Juneau resident Julia Xia (Feng Zhu), 51, died unexpectedly June 12, 2003, at her home.
She was born in Shanghai, China, on Aug. 26, 1951. She graduated from the Shanghai Music Conservatory. She played the traditional Chinese folk instruments the yan qing (dulcimer) and the gu zhen (zither). She performed as a member of the folk instrument orchestra at the Chinese opera in Shanghai.
She moved to Fairbanks in 1990 to join her husband, Guo Hua Xia, a music graduate student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
She continued to play her instruments at cultural and educational events, such as International Day. She performed with an invited traditional Chinese instrument ensemble in a 1992 concert at the UAF Davis Concert Hall.
She was a supporter of the Fairbanks Youth Symphony where her son Wayne Yun Xia played, and she helped many Chinese students, their spouses, and families adjust to life at UAF. She quickly learned English and she loved to read novels, her family said.
She moved to Juneau in 1994 after her husband graduated with his master's degree. She continued to support music experiences, especially for children. She was active behind the scenes with the students and their recitals at Xia's Violin Studio.
She enjoyed learning computer and office skills at the Alaska Vocational Institute. She grew to take pleasure in hiking and walking around the Juneau landscape, her family said.
She was employed until recently with the state Department of Commerce. She was proud to have become a naturalized citizen of the United States in 2002.
Her greatest joy was her son Wayne, now a student at Northwest University, her family said.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Lu Minjuan.
She is survived by her husband Guo Hua and son Wayne in Juneau; her father and mother Zhu Chenzhao and Wu Jio Yi of Shanghai, China; brother and sister-in-law Zhu Lie and Zhao Yi Qi and their two children Christopher and Daniel of Utah; sister and brother-in-law Li Hui and Jin Xiaocang and their daughter Winnie of Illinois; sister and brother-in-law Zhu Li and Wu Yong of China; sister and brother-in-law Zhu Yang and Yu Lubing of China; and brother and sister-in-law Liu Yanchu and Zhang May of California; and nephews and nieces in China.
Friends are invited to a memorial service at Northern Light United Church on Tuesday, June 17, starting at 12:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to an education fund for her son Wayne Xia at First National Bank Alaska, Channel Branch, P.O. Box 21248, Juneau, AK 99802-1248.