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passing of Dr. Julianne Abdendroth

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  • passing of Dr. Julianne Abdendroth

    The Executive Board of the American Society of Biomechanics would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances of Dr. Julianne Abendroth, who passed away earlier this month.


    On January 5, 2011, the biomechanics community lost a beloved member as Dr. Julianne "Jules" Abendroth passed away at her North Salem home. "Jules" was an Associate Professor of Biomechanics and Exercise Science at Willamette University, having taught there since 2000.

    Jules previously taught at SUNY Brockport and Utah State University in Logan, Utah. She earned a Doctorate from Northern Colorado University (1993), a Masters degree from University of Oregon (1988), and a Bachelors of Science from University of Colorado, Boulder (1985), where she played varsity basketball and volleyball. Her professional associations include American College of Sports Medicine (National and Northwest Chapter); American Society of Biomechanics; International Society of Biomechanics in Sports; International Society of Biomechanics; and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. Jules was extremely active in the American Society of Biomechanics over the last 15 years. She served on the Education Committee, as both a member and chair, as well as on the Executive Board.

    Her magnetic personality, good looks, and 6’2” athletic frame were hard to ignore and she drew people to her, and biomechanics conferences were no exception. She mentored several of the recent (and not so recent) Ph.D.’s and called them “her boys”. Those of us closest to her will always remember playing darts with her at bars in the evenings after conference meetings. She usually brought her own darts set (given to her by her students) and tended to clean up in games.

    Jules was an extremely positive, vibrant, and well-liked member of the biomechanics community, as well as a popular and well-loved instructor, mentor and colleague. She loved teaching, research and the interaction with her students. She would consistently put her student’s needs before her own and inspired countless students to be greater than they could have imagined themselves.

    Jules had a close relationship with family and friends. She loved the outdoors, especially telemark skiing, hiking, and running with her border collies, Bella and Darcy. Her hobbies included restoration and modification of classic automobiles, with Datsuns her specialty. She was particularly proud of her Hawaii Blue 1977 King Cab pickup, christened "Elvis."

    Jules was an avid runner, exercising vigorously and regularly all the way to the end. In the last 18 months she had suffered from increasingly frequent seizures and suffered a fatal one returning from a run. She is survived by her two daughters, Melinda and Jacqueline; her fiancé, Bill Bowers; her parents, John and Anne; her older brother, Bill; her twin sister, Teresa; and countless students from her many years of teaching. Jules inspired many and affected countless lives. She is missed by all who knew her.

    Michael Bohne & Rick Hinrichs