Centenarian World War II Navy veteran Ervin Julian, who was carried through a crowd to his seat for President Donald Trump’s rally in Phoenix in February, had passed away. His last 15 minutes of fame that night came when President Trump called him “the hottest celebrity in the world” and the video went viral.
Julian’s health had begun to decline in May after his wife of 72 years passed away. Louise Julian died of natural causes on Mother’s Day.
Shortly after his mother passed away, son Steven Julian thought it would be safest to move his father from the assisted-living facility, which had been locked down on occasion due to possible coronavirus exposures, to live with him in his Avondale home.
Julian served in the Navy from 1941 to 1944, stationed at Corpus Christi, Texas where he served as the base commander’s assistant. He and Louise moved to Phoenix in 1958 and adopted Steven in 1962 when he was two weeks old.
The younger Julian says that he never felt the need to seek out his biological parents. “I had the very best childhood, and my parents are my parents,” he said. “That’s what I tell people.”
Julian says that he feels fortunate to have been able to bond with his father a bit longer before he died.
He came to respect his parents’ decision to donate their bodies to science after they died because they wanted to help other people. They will eventually be buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona, and a celebration of life ceremony will be held on October 25.
Ervin says that he is working to see if President Trump will speak or create a video message for his father so that he may be honored posthumously the way he was at the February rally.