Julia Ransom
1965 - 2019
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Julia Ransom

Julia Ransom, age 54, passed away at home in the quiet morning of May 15, 2019, with husband, John, the love of her life since kindergarten, by her side. She lived her last days as she lived lifeâ€"surrounded by children, Max and Ella, her dogs and alpacas, and her beautiful gardens in bloom. Julia was born March 31, 1965, in Albuquerque to parents, LeRoy Hansen and Maxine Cowton. Julia was constantly tumbling through their North Valley house, destroying walls and lamps in her wake, and was, as sister Heather remembered, "the source of energy for our family." Julia loved being outside and as a girl befriended an elderly neighbor who was a master gardener; thus, began a lifelong love of gardening. Julia had severe childhood asthma and one doctor recommended track to strengthen lung capacity, while all her other doctors discouraged the sport. Perhaps it was their pessimistic attitude that challenged Julia to do exactly what others said she could never do. It should be noted she still holds the state record in the 75-meter hurdles. Julia and John's relationship started early as their moms formed a kindergarten carpool, resulting in a five-year old Julia and John teasing one another all the way to school. Often the station wagon would be pulled off on the side of the road, mom imploring kids to cut out their horseplay or else! Once at school, John and a dozen other boys would chase Julia at recess. They learned she was not only cute; she was the fastest runner on the playground. Despite her asthma, Julia stood out in track and gymnasticsâ€"Albuquerque Gymnastics School became a second familyâ€"and Julia was a beautiful skier. The family spent winters and summers at their cabin in Taos, which Julia loved and considered a second hometown. Julia graduated from the Albuquerque Academy, then attended University of Colorado Boulder and later Arizona State University, ultimately graduating from University of New Mexico in 1989 with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a minor in French. After graduation she completed a challenging, intensive Career Development Program for teaching and started her career as a devoted and gifted teacher in Albuquerque Public Schools. She took pride in her students, who knew her as Miss Julia, and she would stay in touch with them throughout their school years. The part of education she most loved was, in her words, "watching children make sense of the world around them." Julia's and John's moms never stopped keeping tabs on the other's son or daughter and were fond of saying they planned all along that Julia and John would one day marry. With the help of friends, who by then had gotten in on the plotting, it so happened that Julia and John reconnected. Although it's clear they'd loved each other since age five, they finally made it official, marrying in 1996. Soon after marriage, Julia left teaching to take on her most important role, becoming mother to son, Max, then daughter, Ella. If you spent any time in Julia's orbit, you knew her love was fierce and enduring. She was true mama bear to her children, bringing not just heart but her skills and experience in education to help nurture them. She created for her family a beautiful space to live. Inside was light and airy and outside were gardens filled with native plants. Julia's dogs were all rescues; she even rescued five alpacas. Every animal settled in with Julia's tender and intuitive care. All thisâ€"what she often called her "rancho"â€"she managed with grace and elegance. Julia was a gracious, generous, and open host. Everyone was welcome. Her large extended family and friends loved celebrating in Julia's home, and her Halloween parties were notorious. There was never a time limit; people stayed into late hours. Even when Julia was diagnosed with cancer in November, 2016, she and John continued to open the home to family, and throughout every celebration, Julia was present and engaged and living each moment. In any setting, Julia was never one to socialize on a superficial level. When meeting new people, she managed to find the thing with which she could empathize, and she would have deep conversations, creating life-long relationships. Cancer is a ravaging disease, yet Julia never let it diminish her gratitude for life. Already a practitioner of mindfulness, she further embraced slowing down, letting go, and being grateful. Buddhism especially resonated, and her role as teacher, and learner, became especially apparent in final years. She was treated at UNM Cancer Center and MD Anderson in Houston, and she could be seen in waiting rooms with other patients leaned in, all sharing experiences and learning from one another. If someone was left out, Julia would bring them into the circle. Everyone was fond of Julia, from renowned oncologists and nurses, to shuttle drivers. Julia was genuine. Above all, she was kind to every living being and wished them well and happiness. We are grateful to the medical and support staff at UNM Cancer Center and MD Anderson for their competent care in Julia's last years, and to Julia's long-time doctors, who were with her through the very end. Thank you, New Mexico Hospice. And thank you to all who sent prayers, who messaged Julia daily with their love, who sent words that were read to her in her final days. You were with her throughout her life and she loved you all. Julia is survived by husband, John Ransom; children, Max and Ella; mother, Maxine Cowton; father, Honorable C. LeRoy Hansen and wife, Ruth; sister, Heather and husband, Tim Gallegos, and children, Hannah and Dane; father-in-law, Honorable Richard Ransom and wife, Mary Thelma; brother-in-law, Jim Ransom and wife, Roma; sister-in-law, JoEllen Ransom and partner, Kevin; nieces and nephews, Lauren, Zach, Daisy, and Mia. The family will hold a private Memorial for Julia. If you wish to honor her, please donate in her name to Tickled Pink Weimaraner Rescue, www.weimaranerrescue.org or any other animal rescue organization of your preference. Please visit our online guestbook for Julia at


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Published in Albuquerque Journal from May 19 to May 22, 2019.
Memories & Condolences
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17 entries
June 1, 2019
I was so saddened to hear about Julia. I feel like a part of the North Valley just broke off. I remember Julia from our early school days and was so happy when you guys got married. I saw her a bit when I rode by and she was still that girl I knew as a kid. I'll see you around, old friend.
May 31, 2019
I am very sorry to hear about the loss of Julia touched many, many lives with her teaching, and her love. My condolences to John, Max and Ella.
Michael Garcia
May 29, 2019
Words cannot express how very sad the news is of Julie's passing. To the entire family my deepest condolences. Julie was such an awesome force. With love , Linda Tabet
May 29, 2019
Dear John, Max, and Ella,

I met Julia many years ago at the ACC. Having joined primarily to allow our 3 kids to partake in the summer program, I had no idea what to expect on the mom front. While my concern about flaunting of privilege was born out by some, Julia was like an angel sent from the heavens. Here was a stunning woman who was so down to earth and inclusive: a woman who went out of her way to get to know everyone, a woman who not only spoke but listened, a woman who took crying children she barely knew into her arms, a woman whose smile was so genuine and infectious.

Whenever we bumped into each other over the many years after the ACC, she was always that same woman, eager to catch up and share stories about our children.

Your wife/mother touched and uplifted so many people. She had a gift that she happily gave to everyone she met. I am but one of the multitude of strangers she shined her light upon. I hope knowing that she lives on in the hearts of so many you may not know lessens your pain in time. We grieve and celebrate her life with you.

With love, Cindy, Jeff, Ethan, Danny and Julia Ross
May 28, 2019
May your years of Julia's love and happy memories sustain you now and forever. I know you have a wonderful family to blanket you with care and affection. Remembering fun times at the twins' parties, with my two, and when you were my neighbors in the McDuffie area. Know there are no words for your loss, but there will be healing in time. With heartfelt sympathy.
Julia Cohen
May 26, 2019
Dear Ransom family,

I know I never had the chance to meet Julia... And that it has probably been about 35 years since we have seen each other... But when I read about it in the paper my heart broke knowing that your family had to experience this. You all are in my thoughts and prayers.

If I was still able to, I would still be going over to your house and skating on the basketball court...and eating your mom's fresh, hot, homemade cookies. Best times of my life.

Love to you all
Jane Frazier-Wood
May 22, 2019
So sorry for your loss Maxine.
Gary and Linda Herring
May 22, 2019
We met again at Manzano Day School, parent volunteers for something. After introductions she said, Oh, you are THE Kellie Brito that John has talked about. I remember you! I was THE Kellie Brito from that day forward, every time we saw each other at carpool or on campus. She made me feel special because SHE was special. I smile every time I meet someone, tempted to introduce myself as THE Kellie Brito! My love to John, Max, Ella and Julie's Family. Know that she touched my heart, forever.
The Kellie Brito
May 21, 2019
You were a light and joy in this world!
I have so many wonderful memories of us as children ❤
Uncle Duke, Auntie Max, John, Max, Ella and Heather you are in my prayers!
Melissa Perkins Gillett
May 21, 2019
John - so sad to hear this. I remember Julia as a kind, beautiful person. Always had positive energy and was fun to be around.

This brings back so many memories of early swim practices and shenanigans of every kind. Good times.

I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Let God surround you with love and peace.
Mike Plamondon
May 20, 2019
Julia made me feel like a superstar.

One day, about 11 years ago, she walked in the office at Manzano Day School to fill in for a volunteer I normally volunteered with. As friendly as she was, we started talking and soon realized we had been teammates at Albuquerque Gymnastics School. Julia remembered so many details about me and was so excited to be sitting there with me. It was a really special moment I'll never forget.
Every time I saw Julia after that, she always had a hug for me or my daughter, Natalie, and we eventually had some great conversations sitting on the bleachers watching our own girls flip at the gym where we'd first met way back when.
John, Max, Ella...I'm truly heavy hearted to hear about her passing. I hope these stories serve as a huge hug around you and your family during such a sad time.
Lezlie Garcia
May 20, 2019
John Ramsom and family,
I so sorry to hear of Julia's passing. Your family story is such a great one. Childhood sweetheart's to a successful marriage and family life. Your story is what we all aspire to in this life. Our family wish you the best as you move through this time. If there is anything we can do for you please let us know. We are praying for you all and know that the almighty and Julia are looking down on you with great warmth and love. The Bidwell Family
Mark Bidwell
May 19, 2019
May your love and it be the legacy your surviving family show. May you pain be gone. May all who knew you find peace. Many blessing bestowed upon your family, love Vincent, Rosella and family, our deepest sympathies.
Rosella Montoya
May 19, 2019
Dear John, Max, Ella & Maxine,
Knowing your family through these decades at Manzano Day School & ACC, you all have been a constant light in our community. John, you & Julia personify kindness, love & generosity. Julia will always be one of my most favorite people, and you, the kindest man. It has been an honor to be a part of your lives. Julia will be forever in our hearts.

With loving respect,
Jamie Jett Walker, Carter Walker, Cole & Hart Walker
Jamie Jett Walker
May 19, 2019
Good-bye, sweet girl. You made everyone feel special.
Renee Rodarte-Keeling
May 19, 2019
John, Max and Ella:

I liked Julia from the first moment I met her. She was so pleasant to be around and truly loved her family. You could see the love oozing out of her pores! I will always, always remember the precious times and memories spent just hanging out with all the soccer families. I enjoyed every conversation with her. She had a smile that lit up the room! My love to John, Max and Ella....Patty, Jeff, Ayden & Jesse Greene
Patty Greene
May 19, 2019
Dear John, it has been many years since I have seen your beautiful family. I am Tommy and James Weingartner', grandmother. I am so sorry for your loss of your wife and beautiful mother to Max and Ella. I so vividly remember Julia, when we would gather at ACC at the pool. Julia was always so kind to me, and we sat on many occasions watching the children swim. I want you to know that my love and prayers follow this beautiful Julia. You will all be in my prayers.
Loretta Gabaldon
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