State University (1981 – 1984) and Milligan University (1984 – 2008). At Milligan University she served as the Pre-Professional Health Advisor for ten years and loved her students dearly. After retirement in 2008, she combined her love of animals with her admiration for the medical profession by doing volunteer work with her therapy dogs, Jake, and later Burton, at local hospitals and nursing homes.
She had numerous pets including skunks, cats, and dogs, and loved them all. She leaves behind Yeti and Jazzy, her current fur babies. She enjoyed life and kept busy with many activities including travel (especially to Australia and Alaska; she loved Viking River cruises in Europe), movies, television, books, gardening, photography, cooking, golf, and cards (bridge and Shanghai rummy). She loved to entertain, and one of her greatest joys was sharing food and good wine with dear friends. She fed many students home cooked meals (without the wine!) and hosted the year end picnic for the Milligan science faculty and students. Other groups that enjoyed her hospitality were her church groups that came for “dinners for eight” and Christmas progressive dinners, her Science Hill High School friends who met several times a year, and various ETSU faculty who came for New Year’s dinners and charades.
She was an active member of First Presbyterian Church in Elizabethton, Tenn., where she leaves behind many cherished friends who also appreciated progressive Christianity. She served as elder, deacon, moderator of Christian Education, Moderator of Community Life, and was well known for her Adult Forum presentations on Evolution Sunday.
Dr. Wade is survived by first cousins, Barbara Young and Carolyn McGuire of Indianapolis, Ind., and four second cousins in Indianapolis, Ind., and Chicago, Ill.; travel companions and dear friends, Dr. Chuck and Pam Gee of Thomasville, Ga., and Linda Campbell and Bill Graham of Johnson City, Tenn. She leaves hugs, love, and deep appreciation for her church book group who were like her dear sisters to her and who taught her “what matters most” in life.
A celebration of life will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Elizabethton, Tenn., on Friday, September 1, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. with Rev. Brian Wyatt officiating. Dr. Wade will be interred privately at Monte Vista Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, she asked that donations be made to First Presbyterian Church in Elizabethton, the Johnson City/Washington County Animal Shelter, Milligan University Science program, or the Friends of Roan Mountain. Memories and condolences may be shared at www.tetrickfuneralhome.com.
Tetrick Funeral Services, 3001 Peoples Street, Johnson City, TN 37604, is honored to serve the Wade family. (423) 610-7171.