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Julie McNiel (Ann) McCollister

Julie McNiel (Ann) McCollister Obituary
Julie (Ann) McNiel McCollister

Ithaca - Julie (Ann) McNiel McCollister, age 63, died peacefully in the arms of her husband on the evening of November 30th, 2019 at Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca NY after a lifelong debilitating battle with myotonic dystrophy and a brief final illness.

Julie was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to parents Dr. Harold Edward and Carol Ann (Laity) McNiel. She graduated from Fillmore High school and went on to obtain a degree in English graduating cum laude from Houghton College and earning an MFA in writing from the University of Pittsburgh.

Julie was married to Daniel McCollister with whom she shared a devoted, unconditional love for over 40 years. Julie had children, Benjamin and Alyson: her self-declared greatest accomplishment. In other jobs outside the home, She taught freshman composition for 10 years at Hartwick College and worked as Assistant Museum Coordinator at the Delaware County Historical Association at the William H. Frisbee museum. Julie was an ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and was a gifted certified lay preacher until she realized her voice was not strong enough to continue.

Julie was predeceased by her parents and her sister Laura McNiel. She was survived by her nuclear family: Dan, Ben and Alyson; by four of her five siblings: Sue, Edith, Richard, and Marian; and by three nephews and two nieces.

Julie was an insightful, caring and empathetic light. She never hesitated to share an opinion she thought could enlighten someone and help them grow. She was a strong woman, a feminist who believed in integrity and personal commitment to breaking down social traditions that were negative towards race or gender: her family fondly remembers the deconstruction of Disney movies on the ride home from the theater.

Friends and family are invited to attend her funeral on Friday, December 6th, 11:00 AM, at King Ferry Presbyterian Church, with the Rev. James Hicks officiating. A luncheon will follow; there will be no calling hours. Arrangements are by Shurtleff Funeral Home of Genoa, NY. Interment will be in the West Genoa Cemetery at a later date. Donations in her memory may be made to King Ferry Presbyterian Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 250, King Ferry, NY 13081.
Published in Ithaca Journal from Dec. 2 to Dec. 4, 2019
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