• Julia4:07

  • 1 Orange and Pink _Rough Cut_4:18

  • One Day With Julia5:20

Memorial Service

Eric's recording is of his high school jazz band, with Eric on trombone.

Cole recorded this version of "Orange and Pink" in a friend's studio, just weeks after Julia died.

This is the version of "Julia" that Neal and Leandra performed for the first time at a concert in Linden Hills.

[Words and music by Neal Hagberg, Copyright 2010, Uncle Gus Music/BMI]

          Julia’s Memorial Service was held at the First Universalist Church that she had come to love. Her liberal values found company and a home at First U, and her death has stung this community deeply.

          Reverend Kate Tucker, associate minister at First U, changed travel plans to be with us and lead our community through this thicket of shared grief. Her comments at the service can be seen here.

          We are profoundly grateful for her words, and we will return to them often for the comfort that they provide. She honors Julia by offering no easy explanations or spiritual bromides. Rather, she welcomes the full range of emotions and calls upon the wisdom of many faiths to validate and give expression to our pain.

          Here is a link to Reverend Tucker's words of comfort....           

Musical Remembrances ..... Memorial Service 

          In the years that followed Julia's death, we learned of two compositions that were inspired by Julia.  One was by Eric Jestead, a young man from Omaha who heard about Julia shortly after she died, when he attended a conference of Midwestern youth at our First Universalist Church. There was a special service that weekend in Julia's memory, and Eric was struck by the recollections of Julia's friends, describing how "one day Julia did this" and "one day when Julia said that."  Eric is a trombone player and at the time was exploring jazz composition.  He wrote a wonderful piece for jazz band called One Day with Julia which was performed by his high school jazz band and then, the following year, by the jazz band at First Universalist Church under the direction of John Jensen. It was played at a regular Sunday service and again at the band's spring concert, which Eric attended.

          The next piece is equally remarkable and dramatically different. Cole Nibbe was a friend of Julia's from school. Julia had lots of guy friends. She seemed most at home with a pack of boys, and they were usually talented, off-beat, and edgy. She adored them and they, her. In spite of—or maybe because of—her own struggles with depression, Julia was always checking in with her friends; supporting them, encouraging them and (we know now better than we did then) trying to keep them safe and sober. Cole is a poet and a musician. His Orange and Pink is a breathtaking tribute to Julia and their friendship.

          Both pieces are available for listening by clicking on the links below. We are in awe of the talent, passion and love that Eric and Cole have shared, each in their own way, in Julia's memory. 

          In 2011 we met Neal Hagberg and Leandra Peak who, as Neal and Leandra, have captured a wide audience throughout the country. We asked them to consider writing a song about Julia. Although they didn't know her, from our stories they captured her essence in a song that they recorded in 2012. The song, Julia, is available for listening at the link below.

"Orange and Pink"

                    by Cole Nibbe


                    by Neal and Leandra

"One Day with Julia"

                    by Eric Jesteadt

Musical Remembrances