Today we officially say goodbye to a very early and dear friend of Austin Woman magazine. Our sister in love Julie Tereshchuk.

A letter from Austin Woman co-founder, Melinda Garvey

Today we officially say goodbye to a very early and dear friend of Austin Woman magazine. Our sister in love Julie Tereshchuk passed away peacefully on May 22 after a two-year battle with lung cancer.

Today, I want to share the story of the inception of my relationship with Julie and, in turn, how she became such a vital and important part of the 20-year history of Austin Woman magazine.

It all started in the fall 2001 when I bought my first house in Austin. I had moved here six months prior for a job that I would end up loathing but that would become the catalyst for the launch of Austin Woman. My job was in the Arboretum area, so I bought in a darling townhome community called The Bluffs of Great Hills and soon after moving in, met my fabulous next-door neighbors, Julie Tereshchuk and Trevor Richards. In the beginning, it was just a wall we shared, but within months that quickly changed.

I was standing in my driveway one afternoon, just after the seed of an idea to start a magazine was planted, and my co-founder, Samantha Stevens, and I decided it would be prudent to have a focus group to assess the viability of such a project. Of course, a “focus group” to us meant having a bunch of women over to my house to drink wine and talk about ideas for the magazine—and that’s exactly what I was chatting with Julie about in my driveway that fateful afternoon. She immediately said with enthusiasm (and that fabulous British accent of hers), “I want to come! In fact, I don’t know if you know this, but I am a writer!”

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Now, I’m going to be real with you here—the minute my next-door neighbor/budding friend said, “I’m a writer!” I immediately panicked, thinking, “Oh crap, what if she is terrible and I have to tell her no and then I have this awkward neighbor/friend thing going on?” But, of course, I invited her to come to the focus group, and the rest is literally history.

Julie not only became a friend and confidant, but to this day holds the title for being our most prolific writer of cover stories and other pieces inside the magazine and even did a stint as our special features/associate editor. Many of the women she interviewed became fast friends, and when I was asked recently why I thought that was, it was an easy reply—Julie really listened and cared and was truly a champion for women and understood implicitly how important it was to share those stories. Women opened up to her because they felt safe and heard—I mean really, really heard.

This was a time, if you can recall 20 years ago, when women’s voices were faint and often overlooked. Our whole mission at Austin Woman was to amplify those voices so that they could be a beacon of hope for all women. Julie not only understood that as a writer, but she truly lived that herself. She was always others focused, even at the end, when many of us did not even know she was ill because she was all about everyone else.

I hate regrets, but I have one, and I think it’s a common one that we all feel when we lose someone dear after we had let distance come between us. Life is such a flurry of running businesses, raising children, doing our bit in the community, etc. that sometimes friendships get shortchanged for a season or two. The sting comes when those new seasons are cut short without reconnection. That is my regret. I urge you to use this opportunity to think about those loved ones in your life who have been on the sidelines for a bit and reach out. Friendships are precious and rare, and they are what make us whole. Hug your people. Tell them you love them. Make the time. I promise you won’t regret it.

To you, dearest Julie, may God bless you and keep you in his eternal peace. We will miss you, but I know He has many more cover stories for you to write.

With love,

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Melinda Garvey, co-founder


The following is a list of cover stories Julie wrote for Austin Woman:

2003

January: Tish Hinojosa

May: Kristin Armstrong

July: Susan Combs

October: Judy Maggio

2004

February: Beverly Silas

April: Anne Elizabeth Wynn

May: Betty Sue Flowers

July: Shannon Sedwick

September: Linda Burzynski & Georgia Jones

2005

February: Amy Henry

March: Sylvia Acevedo

June: Gay Gaddis

September: Etta Moore

2006

February: Deborah Carter

May: Jessie Otto Hite

June: Liberty Harper

July: Tosca Gruber

October: Patricia Vonne

2007

January: Andrea McWilliams

February: Robin Campbell

May: Marci Roy

July: Bev Kearney

2008

May: Sylvia Orozco

June: Gail Goestenkors

October: Margo Sawyer

2009

January: Karen Hughes

March: Marcia Ball

April: Sharon Mays

June: Elizabeth Christian & Bruce Todd

August: Sandra Martin

November: Rebecca Powers

2010

June: Michelle Valles

August: Jeanne Goka

November: Carla McDonald

December: Jaston Williams & Joe Sears

2011

February: Lisa Copeland

April: Foo Swasdee

May: Jo Anne Christian

August: Gigi Bryant

October: Heidi Marquez Smith

2012

March: Suzi Soza

August: Lorie Marrero

September: Melinda Garvey

2013

March: Liz Elam

October: Barbara Morgan

2014

February: Missy McCullough

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