Julia Collier, a retired vice president at Goucher College, where she also had been dean of students, died Tuesday from complications of colon cancer at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson. She was 76.
The daughter of Charles Collier and Marion Lasher Collier, fruit farmers, Julia Collier was born and raised in Claverack, N.Y., where she graduated in 1958 from high school.
After earning a bachelor's degree in 1962 from Russell Sage College in Troy, N.Y., she began teaching math at Rye Country Day School in Rye, N.Y.
In the early 1960s, she was recruited to teach math at a private school in Hawaii where she met her first husband, Peter Adams, a West Point graduate.
The couple were living in Colorado Springs, Colo., and moved in 1968 to Amherst, Mass. While living in Amherst, she earned a master's degree in education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was head of residence at MacKimmie House Dormitory.
In 1973, Ms. Collier and her husband moved to Hamilton, N.Y., when she was appointed dean of students at what is now Colgate University.
Ms. Collier moved in 1976 to a home on Florida Road in the Southland Hills neighborhood of Towson when she was named dean of students at Goucher College.
She and her husband divorced in 1977. She met and fell in love with Walter A. Kapolka, a district manager for a food service company that served Goucher, and they married in 1986. He died in 2006.
Her tenure at Goucher coincided with the school converting from an all-female college to a coeducational one, family members said. At the time of her retirement in 1996, she was also a vice president.
Ms. Collier volunteered with the Assistance Center of Towson Churches that operates a food bank and provides resources for the homeless.
She also enjoyed cooking and entertaining family and friends.
"She liked cooking comfort food because she came from a farm family. She made lots of pies, pot roasts and lasagnas," said a daughter, Emily Dow Chamberlin of Catonsville.
Ms. Collier was a member of Towson Presbyterian Church, 400 W. Chesapeake Ave., Towson, where a memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday. Feb. 4
In addition to her daughter, Ms. Collier is survived by another daughter, Melia Ann Wilkinson of Seattle; a sister, Ann Collier Mugavero of New York City; and two grandchildren.