Julia Barth Reiskind, 79
Beloved wife, mother, grandmother and friend, Julia Barth Reiskind, 79, passed away Friday,
July 10, 2020 in Gainesville.
She was born Julia Anne in Hackensack, NJ on June 26, 1941, to Robert Hood and Julia Isabelle
Barth (Bown). She grew up in Ridgewood, NJ, graduating from Ridgewood H.S. in 1959. She
received her A.B. in Biology from Goucher College in 1963 and received a PhD in Botany from
the University of Florida in 1980, earning that year’s Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award
from the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. After a couple of postdoctoral positions at
UF she continued as a research scientist in the Department of Botany at UF until her retirement
in 2015. She was a friend and mentor to students and colleagues alike. Studying the
biochemistry of photosynthesis, she published more than 25 peer-reviewed scientific articles
including papers in Science and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
On February 12, 1966 she married Jon Reiskind in Boston, MA. They moved to Gainesville, FL in
1967, and had two children, Julia Alexandra (“Alix”) and Michael Hay.
Julia was active in many community groups. She was on the board of the local Planned
Parenthood in the 1990’s and was a long-time member of the Alachua County League of
Women Voters where recently she chaired the Natural Resources Committee.
Living in her neighborhood, Sugarfoot, since 1971 she has long been involved with the
Sugarfoot Community Improvement Association. Over the last ten years she has coordinated
the productive community garden in Green Acres Park for the many participating gardeners.
Long an advocate for bicycling (both for recreation and commuting) she was a member of
Gainesville’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board and Gainesville Citizens for Active
Politically she represented precinct 32 on the Alachua County Democratic Executive
Committee, was active in the Democratic Women’s Club and in the Blue Wave Coalition of
Alachua County in 2020. She spoke out frequently for the causes she cared about.
She loved travel and she and her husband ventured throughout the world highlighted by
ecologically oriented trips to Namibia, Papua New Guinea, and the Galapagos. She also
enjoyed cooking and baking for the grateful pleasure of others. Over the last two decades she
and her family spent their summers at their camps on Norton Pond in Vermont, boating,
swimming and hiking; this gave her great pleasure.
Julia is survived by her husband, Jon, their two children, Alix Reiskind (Cheney Brand) and
Michael Reiskind (Martha) and five grandchildren: Dashiell Hood Brand, Julia Rose Brand,
Gabriel Wallace Reiskind, James Overton Reiskind, and Christina Rashida Cooper as well as her
brother, Robert Hood Barth, Jr. She is also survived by Ivor Kincaide, a beloved member of the
Julia was an inspiration to us all and will be sorely missed by her family and the community; she
will be loved forever.
She is buried in the Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery.
The family is planning a celebration of Julia’s life after the pandemic is resolved. They ask in
lieu of flowers donations be made in Julia’s name to the Alachua Conservation Trust and/or
Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida, Inc.
Arrangements under the care of Countryside Funeral Home, Anthony, FL
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Julia (Barth) Reiskind, please visit our floral store.