Zakrajšek was born into a large peasant family in Opalkovo, Slovenia, in 1912. She had five sisters and four brothers, and her mother lived to be 89. As a young woman, she moved to Ljubljana to learn how to knit.
Zakrajšek never married because of World War II. Her boyfriend was drafted at the beginning of the war and never returned. She spent most of her adult life working in Ljubljana. When she retired, Zakrajšek moved back to Opalkovo to live with her sister. In 2011, they moved in with their niece in Podulaka.
Zakrajšek became the oldest living person on 7 March 2019, in Slovenia following the death of 109-year-old Matilda Serec.
In October 2022, she celebrated her 110th birthday, becoming the second woman in Slovenia to reach supercentenarian status, after Katarina Marinič (1899–2010).
On 2 June 2023, at the age of 110 years, 217 days, she surpassed Niko Dragoš‘s age, becoming the second-oldest person to ever live in Slovenia. On 1 September 2023, at the age of 110 years, 308 days, she surpassed Marinič’s final age, becoming the oldest person to ever live in Slovenia.
In October 2023, she celebrated her 111th birthday, becoming the first person in Slovenia to reach the age of 111, and the second Slovenian person to reach this age, behind Sophie Hules (1909–2020), who passed away in the United States.
For more information, please view Julijana Zakrajšek’s Directory Profile here.