Murphy Funeral Homes

4510 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA


Mary Jean Rathje

June 30, 1940February 29, 2020

Mary Jean Rathje,79 passed away at the George Washington University Hospital after a lengthy illness on February 29, 2020. She was a long-time resident of Arlington County, VA. She was married to Emile L. Julian, an attorney.

She liked to be known by her middle name Jean. Jean was born Mary Jean Edwards on June 30, 1940, in Washington DC at the Columbia Hospital for Women. The daughter of William E. Edwards and Mary Sharpe Edwards, she traveled as a young girl to Europe with her mother after her parents divorced. Her mother took a position in Paris as secretary to Charles Lindbergh during the time he served as special advisor to the Air Force. She had a delightful time as a young teen in Paris, learning the French language and attending school. Many of her friends were children of diplomats and military parents in addition to Parisians. The period was the early 1950s.

Her mother met and married Army Lt. Colonel Ben W. Bradley. Her mother and stepfather provided a rich learning environment for Jean, encouraging her to study hard, broaden her knowledge by extensive reading and absorbing the cultural aspects of Paris. It was also doing this time that she traveled with her parents extensively in Europe and North Africa. Jean both loved her travels and loved to talk about the places she visited with others throughout her life.

In the late fifties Jean’s stepfather was reassigned to Forth Leavenworth, Kansas. There she finished Leavenworth High School. Her father was then assigned to the military base on Governors Island in New York. It was in New York that she met her first husband. They married in 1960 and later she gave birth to two boys who were an essential part of her life until her passing.

Jean worked in several positions in government agencies, after the family moved from New York to Washington, DC. In 1975, she took a position as a reference librarian in the Public Document Room of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). In 1985, her marriage to Peter A. Rathje ended in divorce. Jean concentrated on her work and became involved in the understanding and operation of a database specific to the NRC Public Document Room. Her understanding of that database led to participation in the development of ADAMS, an information database for the entire agency. She was promoted to the position of information management analyst and assigned the task of developing and publishing an internal user manual for the system. It was also doing this developmental period that she met her future husband, Emile Julian. They worked extensively on agency information systems. In 2006, Jean and Emile married. She felt complete in her family and her life. She retired from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2012. She never lost her thirst for learning, remained a avid reader and enjoyed seeing her grandchildren grow and develop.

Mary Jean Rathje Julian is survived by her husband Emile L. Julian, two sons, Michael B. Rathje and Peter T. Rathje, Michael’s wife, Michelle Rathje and two grandchild, Sondra Rathje and Conner Rathje. She is also survived by a stepson Percy L. Julian and other relatives and friends.


  • Visitation Saturday, March 14, 2020
  • Funeral Service Saturday, March 14, 2020


Mary Jean Rathje

have a memory or condolence to add?

Latravetta Lee

March 12, 2020

I remember Interacting with Jean through my working career at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. My office the Office of Information Services would always ensure the PDR had the necessary documents they needed in responding requests from the public. She was joy to work with and may she Rest In Peace. Praying the God comforts her husband Emile during this time and her sons.

Bob Weisman

March 11, 2020

Although I did not work with Jean often, I remember her from the late 1980's and early 1990's when I had to locate information in the library B.A. (before ADAMS). She was always very friendly and helpful. Emile, you and your family have my deepest sympathy. I have fond memories of working with you at the NRC. May the Almighty comfort you among all mourners.

Cathy Smith

March 11, 2020

Jean was a special person. We used to talk about houses and home decor and sometimes work. I met Jean while serving as the IT Coordinator/Space Management Coordinator when I first came to NRC in 2002. She was instrumental in helping me define the needs of the ADAMS Support Help Desk during space renovations. I have thought of her over the years since her retirement -- she will be missed.

John Lane

March 11, 2020

I had just a few interactions with Jean when I needed to do some work in our NRC/ADAMS system and I always looked forward to speaking with her and asking for advice. She was the go-to person for ADAMS and her willingness to help and her grace were quite evident to everyone. I will always have fond memories of her.