Julia Penland Dellinger

  • Julia Penland Dellinger
    Julia Penland Dellinger

Julia Penland Dellinger, 95, of Cullowhee, N.C., died in her home surrounded by her family and canine companions, on Friday Oct. 11, 2019. 

Julia was born at home on May 3, 1924 to Margie Allison Penland and Ernest Demur Penland in Shooting Creek as the youngest of four children. After graduating from Erlanger Nursing School in Chattanooga, Tenn. she worked as a nurse in a variety of settings while raising her five children. 

Twice widowed, Julia married Dean “Ray” Cowan after he returned from service in the second world war. Daughter Kathryn Cowan Hermann was followed by son Dean Ray Cowan, Jr. After Ray’s death, Julia met David Fred Dellinger, Jr. while working at the VA Medical Center in Oteen, N.C. and remarried. Together they became the parents of David Fred Dellinger, Debra Dellinger Mulvey and Robert Ernest Dellinger. The family followed Fred’s work to Lexington, S.C. and Jacksonville, Fla. 

Following Fred’s death, Julia supported her children on her own, often working nights and double shifts. After the children were grown, she returned to the mountains of North Carolina and continued her work as a nurse at the Cherokee Indian Hospital. 

Julia did not let social conventions prevent her from giving help and counsel to all who sought it from her, including extended family members and even friends of her teenage children who were facing difficulty. She was refreshingly honest and loved and accepted people for who they were. 

She will be missed by all who knew her including her five surviving children and their spouses, nieces and nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

At Julia’s request, her body will be donated to the Wake Forest School of Medicine for the advancement of science. A memorial service will be held at a later date. 

Donations in her memory may be made to one of the following organizations: Four Seasons Foundation (hospice care provider), 221 N. Main St., Hendersonville, NC 28792, web site: www.FourSeasonsCFLFoundation.org; Clean Slate Coalition (provider of supportive housing for women who have experienced traumatic life circumstances), PO Box 455, Webster, NC 28788, web site: www.cleanslatecoalition.org and/or Appalachian Women’s Museum, PO Box 245, Dillsboro, NC 28725, web site: www.appwomen.org.