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Jeffery A. "Palmer" Julian


1954 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Jeffery A. "Palmer" Julian Obituary

April 03, 1954 -
October 16, 2017

Jeff Julian, aged 63, of Penn Valley, CA, passed peacefully at home surrounded by those he loved. He is survived by his wife of 23 years, Kerri; daughter Jennifer Ward; son Chad Palmer; grandchildren Tyler, Haley and Kara Ward; mother Beverly Palmer; sisters Cathy Padilla (Marty) and Sheryl Bailey (Mike); sister-in-laws Charmon Walsh (Marc) and Lindsey Nelson (Dave); 7 nieces and nephews; best friend John Limas and Safari and Mulligan, his beloved dogs.

Being a firefighter was more than a job to Jeff, it was his passion and true calling in life. At age 20 the spark ignited that began his 40 year career in the fire service as a firefighter, instructor and trainer to thousands of firefighters in the Yuba Sutter community and across the USA. Jeff began as a volunteer at the Sutter Fire Dept. and was later hired as a paid firefighter.

He and his first wife Kristy moved to Sutter where they lived for many years with their son, daughter and dalmatian dogs. He worked hard to support the Sutter Fire Station and truly loved it. In 1985 , Jeff became a full-time firefighter with the Yuba City Fire Dept. where he worked his way to the rank of Battalion Chief before retiring in 2007.

In his 22 years with YCFD, Jeff was always looking for new ways to build a better and stronger Department and his enthusiasm to help new and existing firefighters was infectious. He was named "Firefighter of the Year" twice in his career. He developed and implemented the Yuba College Fire Academy and Student Firefighter Program, the YCFD's Hazardous Materials Team, TEMS Team and the Health & Fitness Team. He believed in setting goals and meeting those goals through dedication and hard work, both in his firefighting career and personal life. The word "idle" was not in his vocabulary. He set the bar high for others and himself but he never failed to add in some fun and humor.

Retirement just meant a change in duties for Jeff. Even though he received a devastating diagnosis of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia in 2012, he refused to let it slow him down. He planned more, did more, laughed and lived more. He continued to instruct and coordinate the Yuba College Fire Academy and later accept the position of Marysville Fire Dept. Chief, along with Chief John Limas, in order to transition the Marysville Fire Station from a state operated CalFire station back to a City of Marysville operated fire station. Together they accomplished this task in 6 short months. One of Jeff's proudest accomplishments. Jeff also accepted a position as a trainer with the National Alternative Fuel Consortium where he traveled the USA training thousands of firefighters in how to fight alternative fueled vehicle fires.

In 1995 Jeff married the love of his life, Kerry Grimsby, at the starting line of the Santa Cruz Wharf to Wharf Race with 10,000 runners as witnesses! Jeff, Kerri and the entire wedding party wore running shoes and they were off! That was the beginning of 23 years of fun, fitness, travel and good times were they were always connected by their hands and hearts.They traveled to many places around the world, went to concerts, golfed at many courses and bought their dream home in Lake Wildwood, CA. Jeff said he was always trying to keep up with Kerri! He made a joke to Kerri when he knew he was terminal, "Does this mean I will finally get some rest?".

Jeff could make anyone laugh at any time, his quick wit was unmatched. Jeff loved life and anyone around him was witness to that. He loved to tease and make you laugh. He was not shy about telling you he loved you. He meant it. He was known for his wildly colored golf clothes on the Lake Wildwood golf course. He loved the New Orleans Saints and the Oakland A's. He spent many years traveling to A's games and spring training in Arizona with his best bud, John Limas. In June of this year, Jeff's firefighter family organized a special trip to take Jeff to watch the Sac River Cats play. Unknown to Jeff, he was invited to throw out the first pitch! It was an incredibly special day for him.

Sadly, in March of 2017 Jeff was diagnosed with Grade IV Glioblastoma brain cancer. He accepted the news like the true hero he was. He remained a pillar of strength, he comforted others, he made plans, he took care of business, he listened to jazz and blues, went out to lunch, sipped wine, watched football and Netflix. He ate good food and lots of cookies! He hung out with his best buddies, Safari and Mulligan. He and Kerri were never apart.

To the many special people in the Lake Wildwood community who answered every call of duty imaginable and unimaginable in the last few months, your generosity and kindness have been overwhelming. To John Limas, and all of Jeff's firefighter brothers and sisters, there are no words to explain what you meant to Jeff. Thank you all for sharing his life, he loved you.

Jeff did not want to say goodbye with sadness, so in turn he wished for no traditional service. Instead he enjoyed a fun celebration of life back in May, because he wanted to be part of the fun. It was a beautiful sunny day in the park with food, friends, laughter and love. Jeff heckled the crowd. That was his style. Jeff's belief was to not wait until tomorrow, live NOW.

Stein & Sons Funeral Directors, 701 High St. , Auburn, CA.
Published in Appeal Democrat from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2, 2017
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