Ninety-three-year-old Southsider retires for the third time

By Angela Morefield

Most people can’t wait to get to the point where they can retire and rest, but there’s one determined woman who loves to work so much she’s on her third retirement, and that isn’t going to stop her either.

Near Southport, Jean Julian is 93 years young, and throughout her life she’s worked as a secretary, an office manager and an executive director. From working at an oil company to working with a well-known architect, Julian has done and seen it all. “They just couldn’t get rid of me,” Julian said. July 31 was officially her last day of work.

For the past 16 years, Julian has worked full time at Enterprise Realty Estate Services. Her co-workers threw her a third retirement party.

“From my perspective, and I’ve worked with Jean for several years now, Jean Julian is … incredibly wise, quick-witted, kind, a team player, spiritual, generous, possesses a high level of integrity, patient, gracious, energetic, tremendous fun to work with,” said Jackie Tinnerman Briggs, ICBR Certified Principal Broker, Commercial Real Estate. “Jean is one in a million. I’m 58 years old and I will tell you that I want to be like Jean when I grow up!”

A retirement party was held recently for Jean Julian, 93. (Submitted photo)

Julian dreamed of a career since she was a teenager in high school. “I love to work,” she said. “It makes it easier when you love to work. You have something to feel good about and you feel accomplished at the end of the day.” Julian said she is going to miss her co-workers the most. She said she loves the people she has worked with, but she knows that life goes on and she has so much more living to do.

Jean plans to spend her retirement helping family, friends and people in need. She will spend some time helping her sister in Illinois, then maybe visit other family members. “I don’t want to commit early on to a lot of things, I just sort of want to go with what I feel on the inside,” she said. Julian hopes to help people in need of daily living assistance. From cleaning or little jobs needing done, to just sitting with them to keep them company, she just wants to be helpful, stay active with volunteering and give back to the people. “Sitting around and watching TV is just not for me.” Julian said. Around 2004, Julian spent 10 days in Haiti volunteering with a group of doctors as their assistant, and it really opened her eyes to the need of people helping one another out of the goodness of their hearts and nothing more.

Although she has worked her whole life and seen it all, she is also proud of her family. Her only granddaughter works as an assistant for Southport Mayor Russell McClure. Julian has five great-grandchildren. “I tell them all, each one, that I love them the most and I can say that because they’re all individuals,” she said.

Julian looks forward to what lies ahead for her new chapter in very high spirits.