Established in 1875
Julia Ann McGavran, 87, of Urbana, passed away unexpectedly at 6:58 p.m., Sunday, March 4, 2018 at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana. A visitation will be held Wednesday, March 7th from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Renner-Wikoff Chapel and Crematory, 1900 S. Philo Rd., Urbana. Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m., Thursday, March 8th at the funeral home, with the Rev. Christine Hopkins officiating. Burial will be held at Roselawn Cemetery in Champaign.
Julia was born December 24, 1930 in Seymour, Iowa to parents John T. and Louise (Walker) Harl. She married Raymond McGavran August 29, 1948 in Seymour, Iowa; he survives. She is also survived by three children: Jacqueline A. McGavran of Urbana, Julie Rae Savignac (Sam Feinberg) of Urbana, and Franklin McGavran, of Lexington, Kentucky. Also surviving are twelve grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, two siblings, and son, Frederick McGavran.
Julia’s life revolved around her husband, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She was a devoted wife and business partner to Ray for more than 69 years. Her commitment and belief in her children were unfaltering. When grandchildren and then great-grandchildren joined the family, her love and devotion increased exponentially. Her legacy is that love is never lessened by loving more; she lived her life with the simple belief that there is always enough love for everyone. She will be so deeply missed by her family, yet she will continue to live on in the hearts, minds, and actions of her husband, Ray; surviving children, Jackie, Julie, Frank; grandchildren Amanda, Beverly, Brooke, Dawn, Michelle, Mark, Marissa, Andrew, Sam, Matt, Walt, and Alice and great-grandchildren Caleb, Morgan, Julia, Maria, Tyrell, Xander, and Evelyn — and all who they love.
Julia and her husband, Ray, worked side by side always. In 1960, after moving to Champaign-Urbana, that work included business life, too. Julia worked with her husband at Principal Financial (formerly Bankers Life Company) as a loan officer for many years. Additionally, they had an appraisal business and invested together in real estate. In the 1950s, Julia worked in civil service in Florida and Alaska during Ray’s four years of military service.
Julia developed a love of traveling in the early years of her marriage through trips to the Pacific Northwest with Ray. In just the fourth year of their marriage, with a last minute change in orders, Julia traveled alone to Alaska to join Ray for a two-year adventure courtesy of the USAF. They shared the delights of travel, both within the United States and abroad, with their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Julia’s personal interests centered on her family and she had great joy in supporting them in all their many endeavors. She was an ongoing “Room Mother” at Wiley Elementary through out the years her children attended and she was also a Den Mother for Cub Scouts.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen or to the Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club of Champaign. Condolences may be offered online at www.renner-wikoffchapel.com.