She was born July 10, 1953, in Powell, the third in a family of six children. She grew up on the family farm where she learned the value of hard work, thinning and weeding beets and beans and driving tractors and trucks as she got older.
Even though Julie enjoyed the outdoor work best, she learned to be an excellent cook and homemaker. She attended Powell High School and graduated in the class of 1971.
After attending Northwest College for two years, Julie attended Brigham Young University, graduating in 1975 with a degree in zoology. After graduation, she worked at the University of Utah Medical Center in the research lab where she was able to use her love of science.
A year later she renewed a former friendship with Rick Aagard from Burlington after he returned from an LDS mission, and they were married March 16, 1977, in the Salt Lake City Temple. They spent a year on the farm in Burlington and then moved to Provo, Utah, where Rick worked at a furniture refinishing business and Julie did soil testing for a geotechnical engineering firm.
In Provo, their son Adam and daughter Allyson were born.
In 1983 they moved to Star Valley, where they were employed as caretakers of the Tygee Ranch. A son, Andrew, and daughter, Amy, were born during this time. They spent several happy years there before moving to Auburn where they had purchased some property, and Rick resumed his furniture refinishing and artistic sign making, as well as remodeling of homes.
In 1995 they constructed a beautiful three-story home from an old 1898 barn that was on their property. Julie did all the electrical wiring as well as assisting with plumbing and painting. Their home was admired by all who saw it for its uniqueness and beauty.
She later did the electrical wiring for friends who needed help as well as at the concession stand at the middle school sports field that her husband and son built.
Julie worked part time as a substitute teacher and aide before becoming certified as a teacher by taking online classes and attending college classes at Prescott, Ariz. She started teaching science full time at Star Valley Middle School, completing nearly 20 years of teaching. Julie was loved by her students and fellow teachers as well.
In 2012 she was honored by the Wyoming VFW organization as “Wyoming Teacher of the Year” for her diligence in helping raise funds to provide an American flag for each classroom in the school. Julie continued teaching even while she was taking chemo treatments and regretted not feeling well enough to teach this fall after only one week of school.
Julie was admired by all who knew her for her courage and positive outlook in the face of many adversities. Her son, Andy, passed away in 2009 and husband, Rick, in 2011.
She had great faith and looked at the bright side of every situation. A lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she held many positions as a teacher as well as president of the Relief Society and Primary. She was also a visiting teacher for many years.
Her family brought her much joy and they enjoyed some special trips together to many places including Mexico, Guatemala and Alaska as well as numerous camping trips.
Julie was overjoyed when her granddaughter, Maya, was born on Nov. 16, 2012, and spent as much time as possible with her.
She is survived by her children, Adam of Idaho Falls, Idaho, Allyson Major of Sandy, Utah, Amy (Brandon) Robinson of Fort Worth, Texas; granddaughter Maya Major; her parents Burchell and Ruby Hopkin; sisters Heather (David) Wharton of Las Vegas, Lynn (Dan) Bennion of Powell, brothers, Ross (Karren) Hopkin of Bountiful, Utah, Fred (Carrie) Hopkin of Powell and Mark (Karen) Hopkin of Eagle River, Alaska.
A viewing will be held at Schwab Mortuary in Afton on Friday, Nov. 29, from 6-7:30 p.m. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, at the Grover-Auburn Chapel on Highway 237 with viewing from noon to 12:45 p.m.
Memorial donations may be sent to Primary Children’s Hospital: primarychildrens.thankyou4caring.org or Huntsman Cancer Institute: healthcare.utah.edu/huntsmancancerinstitute/giving
Condolences may be sent to Thompson’s Funeral Home in Powell or Schwab Mortuary in Afton.