Julio  Avael


Julio Avael, Jr., graced heaven with his presence on, Saturday, January 12, 2019. He was 75 years old. Julio's life was comprised of many passions and priorities: his family, friends, community, art, education, recreation and career. Julio will be remembered as a public servant because he always put people first.
Julio spent his career as the County Administrator, Lee County, Florida, and in Douglas County, Nevada. In Key West, Florida he served as the longest-tenured City Manager in the city's history. Notably in Key West, for some time, Julio was one of the few City Managers in the United States who simultaneously served as the City's Chief of Police.
When Julio was not serving in his official capacity, he volunteered his time with the Boys and Girls Club as a youth mentor in his home town of Key West, Florida. Julio's love for his community led him to many volunteer roles in numerous clubs and organizations such as: Key West Sunrise Rotary Club, State and National Certified Public Administrators Association, Douglas County Emergency Response Council, Florida Association of Counties Land Use and Growth Management, United Way, Florida Association of County Aging, Florida State Association of County Social Services, National Coalition of Hispanic Health and Human Services, National Association of County Human Services Administrators, and the International City Managers Association.
As a young man in 1973, Julio was recognized as one of the nation's Outstanding Young Men of America. Throughout his career, his commitment to public service was recognized by FEMA, the International City Managers Association, Monroe County Homeless Coalitions, Honorable Lleana Ros-Lehtinen in the Congressional Record of the 108th congress first session, and the President of the United States. In fact, February 21st was designated as "Julio Avael Day" in Miami-Dade County.
Julio was a champion for the public's right and access to their government. Julio created the Ambassadors Academy in Key West, a program that encouraged citizens to actively participate in the development of the City's strategic plan with elected officials. That program continues to this day. Moreover, Julio and his wife, RaiEtte anchored a weekly televised program "Point to Point," a one-of-a-kind program where citizens were kept informed of city projects and plans. In his spare time, Julio also hosted a weekly radio program.
Julio was an educated man. He held a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Nova University. Throughout his life, Julio continued to prioritize the learning process. He attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Florida State University to further develop his leadership skills. As an industry leader, Julio collaborated with the Department of Leadership at the University of Florida, writing academic articles centered around solving public management budgeting issues. His articles were published by International Public Magazine.
Beyond his career accomplishments, Julio was a professional drummer, sitting in with James Brown and Jimmy Buffett and was invited to tour with the Rolling Stones. His love for the arts never stopped. A pair of bongos would accompany him to many parties, and he was quick to join a band on stage to play a set at any concert he attended. In his later years, he developed a close friendship with artist Ray Rolston. A friendship designed to teach Julio how to paint the city he loved, Key West. Julio's love for Key West was commonly set upon a canvas he would paint and frame. A tropical oasis of roosters, lighthouses, sunsets and Shotgun Homes rests upon the walls of his home forever confirming a story of the island he loved.
Most importantly, Julio was a family man. His real joy in life was derived from his family. All that he loved in his life, he generously shared with his family. That is what made him most proud.
He is survived by his wife of 44 years, RaiEtte "Sweetie" Williams Avael of Winter Haven, Florida; and their son Julio "Trey" and his wife, Rosy, and their three sons: Julio "JQ" IV, Nathan, and Walker. Julio is also survived by his son Darren of Key West, Florida; and his three sons: Darren Julio, Devin, and Dymond. Julio siblings, include his brother, Adolfo of Hardy, Virginia, and, his two sisters, Nellie Vargas of Key Wests, Florida and Linda Beiro of Zephyrhills, Florida.
A service honoring Julio's life and achievements is scheduled for Sunday, January 20, 2019, at Clayland Baptist Church. Reverend, Daryl Fletcher will begin service promptly at 2:00 PM. Interment will follow in the church cemetery. In February, A Memorial of Life Celebration will be held in Key West, Florida.
Harris Funeral Home & Cremations, Inc., Live Oak, FL is in charge of all arrangements.
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Published on January 15, 2019
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