PORTLAND and LAREDO, Texas – Julia Rathbun died with courage and grace Sept. 11, 2008, in Scarborough, surrounded by her loving family. She was born March 9, 1920, in Missoula, Mont., the eldest of eight children born to William and Sarah Caplis. Serving as a registered nurse in the Air Force during World War II, she met and married Edward Lyon Rathbun in 1944. Together they raised four daughters as Edward’s career in the Air Force took them to many posts in the U.S., the Middle East, Europe and South America. Upon retiring they lived in Laredo, Texas, where they appreciated being close to the Jim Winch family and the lively atmosphere of the Texas-Mexican border. Just before the death of her husband of 58 years, Julia moved to Portland to be near her daughters and made a wonderful home among friends she cherished at The Atrium-at-Cedars. She enjoyed the company of her daughter, Jessica Zipper and her children, Hillary and Ryan; her sister-in-law, Betty Rathbun and the Rathbun-McDonald family. Julia was an appreciative observer of people, tenacious in her beliefs and generous to those in need. She loved children and was known for her subtle and wonderful sense of humor. Julia treasured her close relationship with her sister, Dorothy Simpson of Seattle; and enjoyed hearing about her brother, Jim Caplis and her many western nieces, nephews and cousins. She is survived by her three devoted daughters, Heidi Godsoe and her husband, Stephen of Bangor, Deborah Rathbun of New York City and Jessica Zipper of Portland; her sister, Dorothy Simpson; brother, James Caplis and their families. She leaves beloved grandchildren, Hillary and Ryan Zipper, Marin Godsoe, Juliana Phillips, Caitlin and Kevin Feige, Amanda Godsoe and Dario Gil, and Travis and Julie Godsoe. She is also survived by nephews, Jimmy Winch, Daniel and David Rathbun, Lyon Rathbun and their families; and nieces, Linda Rathbun and husband, Steve, and Janet Rathbun and her family. Julia took particular joy in her great-granddaughters, Sofia and Elena Gil, who were able to visit her in her last days. Julia was predeceased by her husband, Edward; her eldest daughter, Ann Phillips; her sisters, Eileen Mickelson, Edith McCormick and Sarah Caplis; and her brothers, Bill and Dennis Caplis. The family wishes to thank the staff at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House for their professionalism and compassion and the caring staff at the Atrium. A Mass of Christian burial will be held 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16, at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 492 Ocean Ave., Portland. After the Mass she and her daughter, Ann Rathbun Phillips, will be interred at Evergreen Cemetery. A reception will be held at The Atrium-at-Cedars, 640 Ocean Ave. Those who wish to remember Julia in a special way may make gifts in her memory to a foundation established to honor the groundbreaking educational work of her daughter, Ann. The Brookline Community Foundation, Ann Phillips Memorial Fund, 40 Webster Place, Brookline, MA 02446 or to Hospice of Southern Maine, 180 U.S. Route One, No. 1, Scarborough, ME 04074.