Julie Waters Julie Waters, 44, of Westminster, Vt., died Sunday, April 8th from complications associated with myasthenia gravis. She received a BA in Psychology from the University of RI and an MA in Holistic Counseling from Salve Regina University. She moved to Vermont in 2000. Julie worked as an adjunct instructor at the Community College of Vermont, teaching Psychology, Sociology, and computer classes. She was also employed by River Valley Community College as a Program Director/Academic Advisor. She loved supporting, teaching, and challenging her students to think outside the box. Those who knew her often referred to her as an activist and renaissance woman. She designed websites including several of her own (juliewaters.com); enjoyed blogging about politics, music, art, and disability issues; was a gifted nature photographer, bird watcher and rescuer; loved doing and creating puzzles; and was a brilliant musician. She said, "Though the media of visual arts and music are often perceived as entirely distinct, I hear music in my photographs, and I see images when I play guitar. I can not help but notice the patterns that tie them together, nor would I even know how to try to do otherwise." Music was the center of her universe and all her other interests wove through it. Her musical bio included "Conservatory training and an interest in music from around the world pushed Julie to learn classical guitar, as well as latin, flamenco and jazz styles, studying ancient modal music along the way. Julie is a folk artist in the truest tradition, weaving stories, motion and rhythm, creating lyrical poetry through the strings of her guitar. This is more than simply a creative approach to music. This is performance which turns on a dime, first evoking ancient modal melodies, and then suddenly sliding into a rock and roll beat which takes you straight into the 21st century." Julie met her beloved partner, Cyndi Miller, in 1998 and they were married on September 13, 2009. They were the first gay couple to obtain a marriage license in their town, going to the clerk's office when it opened the day the law changed. Together they fought to help her regain her health after the effects of the myasthenia gravis began to impact her life. She also leaves her step-daughter, Tiffany Miller, in-laws Robert and MaryLou Riggalls and brother and sister in law Christian and Aileen Riggalls. She leaves many, many friends and admirers scattered through-out the US. Through-out her illness she and Cyndi were very grateful for the constant love and support of their family and friends. Julie's life and music will be celebrated with a musical memorial party in late summer. She was an active supporter and advocate of the Greater Falls Warming Shelter. Donations can be made in her name to: The Greater Falls Warming Shelter, Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA), 91 Buck Drive, Westminster, VT 05158
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Published in Brattleboro Reformer on April 11, 2012