Julian Sears Lobsien

1917 - 1995

Julian Lobsien taught music at four academies, three colleges and a university in the Seventh-day Adventist school system during his career and after retirement.

Julian was born and raised in San Francisco, the older of two children of Adolph and Ethel Lobsien. He started studying violin at age six and continued study until the time he left San Francisco to teach music at Gem State Academy in 1944. His program at GSA and involvement in evangelism while there led to a position at Walla Walla College, now University, in 1946, where he taught strings and conducted the orchestra. His recollection of that career move provides an interesting insight into hiring practices of the time:

Gem State was my first job. I worked there for two years. While there I worked with Joe Apiggian, an evangelist. He was so lit up about my work that when he moved to Salem to work in evangelism, he wanted me to go with him.

At a union committee meeting in Portland, Elder Scriven got up and made a plea to get me from Gem State to work in his conference. C. G. Anderson, Union President, got up and said Virginia-Gene Shankel was leaving Walla Walla College and that the school would need a violin teacher. He'd heard me play and knew my reputation. With that, Dr. Bowers [WWC president] got up and said, "We'll take him," not realizing I didn't have a degree.

A few weeks earlier Stanley Walker and John T. Hamilton had been at Gem State for a weekend and invited me to play in their recital with them. When Stanley heard of the agreement, he wrote me a letter immediately. When Dr. Bowers' letter arrived later, he said to come up as soon as I could and they'd make arrangements for my education. The agreement was that if I didn't have a degree within five years, I would no longer teach there.

Although Lobsien did not meet this deadline, he did complete both a baccalaureate and master's degree at the University of Southern California after leaving WWC in 1951. He resumed college level teaching at Atlantic Union College in 1957, after teaching at Glendale Adventist Academy in California. Following teaching at AUC for nine years, he taught music at Napa Junior Academy, Ukiah Junior Academy, the University of Montmorelos in Mexico, and Taiwan Adventist College. Some of this service was voluntary after his retirement.

He and his wife, Freda Elverna Heffel, had three children, Karen (Adams), Julie (Harebottle), and Gerald. Freda died in 1985 and he married Bessie Mae Siemans in 1989. He was living in Sonoma, California, at the time of his death at age 77.


Sources: Interview with Julian Lobsien, 12 June 1990; The Walla Walla College Collegian, 22 August 1946; Obituaries, WWC Westwind, Winter 1996 and Pacific Union Recorder, 4 September 1995; Social Security Death Index (Freda Heffel Lobsien); Johnson/Blakemore/Essig Family Tree, Ancestory. com.records; personal knowledge.