In Memory of





Obituary for Julia Faith MacPherson (Naillon)

Julia Faith (Naillon) MacPherson of West Hartford, CT (97), died Tuesday January 29, 2019. She was born on October 15, 1921 in Blackfoot, Idaho, the first child of Joyce (Fifield) and William Halliday Naillon. As a child she lived in the still-pristine Yosemite Valley, CA where her father was a park ranger. When Julia was 12, her mother died; she and her three siblings were sent to be raised by different aunts and uncles. Teen years were with Aunt Hazel and Uncle Ed in Alameda, CA. Hoping to go further in school, Julia moved to Cucamonga, CA, and boarded with cousins on their orange-grove ranch. At Chaffee Junior College Julie met and married the love of her life, John C.(Mac) MacPherson and they spent more than 60 event-filled years together. Julie and Mac started a family during WW II, they moved around the country where he was stationed as a civilian flight instructor. When he enlisted in the Air Corps, they settled in the desert, Rosamond, CA, near Muroc (now Edwards) Air Force Base. Mac was one of a handful of pilots, including Chuck Yeager, to actually fly the Northrup Flying Wing in the early 1950’s. Their first rental was a little house - formerly a stage coach stop - and the home of two rattlesnakes, both of which Julie dispatched with a shovel. After military service Mac and Julie moved to Lancaster, CA, started a successful automobile wrecking business, raised three kids, and called the desert home for 35 years. Julia was quick-witted, adventurous and resourceful. She kept books for Mac’s business, played bridge, braided wool rugs, and was involved with her church. She worked at elections, helped organize the annual Fair and Alfalfa Festival, admired and supported local artists. Julia was chosen as the Lancaster Women’s Club Woman of the Year, she actively participated in the Club’s support for AV Hospital and the formation of the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve. In the early 1970’s Julie and Mac moved north to the Monterey Bay area, to Salinas, CA to joint venture with a cousin owning and running a 53’ deep seacommercial fishing boat out of Moss Landing. Julia’s involvement was highlighted with her annual two-week trip into the Pacific as the boat’s “puller”. An entrepreneur, she sometimes sold their fresh whole albacore and salmon from the back of Mac’s pick-up truck to local Japanese restaurants. Julia served on the Monterey County Historical Society Board. One project restored the historic Boronda Adobe in Salinas. Another was developing the Historical Society Center, which included Mac and friends moving the historic Lagunitas School House through the city to become part of the museum grounds. She and Mac became founding members of the Monterey County Aquarium. She became deeply involved in every community in which she lived, and was (in)famous in the family for giving long driving tours of the town and landmarks – complete with histories and biographies. After they retired from the fishing industry Mac ran his own aircraft maintenance business at Salinas Airport. Julia enthusiastically joined Salinas Pilots and Owners Association and for years volunteered with SOPA to put on the annual California International Air Show at Salinas’ airport. She was a supporter of Mac’s love of aviation, and joined him on trips in their antique airplane. Julia noticed details and sounds; the wind in the pine trees, water on stones, the smell of flowers, the feel of sand on the beach. She was always interrupting to say “Look at…”She was a prolific letter-writer, wrote poetry, and delved into family genealogy, recording oral history and writing stories based on her research. She practiced Ikebana style flower arranging and maintained a vibrant home garden. Above all she treasured her family, wanted to hold them close and to be in touch. She encouraged her children to learn, collect, plant and appreciate. She often admonished: “See what needs to be done and do it!” or, “Do your best.” We are her legacy. Julia has resided in West Hartford since 2010. She was pre-deceased by her husband Mac, brother Donald Naillon, sisters Wylda (Bounds) and Barbara (Grasso). She is survived by her three children, Diana MacPherson (Robert Farr) of West Hartford, CT, John G. MacPherson (Maryanne), and Marguerite Kelley. She also leaves six grandchildren: Anya Malkin (Max Germer), Matthew Malkin (Wendy), John E. MacPherson, John B. Kelley, Pete R. Kelley and Yesenia RT Kelley. Seven great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. The family would like to thank the loving friendship and care given to her by “Mila” Purenko, and thank the nurses and staff at Hughes Health and Rehabilitation in West Hartford - especially, Richard, Anna, Kirsten, Neida, Maribel, Daksha and Stephanie, and thank Masonicare Hospice for their support. Services will be at the convenience of the family. There are no calling hours. Memorial contributions may be made to Salinas Owners and Pilots Association, 80 Mortensen Ave., Salinas, CA 93905. Online condolences may be made at