Julie Lisa Reel


Posted: Friday, July 25, 2003

Juneau resident Julie Lisa Reel, 43, died July 19, 2003, in Anchorage following a lengthy illness.

A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, July 28, at Glacier Valley Church of God on Thunder Mountain Road. An interment will follow at the Alaskan Memorial Park.

She was born May 10, 1960, in Seattle, Wash., and moved to Juneau in 1996.

Family said she was a gifted guitarist who made beautiful ceramic works. She was known locally as the "Snake Charmer." She was featured in several publications and known and consulted nationwide for her expertise as a handler and breeder of exotic snakes. Her illness finally forced her to forego the caring of her reptiles, but she continued as a consultant until the time of her death.

"Locally, she was in great demand to display her snakes and educate schoolchildren and the public on the care and handling of the reptiles," said a family member.

She and her 14-foot albino python, Buzz, and two 14-foot long African rock pythons, Bonnie and Clyde, were crowd favorites at the yearly Pet Festival, according to her family.

Family members said she regretted being unable to publicly display Riddler, her 19-foot Reticular python. Due to Riddler's bad disposition and lack of manners, he remained a local conversation piece.

She was preceded in death by her son, Isaac Grim, and grandmother, Jewel Orazio.

She is survived by her husband, David of Juneau; sons, Nathaniel (Kim) Grim of Nome and Luke Grim of the U.S. Army, Korea; mother, Nancy Murphy of Juneau; brothers, Mark, David (Janna) and Paul Smith of Juneau, and Tom (April) Owen of Nebraska; sisters, Lori (Robert) Humphries of Warrenton, Ore., and Denise Smith of Juneau; special friend, Dawn Ryks of Douglas; uncle, Michael (Karen) Orazio of Juneau; aunt, Adrienne Moore of Ritzville, Wash.; two grandchildren; and many other relatives and friends.

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