Giuliana (Julie) was born in Louisville, KY on January 22nd, 1954 on an Army base. Her father was stationed there during his 4 years of service. The oldest of 4, she has two sisters and a brother.
She was raised in a traditional Italian family and her childhood was rich in Italian culture. Her parents felt strongly that she would get a better and more well-rounded education in Italy, so Julie spent many years studying there. To this day, she still is fluent in Italian as a result of this rich experience. After her father left the Army, the family settled Staten Island, Western New Jersey and currently Eastern Pennsylvania (on the Jersey border by the Delaware River.)
Because of Julie’s many travels back and forth from Europe to the U.S. as a child, she developed a deep love of flying and was always intrigued with the cockpit and the pilots who flew the planes. In those days, children could view the cockpit and were given tours of the plane operations, and Julie never ceased to be amazed by the wonder and sheer magnitude of flying and was fascinated by all of the knobs and screens and throttles.
She decided at that young age to become a pilot which in those days was a lofty goal for a girl.
Sexist barriers weren’t going to stop her and she attended Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida graduating with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. After graduating, she entered the Air Force as an Officer and flew for our country for 11 years before joining Eastern Airlines. Her tenure with the Air Force was truly the highlight of her life (before meeting Michele, that is) as she was honored to be the first woman Captain of an all-female crew.
As a result of this incredible milestone, she and her crew were invited to lunch at the White House and she met the President at that time, Ronald Reagan. She was also interviewed by Joan Lunden on Good Morning America.
Unfortunately, Julie’s time at Eastern Airlines was short due to Eastern shutting down operations. Soon after, though, Julie began flying for FedEx as a DC-10 Flight Engineer. She flew for FedEx for 23 years and ultimately retired as a Captain of the DC-10 right around the time that FedEx retired the DC-10 from its fleet. She was proud to fly those packages and enjoyed being Santa Claus during the holiday crunch time and even flew whales and dolphins in transport to aquariums. FedEx’s headquarters is in Memphis, Tennessee which is where Julie lived during the first part of her FedEx career.
However, she ultimately decided to move to California in 1991 where she met Michele soon after. Julie always missed the East Coast and always wanted to move back to be closer to family. Her wish has finally come true as we embark on this journey of a lifetime together going back to our roots and our home.
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