Julian Charles Cotaya, Jr., a resident of Gulf Breeze, Florida, went to be with his Lord and Savior on July 28th, 2018 at the age of 97. Julian was born in New Orleans, Louisiana June 12th, 1921 to Julian Charles Cotaya I and Mary Christina Louisa Marks Cotaya and was a graduate of Warren Easton High School. During high school, when he was 16, he met the love of his life, Frances, at a Valentine’s Day party at their church, Third Presbyterian of New Orleans. After graduation, Julian became a full time employee at the America Sugar mill in New Orleans.
At the start of World War II, Julian became an employee at Avondale Shipyard, working as a pattern maker in the mold shop. After marrying Frances in 1942, and having their first child in 1944, Julian entered the U.S. Navy and following his boyhood fascination with crystal radio sets, was trained in aviation electronics at Corpus Christi, Texas. He was deployed to a remote air base in the Philippines until the end of the war. He was stationed at N. A. S. New Orleans for the next 18 years, rising to the highest rank an enlisted man can achieve in the Navy, Master Chief. In 1964, he was transferred to N. A. S Los Alamitos, California.
After 22 distinguished years of service, Julian retired from the Navy and joined Ford Aerospace in Newport Beach, California. During his 20 year career with Ford Aerospace, he was responsible for the installation of many missile control systems for the U. S. Military and numerous Allies of the United States, including Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Greece, Taiwan, and South Korea.
Julian was the standard by which all handymen should be benchmarked, as there was nothing he could not build or repair – metal work, fiberglass, housing construction, automobiles, HVAC units, any electronic device, and TVs, including building one new color TV from scratch. He was a licensed HAM radio operator from the 1940s until the time of his death. During his lifetime his hobbies also included duck hunting, fishing, golfing, stamp collecting, and woodworking, and in retirement, Julian and Frances toured all of North America in their RVs. Church was always at the center of his life and he was active in the choir, Bible studies, served as a church elder, and was constantly involved with church planning, building and grounds maintenance and remodeling.
Julian is preceded in death by his loving wife of 73 years, Julia Frances Hogg of Buena Vista, Georgia; his brothers Sylvester and Noel; and his sister Sylvia. He is survived by his sister Marie Cotaya and friend of the family Catherine Heard, of Walker, La.; daughter Dianne Cotaya of Anaheim, California, son Julian Cotaya III and his wife Melinda of Spring, Texas, son Stephen Cotaya and wife Jenifer of Gulf Breeze, Fl.; grandchildren Sarah, Matthew, Jacelen, Michael, Julia, and David; and great grandchildren Scarlett, Grayson, and Max.
A memorial service will be held at 2:30 PM Saturday August 11th at Concord Presbyterian Church at 4191 Gulf Breeze Parkway, Gulf Breeze, Florida, 32562. Funeral arrangements by www.harpermorrismemorialchapel.com