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Julie Renee Calene

February 8, 2024

Julie Calene Obituary

Julie Renee Calene was born May 26, 1965, in Lewiston, Idaho, the third child and only daughter of John Peter Calene and Betsy Hartwig Calene. She and her two older brothers, John and Jim, grew up in Lewiston Orchards, in a neighborhood full of children and neighbors who were more like family. She had lots of cousins, some of whom lived just down the road. Julie attended Warner/McGhee Elementary School and Jennifer Junior High. In 1980 the family moved to Rozet, Wyoming. Julie graduated from Campbell County High School in Gillette, Wyoming, in 1983. She attended Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho, and Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota. 

Julie's son, Jacob Lincoln, was born in 1989 in Gillette, Wyoming. They moved to Spearfish, South Dakota, in 1994 and then to Elk River, Idaho, in 1999 to be close to family. In June of 2000, they moved to Moscow, Idaho. Julie was beloved by her son and his friends. She was often mentioned as the best parent to call for practically any problem.

Julie held several jobs over the years. Starting in her high school days in fast food, she worked her way up to management, where she worked for a half dozen different restaurants over approximately twenty years.

Julie then worked at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories. She suffered many health problems, and fibromyalgia began to take its toll. She quit working there and set about living the frugal life, cutting expenses wherever she could. A lover of animals, especially dogs (and frogs), she started a small business, In-Home Pet Sitting Services.

Putting her spare time to good use, Julie volunteered at Fernwood Senior Center and Upriver Community United. She was part of several interest groups.

Julie began a Facebook page to help her ever-growing Calene and Swanson families stay in touch with one another. She posted greetings and photos on each family member's birthday and also remembered death anniversaries, kept track of marriages, all the new babies, and made memorial pages when members died.

Julie met John Edward Smith II in  2011. They shared various interests, including travelling together, riding 4-wheelers, and going whitewater rafting. Dining on fine food was a favorite entertainment. Julie was most fond of shrimp and gelato.  They had a common love for dogs and raised and rescued many. Julie helped tutor John through college. She was a whiz at algebra and science. 

One of the causes Julie was passionate about was organ donation. Her last gift to humanity before departing this life was to donate her organs. An Honor Guard accompanied her from her room to the surgery, and the hero flag, beneath the American flag, was raised in her honor at Kootenai Health Center in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho, when she passed into Glory on Sunday, February 4, 2024.

Julie is survived by her son, Jacob Lincoln; her significant other, John Edward Smith II; her brother, John Calene; her nephews, John, Joshua, and Jeremy; her step-brother and cousin, Tim and Cheryl Brinkley; her step-siblings, Rose Connor, Hope Hobbs, Charles Brinkley, and Jodee Brinkley; her uncles, Bill Hartwig, Mike Calene, and Larry Calene; her aunts, Louise Larrazolo and Maryanne Lund; and cousins by the dozens. She was preceded in death by her parents, Pete and Betsy Calene; her brother, James Calene; her step-mother, Jan Calene; her grandparents and several aunts, uncles, and cousins. 

May she rest in peace.

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