Julia Sayoko Tafel Memorial
By Shirley Dettloff
Julia Tafel was a life time member of the Amigos de Bolsa Chica and one of our earliest volunteers, along with her husband Ron Davis. Julia passed away peacefully on August 12, 2018. She is survived by her husband Ron, daughter Laura Savitz, and son Chris and grandchildren Jaime, Brandon and Megan.
Julia was born February 1, 1942 to Frank and Sachiko Hiosawa at Manzanar. After the war years, the family moved to Chicago Illinois and then returned to California (Beaumont) and eventually settling in Boyle Heights. Julia graduated with honors from Roosevelt High School and attended UCLA where she met her first husband. They married and Julia suspended her studies to raise her children. In 1972 the family moved to Seal Beach where Julia resumed her studies and received her Bachelor’s degree with honors in mathematics from California State University, Long Beach along with a minor in German.
Along with the end of her first marriage she began her career as an aerospace engineer working at McDonnell Douglas, Magnavox and Northrop Grumman. She met her future husband Ron while both were working at McDonnell Douglas. They married in 1996 and Julia retired from aerospace in 2002.
Julia and Ron loved to volunteer both at Manzanar National Historic site and the Bolsa Chica wetlands where we had the privilege of having Ron and Julia as our docents. Along with their volunteer activities they loved to travel. She and Ron visited 47 of the 50 states and traveled to five continents which included many trips to Germany and the rest of Europe.
Julia enjoyed reading everything from the classics to modern romance, but her true passion was her love of the arts and especially music. Whether this was singing in her church choir or sitting in the audience of an opera or the symphony, music was a pure joy. Julia will always be remembered as a life well lived. She will be missed.