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Julie Golden dies of cancer at age 71
Julie Golden
    What friends remember most about Julie Morris Golden is the strength of her faith.  Golden, 71, passed away Dec.  24, after an 11-year battle with cancer.
    "She died Christmas Eve and spent Christmas with her Savior," said long-time friend Patricia Blitch. "I've known her all my life, and she has always been  there for me."
     Born in Statesboro, Golden was a true Statesboro native. Her father owned one of Statesboro's first men's clothing stores and her mother was a secretary at Georgia Southern College.  She graduated from Statesboro High School in 1956, and was going to attend Georgia Southern, but love intervened.
    Golden's high school sweetheart Philip Morris was offered a position in California and asked her to marry him. She did and the couple moved to the West Coast, where their daughter Patti Lynn was born.
    Three years later, they moved to Satellite Beach, Fla. to work for NASA, and their second child, Connie Marie, was born.  In 1965, they moved back to Statesboro to help run the family wholesale grocery business, T.J. Morris Company.
    Blitch, who had been friends with Golden since childhood, was happy to see her return. She recalled Golden's unwavering faith, even through her illness.
    "She never showed anything but her faith in Christ," she said. "She never faltered in her faith, and was a witness through all her illness."
    "She was one of the sweetest persons," said Betty Hatcher, who was also a long-time friend. "She was the epitome of a Southern lady - gracious, thoughtful, kind and she was always thinking of ways to help others, especially those who couldn't help themselves."
     Julie was a devoted wife and mother, and enjoyed decorating and entertaining.  Her passion for serving God was reflected in that she was co-owner and operator of The Word, a Christian bookstore.
    Golden's battle with cancer began in 1998, when she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. That same year her first husband, Phillip Morris, died from complications of diabetes.  Golden continued her fight with cancer, and dedicated her time to working with the church and other Christian organizations.  Her work with the Second Chances ministry earned her a Deen Day Service to Mankind Award in 2000.
    Blitch said Golden was always a charitable person, and recalled the years when she and Golden raised children together, camped and traveled together, and owned a beach house together. "We celebrated life together," she said.
    Golden was active in the community, and supported the Averitt Center for the Arts, Ogeechee Area Hospice, and many other organizations.
    In 2004, she married again, to Dr. Bill Golden, in a ceremony at Guido Gardens in Metter. The couple enjoyed attending Georgia Southern University football games, and traveling to Africa and Hawaii.
 "She loved her family, loved her friends and loved her Lord," Hatcher said. "Julie was my dear friend and I am going to miss her so much."
    A funeral service for Golden will be held today at 1:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Statesboro, with Dr. John Waters officiating. Visitation with the family will be held in the church fellowship hall after the service.
    There will be a graveside service at 4:30 p.m. at Eastside Cemetery.
    Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at 489-9414.

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