Julie Hines O’Hara

Julie Hines O’Hara

Julie Hines O’Hara (August 22, 1959 – September 24, 2019) passed peacefully with the names of friends and family whispered in her ear after a hellish, brief and fearless fight against cancer, which struck her without warning July 30th. She leaves an indelible mark on all who knew and loved her.

Beloved daughter of Norman and Barbara Hines of Sioux Falls, SD, adored sister of Sally and Mary, cherished wife of Michael, treasured aunt and grand-aunt, Julie also leaves behind countless friends who loved and were loved by the unique force-of-nature that she was. She had a heart of gold, along with a wickedly wry and sardonic sense of humor. Those closest to her knew she possessed an unrivaled “look-you-in-the-eye-and-tell-you-where-to-get-off” attitude, a proud element of her Swedish-Norwegian-Irish heritage.

A great testament to Julie’s million-dollar personality is that wherever she lived in this country, from Sioux Falls to Montana, to Washington D.C. and finally to Seattle, Julie made lifelong friends – and nicknames:  The Gauer, The Gau, Hiney-Head, Ju-ju, Uji, Ooj, LFJ, The Great Oojini, Cub, Cubbie and Mrs. Cubbison.

Family and friends were asked to come up with adjectives to describe her: Gregarious, thoughtful, tenacious, witty, genuine, effervescent, sunny, determined, devoted, hilarious, dynamic, vivacious, unsinkable . . . but the two words most often used were: Fun and Kind. You could not be around Julie without laughter nearby. Her laugh — head thrown back and tilted to the sky, all teeth on display — filled any room. Even if it were the worst joke in the world . . . even if it were her own worst joke, it would get a roaring laugh out of Uji.

Her legendary kindness was most obvious when it came to rescuing animals and homeless pets. Julie literally never met a critter she didn’t like. A devoted rescuer of dogs and cats throughout her life, there were always at least two rescued pets at her side. She was a wonderful and talented seamstress. For 20 years, she purchased hundreds of yards of fleece and fabric to sew dog coats. These beautiful custom coats were donated every year to animal shelters and rescue organizations. Every pooch owned by a friend got their coats as well.

Born in Sioux Falls, Julie was a 1977 graduate of Lincoln High School and went on to receive her BA in Criminal Justice from Montana State University in 1981. As would be the case in other arenas throughout her life, friends from high school like Julie P and Jill would be her buddies for the rest of her days. They would laugh when Julie told them stories from Bozeman, such as once when she took a spill moonlighting as a runway model — in that fashion capital of the world. In full bustier and feather boa, Julie tripped in her high heels, fell off the runway, and shattered 12 bones in her foot and ankle. No doctor was immediately available, so Julie was treated by the local veterinarian.  The vet never forgot the experience either.

Soon after, she worked at a women’s prison, where she learned to not take any guff while maintaining a great empathy for those women who were incarcerated. Also around that time she put to use her former cheerleading skills. She landed the unlikely job of directing aircraft and ground traffic parking on a tarmac in Montana. There she enjoyed telling hotshot pilots where they could park it if they disagreed with her directives, including “Where the sun don’t shine, Mister.”

In A Midsummer-Night’s Dream, Shakespeare wrote, “Though she be but little, she is fierce.”  While it may have applied to Hermia centuries ago, it applied equally to Julie. She was little and fierce and she never backed down when she saw a wrong.

Working for a Washington, D.C. real estate developer in the ‘80s, Julie honed her business skills. There she made some wonderful forever friends. Despite Julie’s move from D.C. to Seattle in 1989 (a move made with two giant rescue dogs in the back seat of a 1983 Charger),  Jackie, Laurie, Patty and Rosemary would remain close to her for life, and would be there for her not only until the very end, but beyond.

A week after moving to Washington state, Julie met Michael, who fell in love with her the moment they met. All-Star personality, knockout looks, laughed at his jokes . . . for him it was a no-brainer. It took Julie a little longer to warm up to him, however. A proud Leo, she had to think about it for a while and maybe find out if he could cook. Thus, it would be another 10 days before they finally moved in together. Together they would be for the next 30 years, side-by-side and inseparable.

Julie soon was hired at Microsoft and began a career that would last there, in one role or another, until the end of her life. She made great friends throughout the company, but her first love would always be the buddies she adored in the Latin America Operations Center (LOC). Julie was never more happy or proud than she was while working in that group. There are many more, but she never forgot or will be forgotten by: Millie, Betina, Jim, Jon, Pam, Tom, Andrey, Toni, Jill, Santiago, Ron, Guillermo, Francisco, Andy, Cesar, Juan Luis, Teresa, Mauricio…

In one memorable interview for another Microsoft role, Julie was asked the standard interview question, for which she had not prepared.

“Why should I hire you?”

Julie thought long and hard about the question, for nearly a second.

“Because I’m fun!” she said.

Yes, she got the job with that impressive answer. Her friend, Millie, then gave her a copy of Job Interviews for Dummies as a reward.

Without any formal training, Julie (along with her sisters) had an outstanding singing voice and was never shy about using it. She was a lover of show tunes and could sing every lyric from countless musicals, from Camelot to Cat Ballou, to West Side Story and Grease. She knew every Monkees’ song, every song from every ‘60s and ‘70s teen idol, and for many years was convinced that the Bobby Sherman hit, “Julie, Julie, Julie, Do You Love Me?” was written just for her.

She was a playful prankster who laughed out loud and loudly throughout her all-too-brief life. She could take a joke and dish one out. One of her favorite things was asking those who most closely loved her, “Umm, could you answer a question for me: WHY AM I SO CUTE? HAHAHA!”

You were, dearest Julie, as she put it, “Ultimate Cuteness!” — kind to everyone and so very loved by all. It is in mentioning her final act of kindness that her loved ones shall bid goodbye to this wonderful woman…until we meet again, Cub. While cancer took from her so much, it did not take her corneas, which Julie donated to give the gift of sight to two people.

There will be a Celebration of Julie’s Life and get-together in Kirkland October 26. Please follow link to Evite.


31 Responses to “Julie Hines O’Hara”

  • Paul Henry says:

    A singular woman, kind, generous and beautiful. I will miss her dearly. Rest in Peace sweet Julie

  • Judee Sola-Henry says:

    Julie was a beautiful soul. Being from the Midwest I appreciate all the characteristics we Midwest gals possess her kindness and postive attitude to name a few. May you rest in peace sweet lady

  • Joy Cooper says:

    Godspeed Jules! You were truly a bright light and will be missed by many! ❤️

  • Sallianne Hines says:

    Little Gau, you will forever be our “bright sunshine.” Dance on, little sis.

  • Mike & Kim Boyce says:

    Julie, we are missing you, your radiant smile, and infectious laugh. Our condolences to the Hine’s and O’Hara families.

  • Joanie Hendricks says:

    Laughing and vivacious, that is a great description of our cousin Julie! When we were kids, we didn’t see each other often, but she always had the best ideas for what to play!

  • Millie Vazquez says:

    Julie, I am missing you, and will miss you forever. I remember all the “ladies nights” we had at La Corona. We laughed until we cried. We have some hysterically funny stories we recalled every time we met. Ohh the Michaela story will never fade away. Remembering our “visits” at Samm/JP too. All wonderful times with wonderful people like YOU. I still can’t believe you are gone, it will take me a while, maybe never, but I’ll NEVER forget YOU. One of my most loving, dearest, friend here in PNW. With pain in my heart and tears in my eyes, hasta pronto mi Amiga querida. Love you.

  • Betina Duro says:

    My dear Julie, my friend, my neighbor… missing you so much already, and I know I will miss you in my life forever. Your laugh made my days – even the craziest ones – better.
    So many good moments, so many great times, I choose to remember you like that. Keep the martinis cold , until we see each other again!

  • Juan Luis Sanchez says:

    Julie, thank you SO much for the time we had at the Yellow C team. Of the many things I admired in you, your smile and laugh are at the top of the list. Heaven won a beautiful soul. Thanks once again for spreading happiness to all people around you. I miss you my dear friend…

  • Teresa Martinez says:

    What can I say that hasn’t already been said? As a co-worker, you were awesome to work with – you knew your stuff! All those holiday Planning meetings… The LOC would not have been as much fun without you! Well, I guess that’s why you were hired!! As a friend, I loved those Girls Night Out at La Corona! You always took home chips and salsa! And OMG – the laughing and reminiscing that we did! I will definitely miss your smile and your laughter! I left Seattle in ’05 but got to see you when I visited the last time a couple years ago – so much had changed – but not you! Rest in peace my friend – love you!

  • Andrey Jones says:

    Julie, thank you for always seeing the humor in every situation – above all especially when things were crazy! You made the work team a family with your warmth, laugh, and big welcoming heart. That is how we will always remember you – best times ever at La Corona! Miss you and love you always.

  • Mary Hines Lee says:

    Despite the geographic distance between us, I felt so close to you, Gau, and will miss your presence in my life. So many times our “yakfests” on the phone lifted my spirits and brought humor to irritating situations. There is a hole in my world now that you are gone, but we still have so many fun memories that we share. What a kind and giving soul; you live on in our memories, and in the dog jackets! Love, Ote (Mary)

  • Carson Lee says:

    I always looked forward to any time I was able to spend with my Aunt Julie. She truly was fun, personified. A light in the room, always. Life always seemed a little more carefree when she was around and she infectiously encouraged everyone around her to enjoy life as much as she did. She will be missed. And loved. Always.

  • Santiago says:

    Dear Julie,

    Your smile and your laughter will always be with us.

    Thank you for making us all better people.

    Thank you for you kind soul, friendship, positive and “can do” attitude.

    I still feel you are going to come in the room anytime and tell us all to get our asses moving to the job done!!!

    We love you and will definitely have a martini soon to celebrate your life!

  • Santiago says:

    Dear Julie,

    Your smile and your laughter will always be with us.
    Thank you for making us all better people.
    Thank you for you kind soul, friendship, positive and “can do” attitude.
    I still feel you are going to come in the room anytime and tell us all to get our asses moving to get the job done!!!
    We love you and will definitely have a martini soon to celebrate your life!

  • Mary Hines johnson says:

    Julie, I remember you when I was married to your cousin Danny and for over 20 years watch you grow. You were beautiful then as you continued to be. Although it’s been many years since I’ve seen you I still remember your shining light. I know someone in the world must now need you more than any of us so god has sent for you to bring light and joy somewhere else. Fly high sweet girl and spread your love and joy. You will always remain love and laughter. God bless you sweetie.

  • Cesar y Nazario says:

    Rest In Peace Julie.

  • Tim Wingen class of 77 says:

    When I think of Julie, the first thing that comes to mind, is she took you for who you were. She didn’t care if you were a wall flower or super star. She was kind to all and a friend to me! Her smile and laugh were brighter then the SUN!

    Rest in Peace and we will meet on the other side!!!

  • James Harkness says:

    Julie, since your passing, in those quiet times during the day, I have reflected on all those moments that I was privileged to share this life with you. It was truly a blessing to spend almost a third of my life knowing you. We both grew up together at Microsoft starting some 20+ years ago. You were a wonderful colleague, but above all a true amiga. You spirit and passion for enjoying each and every moment that life offers will be missed.

  • Guillermo Ruiz says:

    Dear Julie, I will miss you a great deal my friend!

  • Maureen and Steve Glenn says:

    What a beautiful tribute to the love of your life, Mike. Although we didn’t have the privilege ever of meeting sweet Julie, we knew of her kind and generous heart! Our pooch, Mavrick was the recipient of two amazing and beautifully made dog coats, made just for him, thanks to Julie. One was a Seahawk fleece and the other a Cougar fleece. He was stylin’ whenever he wore them and we received many compliments. When we lost Mavrick, Mike and Julie donated 50 coats in Mavricks memory to a local shelter. There was generosity in abundance.
    Steve and I are thinking of you Mike and sending our love. We hope all the sweet, funny and loving memories with Julie will remain in your heart forever. RIP Julie – Gone too soon.

  • Cindy Christensen says:

    I will miss hearing the current news about the Gauer and Mike, but I know we will continue to hear stories about you as your family loved you so very much. My condolences to Julie’s family.

  • Sandy Sunderland says:

    So many years have passed since we last saw each other but you & Mike were never far from thoughts and heart. Such wonderful people and I can only hope Mike finds peace in the coming days wrapped in the warm memories of you

  • Anon says:

    She meant so much to someone very close to me. Tragedy can ripple far beyond the point of origin. It has affected me profoundly. Thankful for her presence in this world. Hope those directly impacted are doing well. Devastating. Surreal.

  • Todd Swinford class of 77 says:

    Julie you were a gorgeous girl non judgemental of anyone you were a friend to everyone in Lincoln high your spirit is a huge loss to this world. RIP

  • Karen Girven says:

    I think of you each time my dogs have their Seahawk coats on. You made sure each of my dogs had a new coat. Thank you so much. You impacted so many in your lifetime. God Speed.

  • Anna Meyer says:

    A poem by Mary Alice Ramish
    Release me, let me go
    I have so Many things to see and do. You mustn’t tie your self to me with tears, Be happy that we had so many years. I gave you my love and you can only guess, How much you gave me in happiness. I thank you for the love you each have shown,but now it’s time I traveled on alone. So grieve awhile for me,if grieve you must then let your grief be comforted by trust. It’s only for awhile that we must part So bless the memories within your heart. I won’t be far away,for life goes on, So, if you need me, call and I will come. Though you can’t see or touch me, I’ll be near,and if you listen with your heart, you’ll hear all my love around you soft and clear.And then, when you must come this way alone,I’ll greet you with a smile and say, welcome home.

  • Lori Handy Wedlake says:

    Dearest Julie,

    Although we were never best of friends, I believe that we could have been, if we had the opportunity to share any time together!

    You embody all of the qualities and characteristics that I respect and admire. These have been memorialized by your many friends… and while I can’t directly speak to them, I can compliment you on your extraordinary judgement! You chose one of the “best men” on our planet with whom to share your life!


    I know life was never dull and you experienced the profound love of a devoted Husband, friend and lover!!! Both of you are so blessed to have shared so many wonderful years together!

    Thank you for enriching the life of one of my best friends!!!

    Love always!

  • Selma Blanusa says:

    Julie, your laughter and the way you would fully luxuriate in a good laugh was such a treat. You were always playful yet thoughtful, silly yet so hardworking, sassy-mouthed yet tenderhearted. You were wonderful in every way. I’ll miss you sweet friend. You were one in a million.

  • Mary Hines Lee says:

    Still missing you so much, Gau! I think of you so often. Especially when Stella & I are standing out in the dog yard about 10:00 for “last potty outside” before going to bed. I look at the Three Sisters constellation and know your spirit is still alive and well somewhere up there!

  • Michael A OHara says:

    You are never forgotten, Cubbie, and you are always safe in my heart, sweet baby.

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