Dr. Julian Crowder

julian crowder

May 7, 1950 ~ June 2, 2022

Born in: Asheville, NC
Resided in: Arden, NC

Dr. Julian Anthony Crowder, 72, passed away on Thursday, June 2, 2022 at Mission Hospital.

Julian, the second son of the late Olfa and Helen Roberts Crowder, was born May 7, 1950 in Biltmore Hospital. At Enka High School, he was involved in numerous class, social and athletic activities. After high school he attended UNC-Chapel Hill, graduating with a degree in chemistry. In college, Julian enjoyed photography and audio recording. These skills helped him in the production of “Flight”, a multimedia program first presented in the Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill and the production later transferred to the auditorium at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Julian also, was a disc jockey in Chapel Hill and was the House Manager of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity.

After college, he attended Southern College of Optometry where he met Paula Herda. They were married at the Washington, Kansas United Methodist Church in 1978. After graduation from SCO, Julian and Paula briefly worked with Dr. Joseph Schandler before opening their own medical optometric practice in Candler. Julian was actively involved with optometric and community affairs. He was president of the Mountain District Optometric Society for several years, was a member of the Executive Council of the North Carolina State Optometric Society for 11 years, serving as trustee, Vice-President and finally President from 1996-1997. He was one of the original members of the National Advisory Board of TLC Laser Centers, a member of the BASF Community Advisory Panel, President of the Enka-Candler Business Association, appeared several times on TV as a member of the WLOS TV Medical Advisory Board and was subject in several “Who’s Who” publications.

Julian had been lucky to have traveled quite extensively, having been in all 50 states and 15 foreign countries. Few of these accomplishments would have been possible without the support and presence of his wife and children.

He is survived by his wife, Paula Herda Crowder; two children, Winston Crowder and Heidi Atkins; two grandchildren, Madelyn and Julian Atkins and one brother, William Roberts Crowder (Janet Irvin Crowder)

A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, June 7 at 2:00 pm at Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian in Arden. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home from 1:00 to 2:00 pm.

Burial will follow at Lewis Memorial Park Mausoleum.


Funeral Service: June 7, 2022 2:00 pm

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian
72 Long Shoals Road
Arden, NC 28704


Visitation: June 7, 2022 1:00 pm - April 20, 2024 2:00 pm

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian
72 Long Shoals Road
Arden, NC 28704



Lewis Memorial Park
415 Beaverdam Road
Asheville, NC 28804


Funeral Home Assisting The Family:

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian
72 Long Shoals Road
Arden, NC 28704


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Memories Timeline


  1. Paula, my heart is broken for you and your family. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. Julian has always held a special place in my heart and always will. We grew up on Candler School Road, attended Montmorenci United Methodist Church, and attended all 12 years in school together. We will miss him.

  2. Julian will be missed by many. I cannot come up with words to describe how great he was and how easy he was to love. Heartfelt prayers for the family.

  3. I’m am so sadden to hear of your Dad’s passing. Praying that God will you and your family peace that only He can give.🙏

  4. Heidi I’m am so sadden to hear of your Dad’s passing. Praying that God will you and your family peace that only He can give.🙏

  5. Paula we are so sorry for your loss of Julian. What a wonderful husband, friend and optometrist he was. Alva and I are deeply saddened.

  6. I am so very sorry to hear of Dr. Crowder’s passing. I got to know him through a web page about Biltmore and learned we both grew up not far from each other. He was a gentleman of encyclopedic knowledge, as well as charm and wit. While I never got to meet him in person, I always looked so forward to reading his comments on the computer, and to sharing memories of people and places with him. My most sincere sympathy and condolences and prayers for all the Crowder family.

  7. Julian your light will shine on from all of us who will miss you terribly and knew you. Patients, colleagues, friends. Special people as you are rare, Jules. You done good. Real good. ❤️

  8. Prayers for the family. Went to high school and college with Julian. I nick named him Crow. Do not remember why. Considered Crow one of my best friends. God bless you all, as your healing begins.

  9. Dear Family, Jim and I were so sorry to hear of Julian’s passing. Roberts, Julian and I attended Montmorenci United Methodist in our growing up years where we sang in the Youth Choir, attended Bible School and I have many memories of Julian being an acolyte. I have so many fond memories of Julian’s family and Roberts as Montmorenci was such an important part of our younger years. We will be thinking of your family during this time of sadness.

  10. I was so saddened to hear of Dr. Crowder’s passing. I was a patient of his for many years. I always looked forward to seeing him; we had some great conversations about anything and everything! May the Lord help you through this difficult time.

  11. Our hearts and prayers go out to you during this most difficult time. Julian was a true friend having spent lots of good times with him from kindergarten through high school.

  12. So sorry to hear this he was our optometrist for many years and such a great person we really enjoyed knowing him. Prayers for the family. RIP.

  13. Paula, Heidi and Winston…Sending my love and prayers to you all at this time. Julian was one of my favorite Crowder cousins and I have fond memories from the early days of our lives, getting together at Crowder Family reunions, family camping trips, going to Uncle Olfa and Aunt Helen’s house on Candler School Road and then, Biltmore Forest. Such good times, always laughter and fun. I am forever grateful for all the work Julian did in researching our Crowder family tree and putting it all on paper for us remaining cousins. I will never forget him and miss him deeply. Until we all meet again someday…my deepest condolences.

  14. I can’t imagine the world without Julian. I am so sorry for your loss Paula as well as your family. He was a very special man and when I first moved to Arden you and Julian were like family. Our heart and prayers are with you during this time.

  15. Paula & Family, so very sorry to learn of Julian’s passing. Was glad to see him when he gave me a copy of the ancestry booklet he had worked so hard on. Families just don’t seem to keep in touch. Our love and prayers for all. Willene & Howard

  16. Paula, Winston, Heidi, & Corey. This morning, Diana and I were saddened to learn of Julian’s passing. Words just cannot convey the proper feelings right now. What we can say is that we are both honored and blessed to have had Julian and all of you as a part of our lives and memories. Julian was a wonderful man with a big heart and a great sense of humor. Those times we spent together will always be cherished and remembered with a smile.

  17. Paula I have no words. Praying for Gods loving arms to just hold you and Heidi and Winston and those little babies, and give you comfort that only he can!

  18. Paula and family, Donna and I are saddened to learn of Julian’s death–what a shock. That is a wonderful picture of him in the obituary.
    We both remember Julian keeping us entertained at several professional dinners and meetings. I especially enjoyed sharing patients with him over the years before my retirement.
    We pray the Lord will comfort all of you in this time of morning. He will be missed.

  19. My deepest condolences. Julian always made people laugh and smile. He was a true gentleman , father and husband. He will be greatly missed

  20. I was saddened to see Julian’s obituary on a face book post. I was in EHS class of 1964 with Roberts and my thoughts and prayers are with your family during this time of sadness and grief. I remember Julian had a ready smile and I know he was much loved by his older brother and all of his family and friends.

  21. My sincere condolences to Paula, Heidi and Winston. Julian was a wonderful husband, father, papa and friend. I know your hearts are broken. Look to the Lord and he will give you strength.I will be praying for all of you!

  22. Paula and family I’m so very sorry for your loss. I was a patient for many years, and he was so kind and patient with my Mom after her stroke. He will be greatly missed by all. You will be in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

  23. Please know I’m thinking of you at this sad time. Even though I didn’t often see Julian, I have fond memories of his kindness to my family. I send my love and sympathy. Joy

  24. Please know I’m thinking of you. Even though I didn’t often see Julian, I have fond memories of his kindness to my family. I send my love and sympathy. Joy

  25. Paula, Heidi, Winston,
    Julian will be remembered for so many things. As Dr. Crowder he helped thousands of patients manage complex eye problems. I knew him for many years as a colleague and saw his commitment to his patients. As a friend, he was in a league of his own- funny, energetic and loyal. Susan and I send our sincere condolences. With love,
    Robert Laborde, MD and Susan Laborde

  26. I have known Julian since we were in kindergarten at Montmorenci. He was also my optometrist until his retirement. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. Julian was one of a kind and he will be missed.

  27. Dr. Crowder served my parents and I for many years as our eye dr. He probably saved my dad from going completely blind.

  28. Gene and I were heartbroken to hear of Julian’s passing. He has been a friend as well as our optometrist for many years. He will be truly missed. We are so sorry that we will not be able to attend his memorial service. Prayers for comfort for Paula and family.

  29. Paula, I am so sorry to hear of Dr. Crowder’s passing. I was so fortunate to have him teach me about optical. He was a good man. My prayers for you and the family

  30. I went to Dr Crowder for years to have my eyes examined. He was always Jolly and usually he had a joke to tell or we had one for him. He was a very patient Dr. He will be missed by many. But he will be walking those “Streets of Gold” and the way the world is now, he is better off than we are. He is at peace. We want to send our deepest condolences from deep in our hearts. As for his Family: KEEP THE FAITH AND GOD WILL HELP YOU THROUGH THIS TRYING TIME. God Bless

  31. So sorry for Dr.Browser’s passing. He was always a very nice and compassionate eye Dr. Always took time to work you in if you needed to see him . And always smiling and a joke to tell ya. He was a true gentleman and great Dr. He was 1 Dr that I didn’t mind seeing. My God bless the family. Rest in peace Dr.

  32. Paula, Winston, Heidi and Family: So surprised, sorry and emotional to see where Julian had passed. We thought lovingly of him and all of you regularly. May you find strength to help you through this part of life.

  33. Sending you 3 a sincere message of condolences from my heart!
    Keep the special memories close to comfort you with.
    Donna Setser

  34. Paula sorry for your loss. I remember when you all met at my house.
    Julian was a great guy.

    Take care of your self and family

  35. Julian and I went to high school and college together. I am really sorry to learn of his passing. He was very compassionate to everyone he met and took really good care of his patients, including my father in his later years.
    Peace and blessings to his family.

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