Julian F. Been, 91, passed away at his home, Friday, January 10, 2014, surrounded by family. He was born June 24, 1922, in Shallow Water, Kansas, and has lived in Medina for the last 46 years. He was born to Rudolph and Eva Been on the west-central plains of Kansas.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and brothers, Hollis and Stuart Been.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Julia Fox Been of Medina; sister, Allalee Robinson of Kansas City, Kansas; daughters, Cyndy Howe (Wayne) of Irvine, California, Nancy Peacock (Larry) of Medina, and Kathy Adams (Wayne) of Salt Lake City, Utah; sons, Brian Been (Monica) of Calgary, Alberta, Canada; and Dwight Been of San Francisco, California; he is also survived by grandchildren, Aaron and Natalie Peacock, Lindsey and Walker Adams, Julie and John Howe, and Emily and Ellen Been.
As a member of America’s “Greatest Generation” Julian served during World War II with the 263rd Infantry Regiment, 66th Division (the Panther Division), 12th U.S. Army Group, and saw combat action in Lorient, Saint-Nazaire, and La Croix France. He received the Purple Heart in May 1945, and served as part of the post-war force in Europe. He was honorably discharged in April 1946.
Following the war he attended the University of Kansas from 1946 to 1949, where he graduated with a degree in Physics. During college he successfully completed Reserve Officer training in 1949. From 1951 to 1952 he served in the U.S. Air Force where he completed Airborne Radar Equipment training at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi. He was discharged from the USAF with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. From 1953 to 1954 he co-owned and operated Been Radio & TV with his brother, Stuart in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. In 1954 he went to work for Union Carbide Nuclear at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, followed by technical and research positions with General Electric between 1956 and 1963. He spent the last 19 years of his career at the NASA Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, where he was involved in America’s manned space flight program. He retired from NASA in September 1982.
His professional career was both multi-faceted and successful, yet was always secondary to his family. Julian was exceptionally skilled in all things mechanical and electrical-skills that he generously offered to family and friends. He had a wonderful baritone voice and enjoyed playing guitar and singing country and western songs, Christian hymns, and American folk standards with his children. He was a man who helped others in many different ways. A man who was trusted, respected and admired. A man who was greatly loved, and who will be greatly missed.
Julian’s family wishes to extend warm thanks for the exceptional in-home care he received from Visiting Angels, and Hospice of Medina County.
Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at a later date, to be announced by his family. His ashes will be interred at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman.
Donations in the memory of Julian can be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
Don’t be dismayed at good-byes. A farewell is necessary before we can meet again.