The Millon family has created the Julia R Millon Memorial Scholarship Fund to continue benefiting the community in her spirit. The fund will honor like-minded Winters High School students in her name.
“We wanted to set up a tribute in Julia’s memory. We figured one of the best ways to do that would be a scholarship fund. She loved this community, and [her] having grown up in this community, it made sense” said her father, Lee Millon.
Lee’s daughter was no wastrel. At 13 years-old she chose to read Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” because she hoped it might take her more than half a day to finish. Her room boasts several Ultramarathon bib-numbers papering the wall, and a large calendar beside them declares in superimposed bold gold lettering, “NO DAYS OFF.”
Millon graduated class valedictorian from Winters High School in 2008. Her mother Kathy recalls that, “it was hard to keep her in books… she said writing was too easy for her, that she had to do something to challenge herself when she went to college.”
Millon later graduated from UC Berkeley in 2012 with a B.S. in cognitive science, after first pursuing engineering and mathematics, then immersing herself in a diversity of subjects like computer science, linguistics, psychology, neuroscience, and sports medicine.
“She fully immersed herself in everything she did, always 100% occupied,” her father recalls.
Millon was voted “Sports Medicine Intern of the Year” by the department at UC Berkeley two years in a row. She traveled with several winning sports teams and high-profile players that attributed their success to her skills. Millon also worked for NorCal Ambulance where she was an EMT / CCT Specialist, and was held in high esteem by her former coworkers.
She was also well respected by her coworkers at Fleet Feet Sports in Davis.
“Her expertise in sports medicine and her extensive knowledge of trail and long distance running was so helpful to many of our customers and fellow employees,”says Katie Woods, a former colleague.
“Her straightforward, honest nature built a strong rapport with local runners, customers and staff alike. She will be very missed by the community in Davis.”
Millon loved to run. The Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve trail was especially dear to her.
“The further she could see when she was running, the better. Rocky Mountain tops were her favorite to see out, and then continue to run a hundred miles to whatever she was looking at,” says her sister, Helene Thomas Million. Some testaments to her drive came as recently as this April,when Julia finished an 81 mile race with a 9000 feet elevation gain, completing Badwater™ Salton Sea race in under 24 hours.
Millon also held the positions of Board Member, Editorial Assistant, and regular contributor at Donner Party Mountain Runners, a non-profit running club. In a recent entry, the DPMR Club President Helen Pelster wrote “… she has been a spark and light in the club from the beginning. She brought the term Ultra to everything that she did: Legendary skills at aid stations; badass adventures and racing; raw and poignant writing.”
Millon was a prolific writer. She shared her passion at the Winters Express for almost three years, and through her dedication and skill was promoted to Editor. She also maintained a personal blog, where she declared that writing and running were pursuant to the understanding of human nature. She wrote, “I run and write to celebrate the drive powering the vibrance of life in people.”
She was empathetic. She respected kindness and wanted to make a difference in someone’s life by being generous to those that needed it. This is illustrated by a profound statement in her blog entry.
“Other people give us a reason to [be] kind and appreciate kindness given and show us how to be kind to ourselves. Nothing is more important.”
Contributions to the Julia R Millon Memorial Scholarship Fund can be made online at www.sacregcf.org/millon, through any branch of First Northern Bank and can be addressed through mail to “Julia R. Millon Memorial Scholarship Fund” c/o First Northern Bank, 48 Main St., Winters.
There will be a celebration of Millon’s life held in Winters on Saturday, June 16. More information on the celebration is available here.
Updated Feb. 11, 2019 to keep donation hyperlink current.