Julie passed away from pancreatic cancer on February 12, 2023. Julie was born on December 22, 1966, in Springfield, Illinois. She was lovingly adopted into the family of Gary and Diane Sauerman and was the oldest of four siblings. She met her best friend and love of her life Tom Aswad in 1982 as a sophomore at Bennett Academy in Lisle, Illinois, which was the start of 40 wonderful years together. She graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Nursing degree and started her career as an oncology nurse at Hinsdale Hospital. In 1991, Julie and Tom were married and soon thereafter moved to Arizona to be close to Julie’s family after her mother’s passing from a prolonged battle with cancer. Julie continued her oncology nursing career at Scottsdale North Hospital and later at Mayo Clinic Scottsdale. Julie and Tom welcomed daughters Melissa and Katie into the world during this time.
Julie “retired” in 2002 to become the world’s best stay-at-home mom to Melissa and Katie. She spent time as a librarian at Saint John XXIII Catholic School where she put her incredible storytelling abilities to great use. If you had the good fortune of hearing one of her stories, they often included voices, sound effects, and hand gestures. She could often be heard saying “I’ve been an adult for a while, and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.” She seemed to find the perfect fit when she became a registered pharmacy technician and went to work for Pill Pack by Amazon Pharmacy, where she became the founding member of her own department and eventually trained her close friends/coworkers to successfully take over the department after she fell ill. Julie was an avid reader and even volunteered as a recording studio narrator at the Arizona Talking Book Library for Arizona residents with blindness or low vision. She was an incredible wife, mother, daughter, aunt, and friend to everyone she met. She loved cheesy B action movies, Styx concerts with her husband, and glasses of Sauvignon Blanc on the porch with Levi, the family’s golden retriever, getting into mischief just a few feet away. Julie loved people of all ages and was famous for how many “kids” she accumulated; young to old. Anyone that knows her would know she wants us to remember her at her best, always ready with a big mom hug or silly joke. She taught us everything except how to live without her.
She is survived by her husband Tom, daughters Melissa and Katie, Melissa’s husband Tony and Katie’s boyfriend Dino, father Gary, mother Pat, sisters Jill and Kim, brothers Mark, Greg, Andy, Nico, and Mike, as well as a host of loving family members and her innumerable “adopted” kids. She was preceded in death by her mother Diane and grandmother Anne.
In lieu of flowers, the family would like to request donations to HonorHealth Research Institute, in support of Pancreatic Cancer.