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Obituary for Julia Bouchelle Blood
JULIA BOUCHELLE BLOOD
Julia Elizabeth Bouchelle Blood, 97, passed away on December 31, 2017. She was a devoted mother and grandmother, a passionate and innovative teacher and an enthusiastic world traveler. Julia was born in Alabama on April 5, 1920 to Henry Tutwiler Bouchelle, Jr. and Julia Elizabeth McLemore Bouchelle. She grew up in the small town of Boligee, in the rich farming region of Alabama, until the sudden death of her mother relocated the family to Birmingham. After graduating from Ramsey High School in Birmingham, she enrolled in Birmingham Southern College where, according to the ‘Southern 1942 yearbook, “diminutive Julia Bouchelle” was president of the Women’s Division of Student Government and “by far the most active member” of Kappa Delta sorority. Following graduation, Julia worked for the War Department in Washington, D.C. On a visit to New York, her brother introduced her to Dr. David Wilkie Blood of Salt Lake City, Utah, his friend and fellow resident at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. Julia and David were married in 1946 and moved to Salt Lake City, where David began his practice in cardiology and their only child was born. In 1951, David died suddenly of heart failure, and Julia left her life and their many wonderful friends in Utah to return to the South. For many years, Julia taught sixth grade at Watkins Elementary School in Jackson, MS. After teaching at Johnson and Poindexter Elementary Schools, she arrived at Casey Elementary School, where she helped develop Jackson’s first program for gifted students. She taught in the gifted program at Casey until she retired from the Jackson Public Schools in 1986, holding both the M.Ed. degree from Mississippi College and the Ed.S. degree from Mississippi State University. Throughout all her years in the classroom, Julia loved each of “her children” and dedicated herself to making sure each child received the best education possible. Retirement was an adventure for Julia. During her years of travel, she flew in a hot air balloon over the Serengeti Plain in Kenya and in a small airplane over the Himalayas in Nepal, hiked to the top of Mount Vesuvius in Italy, waded into the Red Sea in Israel, descended into one of the Great Pyramids of Egypt, walked on the Great Wall of China, visited the Arctic Circle and clung to a storm-tossed rubber boat off the coast of Antarctica. She was once detained at the London airport for unintentionally trying to board with a weapon (a Masai spear from Kenya, a gift for her young grandson). A communicant of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Cathedral in Jackson, Julia taught preschool Sunday School for many years. She was honored to be a 50-year member of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society, an organization of teachers for whom she had deep respect. Julia found joy in things large and small, and she charmed her family and friends with her frequent laughter. She maintained a never-failing optimism, often quoting her grandmother’s philosophy of life, “It’s not what happens to you, it’s the way you look at it that counts.” She will continue to be an inspiration to her family. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her brother Dr. McLemore Bouchelle and her sister Innes Bouchelle Hornsby. She is survived by her daughter, Julia McLemore Blood Armstrong (William R., Jr.) of Brandon, MS, her grandson, Dr. William Riddick Armstrong, III (Kiley Munger) of Tyler, TX, her granddaughter, Julia Elizabeth McLemore Armstrong of Austin, TX and her greatgrandson, David Raymond Armstrong of Tyler, TX. Visitation will be from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 25, 2018 at Sebrell Funeral Home, 425 Northpark Dr., Ridgeland, MS 39157. Services will be Friday, January 26, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Boligee, AL, with burial to follow in St. Mark’s Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Salvation Army, 110 Presto Lane, Jackson, MS 39206 (www.salvationarmyalm.org), the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, P.O. Box 2052, Jackson, MS 39225 (www.msorchestra.com) or Birmingham Southern College, 900 Arkadelphia Rd., Birmingham, AL 35254 (www.bsc.edu).