June Young worked as a congressional secretary, nurse, library volunteer | Passages

June Young - Contributed photo
June Young
— image credit: Contributed photo

June Young (Marion June Young) died in her sleep from heart failure Aug. 19, 2009 in Placerville, Calif.

She was 87.

A former resident of Friday Harbor, Wash., Vancouver, Wash., and San Jose, Calif., June was born Sept. 20, 1921 in La Crosse, Wis., to William and Rose Krismer. She graduated there from Aquinas High School.

June moved to Washington, D.C. when she was 18, during World War II. She secured a job as a secretary in Congress, working for one of the representatives. After WWII, June graduated from Northwestern University and Evanston Hospital in Illinois, beginning a career as a registered nurse.

June waited until she was 30 to marry. She met her husband on a blind date at an actual insane asylum and, in her words, had a whirlwind courtship. Following her marriage to Harold, they had three boys in rapid succession.

While in San Jose, she enjoyed doubles tennis and worked off and on for various physicians and hospitals — and actually had the job title of secretary, a term which is now politically incorrect.

In retirement years, she and Harold moved to Friday Harbor, hand-built a home overlooking Haro Strait, and traveled much of the country in their small motorhome, always with their dog and cat.

One of her most proud lifetime accomplishments included a trek to the top of Mount Whitney, 14,495-foot elevation.

June lived on the island for more than 16 years before moving to Vancouver, Wash., after Harold’s sudden death in 2001.

June was an accomplished rug hooker and spent many happy weekends at Rockaway Beach, Ore., for the annual gathering of rug hookers from across the country. Her rug hookings total well over 100 square feet, one 1/8-inch-wide strand of wool at a time.

While in Vancouver, she was a member of the Marshallaires choir and traveled to nursing homes with the troupe to entertain the residents.

June devoted hundreds of volunteer hours to the San Juan Island Library as a book sorter, and was flabbergasted that when she moved to Vancouver there was no such similar opportunity to help the local library.

June was predeceased by her husband of 50 years, Harold, in 2001; her eldest son, Jeffry, of Bremerton, Wash., in 2007; and by her brother, William, and sister, Ruth.

June is survived by her son Christopher and his wife, Cindy, of Camino, Calif.; son Jonathan and his wife, Annette, of Vancouver, Wash.; grandchildren, Matthew and Emma; and her brother, John.

After suffering a stroke in 2007 which left her in a wheelchair, June, Chris and Cindy moved to the Sierra foothills. June's highlight was eating at the many "wonderful" restaurants, cafes and pizza joints in the area, and touring the mountains in her wheelchair van. 

June was able to attend a beautiful wedding of her great-nephew at Lake Tahoe less than two months ago, where she enjoyed being with many family members (for the last time). Snowline Hospice was of tremendous benefit during her final two weeks.

June was one who was strong in her beliefs — she spoke with a voice of strength, conviction and reason, whether she was for or against something or someone. An undercurrent at all times was a balance of compassion, which she never lost in anger, feelings or comments. She had a full and attention-getting laugh. She could make tales interesting, not dull and factual. All of these characteristics were uplifting or calming to someone hurting physically, emotionally, socially, or spiritually.

June’s beautiful, big smile, her rejoicing in the smallest of things will be terribly missed. Everyone enjoyed being around June and looked forward to their time with her. She has given us wonderful memories.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations in June Young’s name to the Friends of the San Juan Island Library, 1010 Guard St., Friday Harbor, WA 98250.

Memorial Mass will be celebrated at St. Francis Church, 425 Price St., Friday Harbor, on Sept. 26, 2009, 11 a.m. An informal buffet lunch will follow immediately after at Downriggers Restaurant, 10 Front St., Friday Harbor. All who knew June or knew of her are cordially invited to attend any or all of these fine events.

— Family of June Young

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