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JULIAN, Richard Jefferson


Julian Richard MM

After several years of declining health, Richard (Dick) Jefferson Julian D.V.M, passed away peacefully at home on May 15, 2022, in his 93rd year.

He was loved by his children Kathryn (Carl Fletcher), Kirby (Barb) and Stephen (Naida Graham) and grandchildren Jean, Neil (Hailey), Mark (Tiffany) and John Fletcher, Marielle (Tim) Burton, Alanna (Sean Gillespie) and Todd (Tinisha Louks) Julian, and Arden and Maren Julian and seven great-grandchildren.  Dick was born on August 17th, 1929, at the farm at Ebenezer, in Peel County, Ontario to John (Jack) J. Julian and Bessie (Fieldhouse) Julian.  He married Jean Kirby in Kenora on July 31, 1954.  He was predeceased by his wife Jean H. Julian (2020), his parents and all his siblings; the late Joanne Griffin (late Norman Turner, late Smith Griffin), late John Julian (late Hilda), late George Julian (Elizabeth), and the late Gary Julian (Peggy).   He was brother-in-law to Calvin (Amy) and Russell (Pat) Kirby and late Lois (Leslie Duncan, David Street). Dick is also remembered by many nieces and nephews.

Dick attended Brampton High School and graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) in 1952.   In 1973-74 he completed a one-year Diploma in Pathology at OVC.

Dick was dedicated to two things: his work and his family.  An early riser (a habit he acquired growing up on the farm), he was at work long before the rest of the family was up; but he was always home in time for dinner.  His long hours of work paid off.  Starting with four and a half years in general practice and veterinary public health work, first in Woodbridge and later in the Kenora area ("mostly pulling porcupine needles out of dog’s mouths”), in 1956 he joined the civil service, initially posted to the Regional Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) in Kemptville, ON and then as head of the new VDL in Brighton, ON (1961). In 1976 he was appointed poultry pathologist and consultant for OMAF in Guelph. Dick began publishing research papers in the early 1960’s, and in 1979, when Dick and Jean returned to Guelph after two years in the Caribbean, where Dick was project manager with the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization setting up veterinary diagnostic laboratories and carrying out disease surveys, he was appointed Associate Professor at the University of Guelph. There he continued his research on metabolic, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular diseases in poultry, and taught 100’s of veterinary students the mysteries of poultry and their diseases.  Dick retired in 1994 but continued to do research for several years afterwards as Professor Emeritus.

Dick was well respected in the poultry world. Over the course of his career, he worked, volunteered, or spoke at meetings, in over 25 countries. In 1982 he developed a vaccine to prevent coccidiosis in poultry.  Other honours included Ontario Poultry Health Worker of the Year Award in 1984, Ontario Poultry Council Award of Merit 1993, and the American Association of Avian Pathologists "Upjohn Animal Health Achievement Award" for distinguished research contribution in Avian Medicine in 1994, and a lifetime membership in 1997. The Riddell-Julian Canadian Poultry Scholarship honours his contributions to the industry.

Outside the long hours of work, Dick spent time with his family.  He loved the outdoors and travel, and holidays often took the form of epic car and camping trips, which stretched from Vancouver Island to Nova Scotia. Dick was a lifelong gardener and shared fruits and vegetables with friends and family. He also cajoled his wife, with three children under 10, to spend a year in Nigeria (1965) where, sponsored by CIDA, he helped to set up a veterinary school at the University of Ibadan.

Dick was active in Church and Youth Activities in Kenora and Brighton.  He was a member of Harcourt United in Guelph.  In Brighton he was very involved in the Lions Club serving terms as President and Secretary. In 1974 he was elected to Brighton Town Council and represented the council for the conservation authority during the acquisition of Proctor Park. After his retirement, Dick attended Guelph-Wellington Men’s Club and participated in 3rd age learning

While a student at university, Dick was an officer in the Naval Reserve and spent three summers in the services, training as a navigator.  He enjoyed sailing but rarely had an opportunity as Jean suffered from motion sickness. Dick maintained an exercise routine, running three times a week into his early 80’s.  He played football, soccer, and lacrosse in school, and was in the Navy Lacrosse team in Victoria.  In Brighton, he was active in minor hockey and was a member of the curling club.  In Guelph he curled for many years. Dick and Jean continued to travel, hike and cross-country ski in their “retirement” with many dear friends.

Thank you to Francis for his excellent care and his compassion and to nurse practitioner Marion and all of the medical personnel, nurses, and care providers, especially Maria, who made Dad more comfortable over the past few years. Thank you also to neighbours Gay and Louis Christofides, Murray and Joseph for their help and concern. 


Arrangements entrusted to the WALL-CUSTANCE FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL,

519-822-0051 /  

Donations may be made in memory of Dick to Harcourt Memorial United Church or UNICEF Canada.



A tree will be planted in memory of Richard (Dick) J. Julian in the Wall-Custance Memorial Forest.