June Irene Branner, 101, of Friday Harbor, Washington passed away peacefully on July 16, 2023, in the presence of her closest loved ones.
June was born in Chicago, Illinois on June 14, 1922. She attended public schools in Chicago and upon graduation from high school entered Purdue University where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Home Economics in 1943. June enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps of the United States Army in 1945 and was honorably discharged in 1947. She was awarded the World War II Victory Medal. June then began her lifelong career with the National Park Service. She worked as an administrator at Yosemite National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier Bay National Park, and San Juan Island National Historical Park where she retired in 1984. After retirement, June remained on San Juan Island so she could stay with her many friends. June was an avid hiker and animal lover. On the Island, she was active as a volunteer in the office at Saint David Episcopal Church. In the early years of her retirement, she was a friend and neighbor for many who needed a ride or help with shopping, gardening, and errands around town. Her last five years were spent at the Village at the Harbor assisted living home where she continued to enjoy the “island life.” June enjoyed being social and lived each day to the fullest at the Village. She was a regular at activities such as playing Bingo, sing-alongs, chair yoga, watching movies, and cuddling her favorite dog, Jack.
June was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Bertha Branner, her brother, Frank Branner, Jr., and her niece, Susan Karnes. She is survived by her two nephews, Steven Branner and John Branner.
The family wishes to thank Hospice of the Northwest for caring for June for the last several months with special thanks to nurses Elizabeth and Kathryn. Finally, very special thanks go to Valeria, nurse Melissa and her dog Jack, and all the staff at the Village at the Harbor for being her friends and caregivers.
A memorial service for June will be held at Saint David Episcopal Church at 11:00am on Saturday, September 9. In lieu of flowers please consider donations in June’s name to the Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor, Hospice of the Northwest, Village at the Harbor, or Saint David Episcopal Church.
To paraphrase a quote from Dr. Seuss, “Don’t weep for June because she’s gone, Smile because she was here.”
She will be missed!