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Julia Bray Fiorentino


1927 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Julia Bray Fiorentino Obituary
FIORENTINO Please Sign the Guestbook @ Jacksonville.com Julia Bray Fiorentino Shortly after midnight on February 21, 2014, Dr. Julia Bray Fiorentino went home to be with the Lord after a lifetime of service as a mother, grandmother, teacher, minister, missionary, evangelist and Bible college president. She was 86 years old, born June 15, 1927 in Longwood, North Carolina, the daughter of Arthur Tilden Bray and Martha Jane Mattie Bray. She was predeceased by her loving husband Thomas Martin Fiorentino Sr. and four brothers Forrest Rudolph Bray, Lucius Barnwell Bray, Reverend Arthur Lawrence Bray and Jack Bray. She is survived by her two children, Thomas Martin Fiorentino Jr. (Mary Baer) and Kathy Fiorentino-Patten (David), four grandchildren, Sara Elizabeth Fiorentino, Caroline McKay Fiorentino, Thomas Martin Fiorentino III, Elizabeth Kathryn Baer, one great-grandson Sebastian Maddox Baer, and sister-in-law Nell Grantham Bray. She is survived by nieces Martha Lennon (Dennis), Linda Reehl (Tommy), Carol Arnette (Ed), Becky Sloan, Beverly Carroll (David), Jeannie Marlow, Ellie Dale (Jeff) and nephew Art Bray and was predeceased by nephew Morris Bray. She attended local public schools where she matriculated from Fairmont High School. After graduation she attended East Carolina University where she received a Bachelor of Science Degree. She began her teaching career in Fayetteville, North Carolina at Massey Hill High School. On August 28, 1952 she married Tommy Fiorentino of Brooklyn, New York after meeting at a military extension class she was teaching and he was attending in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. They began their family in Wilmington, North Carolina where she taught at New Hanover High School and he was employed by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. Shortly thereafter they moved to Jacksonville, Florida where she was a teacher at Terry Parker High School and Fort Caroline Junior High School where she later became Assistant Principal. It was there she touched hundreds of young lives pioneering team teaching in algebra with Rose Board and sponsoring the Terry and Andrew after school prayer group. In the early 1970s, she founded Christian Joy Fellowship, a world evangelical ministry and she will forever be remembered for her motto You are the Apple of God s Eye. She went on to get her Master of Education Degree from the University of North Florida and a Doctor of Education Degree from Nova University and a Doctor of Ministry of Education from Luther Rice Seminary. Armed with a master s degree and two doctorates she began in the full-time ministry traveling to over 50 countries in 40 years. She was particularly active in India, Indonesia and the Philippines where she helped start churches and support orphanages. Even after a stroke and being confined to a wheelchair she traveled to Mexico and across the United States preaching the Gospel. In 1981, she founded Zoe College, a Christian college in Jacksonville, Florida. In 1996, Zoe College became Zoe University where she served as President and Chancellor Emeritus until her death. At Zoe University she was instrumental in preparing thousands of students for work as Christian teachers, counselors, missionaries and ministers. She started educational clusters affiliated with Zoe University in India, the Philippines, the Netherlands, the Bahamas and in several U.S. prisons. She was a member of the Delta Gamma Society, served on the Board of Directors for Teen Challenge of North Florida and received the Counselor of the Year Award from Christian Counseling Today. In 1982-83 she was Chair of the Duval County School System Teacher Education Center and also served as President of the Florida Association of Secondary School Principals Assistant Principal Advisory Board. She was the author of six books, including God s Done It Again! and One Step at a Time With God. The family will receive friends from 6:00 8:00 p.m. Friday evening February 28, at Corey-Kerlin Funeral Home at 940 Cesary Boulevard. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday morning March 1, at New Life Christian Fellowship at 2701 Hodges Boulevard. Graveside services to follow at Arlington Park Cemetery, 6920 Lone Star Road, Jacksonville, Florida 32211.
Published in the Florida Times-Union on Feb. 25, 2014
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