Julie Plevel, longtime Realtor, city councilwoman, passes away

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Julie Plevel chats with Sprig the Squirrel during the city’s annual Arbor Day celebration in this 2015 file photo. Plevel was a champion for the city to purchase the park, which is by far the city's most popular park today.

Former Columbia Falls City councilwoman and longtime Columbia Falls real estate broker Julie Plevel died Jan. 13 after a seven-year battle with cancer.

Plevel was a city councilwoman for 10 years and served on the board even when she was battling cancer. She served until 2015.

“She came to the meetings for two years while she was undergoing chemotherapy,” said Mayor Don Barnhart, who served with Plevel. “I never saw anyone that dedicated before.”

Plevel was a champion of River’s Edge Park at the time and always wanted to make sure kids in town had places to go and things to do, Barnhart recalled.

Plevel and business partner Bill Dakin started Re/Max Mountain View in Columbia Falls in 2001.

“She was a great partner,” Dakin recalled. “We clicked together really well.”

Plevel and Dakin first worked together at Columbia Falls Realty in the 1990s and Dakin said those early years for Plevel were tough, because she didn’t know the community.

He said he talked her out of quitting the real estate business more than once. She was gifted and clearheaded and understood the process, Dakin recalled.

“We always agreed on personnel matters and long-range plans,” he said.

They also weathered the Great Recession together, he recalled, managing to survive those tough times.

Plevel fought cancer for seven years, remarkable because when she was diagnosed she was already at stage four — typically the final stages of the disease.

“The fact that she battled it for seven years was a testament to her strength and family support,” Dakin said.

Julie is survived by her husband, Patrick, a well-known home builder in the area and her children, Aaron Plevel, Jesse Plevel and Russell Plevel, all of Columbia Falls. A memorial service is at Cedar Creek Lodge on Sunday at 2 p.m.

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