WESTFIELD, N.J. — Julia Rogers Fullerton Schen, 90, of Westfield, New Jersey, passed away on Dec. 27, 2021. Born on May 8,1930, Julia was one of six siblings. Raised in Orange, Connecticut by Harriet and Maurice Rogers, she graduated from the Day School and attended Connecticut College.
She was predeceased by her husbands, Henry S. “Hank” Fullerton III and John V. “Van” Schen. Julia is survived by her children, Joan Fullerton (Joe Guasconi) of Westfield, New Jersey, Ted Fullerton of Padanarum, Massachusetts and Media, Pennsylvania, Abbie Fullerton Shoobs (Adrian) of Lebanon Springs, New York; her grandchildren, Nathaniel and Elizabeth Shoobs; and her beloved partner of many years, Laurens “Lou” Joosten; as well as Van’s daughters, Beth Cullum, Cathy Schen and Molly Schen; and her sisters Ellen Saylor and Harriet Wood; and a brother, Frank Rogers.
Julia’s warmth and generosity were legendary. She was a natural in the kitchen, whether preparing meals for her family or pulling out all of the stops for a dinner party. She was well known for her flower arranging skills and hunting for bargains. She was disarmingly competitive in her favorite games of bridge, golf and Scrabble.
She created a sense of community in her civic life, volunteering for a variety of groups, including Westfield’s Congregational Church, Miller-Cory House, and Rake & Hoe Garden Club. In Maryland she volunteered for the Talbot County Country Club, Talbot County Garden Club, Maritime Museum, Navy League, Historical Society of Talbot County, and more.
Julia had a passion for sailing and competing. With Hank, she learned to sail, serving as his first mate and racing Star boats throughout the Northeast. They cruised together for many years, spending every summer with their children on their sailboat, the Whistling Wind. She worked for a stint with Yachting magazine. They raised their three children in Westfield, New Jersey.
With her second husband Van, her love of the water led to them living with a view of Lake Ontario during their years in Sarnia, Ontario. Upon Van’s retirement, they found a house on an inlet of the Chesapeake, in Royal Oak, Maryland. She claimed it had the best sunset on the Chesapeake Bay. With Van, she took up golfing. She treasured the love and appreciation she felt with Van.
With her partner Lou, she had a committed and long-distance romance. He kept his home in the Netherlands, but they visited each other often. In their absence, he wrote her an email every day they were apart that numbered to 2644, and Skyped often. Together, they traveled the world, going on long visits to the Netherlands, France and England, and on trips including to Malta, South Africa, where they communed with giraffes, and to Curacao where they made friends with parrots.
In recent years, Julia moved back to Westfield to be closer to her family. She suffered from dementia for several years. She died peacefully in her sleep of natural causes at Sunrise of Westfield. Due to COVID, a celebration of her life will be held at a later date.
To share your own memories of Julia, go to Gray Funeral Home, Westfield, New Jersey, at: www.grayfuneralhomes.com and go to her tribute page.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in her memory to a charity of your choice.