Julian Fraire was the beloved oldest son of Barbara and Michael Fraire. He was born on July 22, 1997 in San Diego and grew up primarily in the Mount Helix area of El Cajon. When he was three years old, he began attending preschool at the Foothills Methodist Church, where he made several friendships he maintained all his life. After preschool, he went to Fuerte Elementary School from kindergarten through fifth grade. His second grade teacher recognized his giftedness not so much by his classroom achievements as by his ability to argue any point to his advantage. He entered the GATE program in the third grade and graduated from Fuerte on the President’s Achievement List.
Starting in first grade, Julian joined Cub Scout Pack 362 and earned every rank in Cub Scouting from Tiger through the Arrow of Light before crossing over to Boy Scout Troop 355 in the fifth grade. Julian loved the opportunities the scouting program provided him over the years, including learning to sail at Cherry Valley Boy Scout Camp on Catalina Island and earning both the Rifle and Shotgun Shooting merit badges. He also attended the National Boy Scout Jamboree in Virginia in 2010, which marked the 100th year of Boy Scouts in America, and went on a high adventure trek at Philmont Scout Ranch with his father and other members of his troop in 2013. The Philmont experience was particularly meaningful for him, and in many ways marked his transition from child to young man.
Julian attended Hillsdale Middle School in El Cajon and then Steele Canyon High School in Spring Valley. He had an avid interest in physics and space travel from early on, and read Stephen Hawking’s The Grand Design between middle and high school. He also developed a passion for computers and when he was fifteen, he began building computers for himself and for others. There were few scientific topics on which Julian could not converse intelligently—and most of the time, it was the adults who went to him for information, not the other way around. In addition to his interest in all things scientific, Julian was a passionate advocate of equality and social justice. He cared deeply about solving problems like income inequality and all forms of discrimination. As if that weren’t enough, Julian also played the piano from the age of five and later taught himself to play the guitar and was attempting to learn the mandolin. His family always knew when he was trying to solve a difficult math problem when they heard him playing his guitar after dinner.
Above all else, Julian was a young man with a big heart who touched many people on his brief life’s journey. He is survived by many people who deeply loved him: his parents; his younger siblings, Aurora and Vernon; his grandmothers, Eleanor Fraire and Katie Jaques; aunt Valerie Jaques and uncle Mike Goulet; aunt Yolanda Fortuna and her husband Edmund Fortuna; uncle Raymond Fraire; aunt Marlene Martinez and her husband Sal Martinez, and many cousins and close friends too numerous to name.
In his honor, may we all strive to make the world a place he would have loved to live.