H.M. Patterson & Son-Oglethorpe Hill Chapel

4550 Peachtree Road Ne, Atlanta, GA


Julia Douglass Spivey

November 13, 1932January 9, 2020

Died 9 Jan 2020 from age-related natural causes at age 87.

“Energetic, fun, funny, irreverent, sense of humor” – all attributes to describe her.

Born in Albany, GA, she moved with her family to finish high school at Atlanta’s Washington Seminary in 1950. She was a 1954 graduate of Tulane University’s Sophie Newcomb College, with a degree in History. She was a member of Atlanta Debutante Club, making her debut in 1952, and a member of Chi Omega. After graduation she taught at Sandy Springs High School.

This smart blue-eyed blonde had a number of beaus, no doubt attracted to her vibrant personality. She once returned a three-carat diamond ring, to her mother’s shock! This was in the 1950’s – girls were to get married. Instead, she pursued a Master’s Degree in Political Science at Emory which had recently admitted women.

There she met her scholarly husband, Ted R. Spivey, who had a PhD in English from the University of Minnesota. He later transferred to Georgia State University and became Regent’s Professor of English. Their marriage was to last fifty years.

As an active communicant at the Cathedral of Saint Philips, she chaired the wedding committee and Boy Scout Troop 74, leading several to attain Eagle Scout. Penny Barnette selected special speakers to follow the 11 a.m. service, and Ted often talked about American and British authors, highlighting the religious aspects of their works.

Julie’s profound interest in history led her to join genealogical societies, Daughters of The American Revolution (DAR), Joseph Habersham Chapter and United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC), Atlanta Chapter 18. Active in Colonial Dames, Thomas Johnson Chapter XVII Century, she became a sought-after lecturer. With no fear of public speaking, she became a featured speaker on various genealogical programs, filled with her irreverent comments.

She was an enabler of Ted’s friendships with noted Georgia authors and philosophers, Flannery O’Connor and Conrad Aiken (friend of TS Elliott). Counted among friends were Walker Percy and Joseph Campbell, whom they invited to Atlanta to lecture on several occasions.

When she and Ted moved to St. Simons, she became active at Christ Church. She researched headstones, giving tours featuring the lives of those long-ago members. As a DAR member, she attended the swearing-in ceremonies of newly naturalized American citizens. At the nearby bank, she furnished the punch bowl, and the bank supplied the punch. Julie spiked the punch with a bottle of cheap champagne! Judges and these new Americans loved their unforgettable “Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag” day. She was an artist and became an enthusiastic painter. Using her artistic skills to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity, she partnered with a carpenter to build birdhouses that she and her other artist friends painted. They had successful birdhouse fundraiser shows at Phipps Plaza for several years. When she painted on canvas, she copied from great artists as Audubon, Monet, Manet and Peale. She signed her work “Julie Audubon,” “Julie Monet,” etc., giving credit to her fellow artists.

One of her outstanding success stories was when she invited well-known Georgia historian, Edward J. Cashin of Augusta to St. Simons. She secured an honorarium and housing at King and Prince. They also discovered their children, Ed and Mary, were single, the same age, and sharing an interest in history. Ed and Mary married two years later.

Julie is preceded in death by her husband Ted R. Spivey; parents Julia Brannon and Paul McLennan Douglass. Survived by her daughter, Mary Leta Spivey Cashin (Ed) and son, John Andrew Spivey (Doreen); sister Paula McLennan Douglass Hill (widow of Terrell W. Hill); grandchildren Julia Pearl Cashin and Amy Brannon Cashin; nieces Jennifer Hill Shete (great nieces Madhavi and Smita Shete); Sister-in-Law Deene Spivey Youngblood (great niece Julie Bellue); nephew J. A. Youngblood (great nephews Noah and Joshua); cousins Earl Douglass, of St. Augustine, FL; Cordy Wylie Arnold (Arch) of Columbus, GA; Bolts Wiley (Susan) of Albany, GA.

A funeral service will take place at St. Martin in the Fields church, Brookhaven, GA, 10:30 a.m. 17 Jan 2020, preceded by visitation at 9:30 a.m., and a reception at 11:30 a.m. The interment ceremony will be held at 4:15 p.m. on the same day at the Swainsboro City Cemetery in Swainsboro, GA.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. Martin’s.


  • Visitation Friday, January 17, 2020
  • Funeral Service Friday, January 17, 2020
  • Reception Friday, January 17, 2020
  • Committal Service Friday, January 17, 2020


Julia Douglass Spivey

have a memory or condolence to add?

Victoria Harp

January 14, 2020

Take comfort in your family and the memories you all share of your mother, grandmother, friend, sister, aunt... she was a great many things to a great many people. You all are in my prayers during this difficult time.