Julia McAfee, 97, died peacefully Wednesday morning, March 2, at the Carol Woods Retirement Community in Chapel Hill, N.C. She was the widow of James Byington McAfee and the daughter of Edmund Randolph Preston and Julia Jackson Christian Preston. A brother, Thomas Jackson Preston, of Silver Spring, Md., survives her, as do her three children, James McAfee (Deirdra) of Richmond, Va.; Julia McAfee Cissel (Spike) of Jacksonville Beach, Fla.; and Dr. Randolph Preston McAfee (Kristin) of San Marino, Cal.; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. Julia McAfee grew up in Charlotte, N.C., and Washington, D.C. She attended Salem College and George Washington University. Her early years were chock-full of fascinating experiences—sharing a carriage with Leslie Howard and Olivia de Havilland at the Washington premiere of “Gone With the Wind,” being a guinea pig in J. B. Rhine’s parapsychology experiments at Duke, double-dating with Walker Percy, and carpooling with Felix Frankfurter to her job at the Supreme Court during wartime gas rationing—and she devoted her adult years to friends, family, and community in Columbia, S.C., Riverside, Conn., and Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., became an accomplished artist, and traveled the world with her husband.In the early 1970s, Julia completed college. In addition to graduate study in Mexico and New York, she earned a master’s degree in counseling and psychology. Her volunteer work at an adolescent inpatient facility, combined with long experience as an artist, sparked an interest in art therapy. She observed art’s power to help patients, particularly those who choked up on words, identify and clarify their real feelings. She also realized that art therapy could help diagnose and predict behavior problems and head off crises. Already drawn to Carl Jung’s approach to the unconscious as the fertile seedbed of art and imagination, Julia moved to Zurich after her husband’s death in 1977 to study at the Jung Institute. She earned her diploma as a Jungian analyst in 1982. Returning to Florida, she and three other women opened a private center devoted to art therapy, often using sand trays, in which analysands choose and arrange figurines in tableaux. She also worked at a private psychiatric hospital in Jacksonville as well as seeing analysands in her office. She continued to paint, draw, and sketch, and encouraged her analysands to do the same.Julia conducted training workshops around the country for mental-health professionals and published and lectured internationally on the vampire archetype and related topics. Julia, a great-granddaughter of General Stonewall Jackson, also pondered her heritage and her region, as a woman and a therapist, in “Living the Legacy of the South,” published in 2000 in Salt Journal. At Carol Woods, Julia co-founded the Art Committee, with her good friend the late Jean Parish, and supported its programs enthusiastically. Julia was sunny and glamorous, a woman of great style, vivacity, intellect, and wit. In her last years—occasionally fortified with a dozen or more raw oysters and a bottle of Guinness—she bore the assaults and indignities of old age with grace and good cheer. Her family is especially grateful to the staff at Carol Woods for the extraordinary care they provided. Her memorial service will take place there at 11 a.m., Saturday, March 19, followed by burial in Jacksonville Beach at a later date. Instead of sending flowers, friends may contribute in her name to the Stonewall Jackson House Fund, Post Office Box 932, Lexington VA 24450 (www.stonewalljackson.org/donate.html
); the Carol Woods Charitable Fund, 750 Weaver Dairy Road, Chapel Hill NC 27514 (www.carolwoods.org/charitable-fund-donations-su
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pport); or to their own favorite charity.