Julie Wepfer Robinson passed away peacefully in the embrace of family at her home in New Orleans on April 19, 2017, after 63 graceful years of life dedicated to helping and inspiring others, especially through her art.
Julie was born on October 17, 1953, in Camden, Arkansas, the first child of William Garner and Joy Johnston Wepfer. In 1967 the Wepfer family moved to Memphis, where her father bought the first of many businesses he would own and operate, several of which Julie worked in. In 1971, Julie graduated from White Station High School in Memphis and went to Tulane University to study architecture, earning a master's in 1976. In New Orleans, she met and married Charles Wesley "Toto" Robinson and together they had two sons, William "Garner" Robinson and Charles "Wesley" Robinson, IV. Julie and Toto remained married for 19 years.
Throughout life, Julie was involved in things new and interesting. She was the Director of Public Relations for the 1986 New Orleans World's Fair, a producer of the daily television news show PM Magazine, manager of international barge shipments for Wepfer Marine, and a feng shui consultant - to name just a few. Leaving New Orleans in 2001, she made beautiful homes and friendships in Mill Valley, California and Asheville, North Carolina, and with close friends explored India and Costa Rica, spreading love, joy, and grace everywhere she went. She is most known for her work as an artist, creating peaceful works some described as "abstract meditational". Her art was exhibited at galleries and shows in Asheville, Dallas, Memphis, and New Orleans. Julie shared, "To me, abstract painting is about tapping into the intuitive aspects of our human nature to explore the mysteries beyond ordinary experiences. When I am painting, there is a certain magic that happens that transcends the mundane, everyday world around me while I am still a part of it." Her works are displayed in private collections around the world, and were recently included in an installation "Art as Inspiration" at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, a poignant coda to her seven-year battle with the disease, which ultimately claimed her life. Her estate is in discussions with the New Orleans Museum of Art about donating a piece to its permanent collection, and will endow a bench in her honor at the nearby sculpture garden.
Julie considered her finest work to be her sons Garner and Wesley. After Asheville, she returned to New Orleans to enjoy life with her boys, who were her steady and loving support both as she lived and as she died. She was a loving mother and advisor to them, especially as they navigated the complexities of the family businesses they worked in. Her greatest joy later in life was her grandson "Charlie" Robinson, child of Wesley and his wife Werner Viser Robinson. She also leaves behind her sister Janet Wepfer Leavell and husband George, her brother John William Wepfer and wife Lucy, and fifteen nieces and nephews. She loved and encouraged everyone she touched. Family and friends are invited to join a visitation at 1:00 PM on Sunday, April 30, 2017 at Trinity Episcopal Church. A memorial service will follow the visitation at 2:00 PM. The New Orleans Museum of Art will establish a memorial fund in her honor; in lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to it in her memory.