This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, June Parsons, 91 years old, born on March 15, 1928, and passed away on April 18, 2019. We will remember her forever.

Tributes are short messages commemorating June, or an expression of support to her closest family and friends. Leave your first tribute here, and others will follow.

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her Life

June's Story

June Elizabeth (Smith) Parsons, born March 15, 1928 in Boston Massachusetts, went to God on April 18, 2019 at the age of 91.  She lived her life by her own rules.  June (“not April, not May, but June” as she would introduce herself) was wickedly street smart despite only having a 9th grade education. She was wildly cynical and learned at a young age to forge her own way in the world, chin held high, elbows askew, and fists always at the ready.  June was more resourceful than the most diehard environmentalist.  She could turn a pile of rubbish into a beautiful creation and could stretch a penny well beyond its worth. 

June’s inner strength and determination were crucial to her survival from the time she was a toddler.  Not a priority for her parents; she was sent off to live with her Grandmother for large periods of time during her youth.  The first 10 years of her life were shadowed by the Great Depression.  Between the ages of 11 and 17, she experienced a world in turmoil, with the start of World War II and the tragedies of Pearl Harbor, Normandy, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  During this time, there is suspicion that she was attacked by one of her mother’s suitors.  Imagine trying to learn trust in this type of tumultuous and unpredictable world.

June fell in love at the age of 17 to Wright Parsons who shortly after shipped off with the Navy to serve 2 tours in World War II.  June and Wright married during one of his leaves.  June gave birth to their only living child, Linda Ann Parsons, when she was 20 years old.  It is believed that she miscarried their second child during Wright’s second tour.  This, the stress of her youth, fear for her husband’s safety and the uncertainty of the world around her, led to a nervous breakdown.  June spent a few weeks in an asylum and was sent home with severe anxiety and paranoia that was left undiagnosed and untreated.  She would carry this weight with her for the rest of her life thus making relationships and any form of trust difficult for her. 

Wright was honorably discharged from the Navy to care for her and joined the Westfield Massachusetts police force.  The world continued to be in mayhem.  When June was 22, North Korea invaded South Korea and another war began.  A few years later, Vietnam.  The Soviet Union tested its first true Hydrogen Bomb.  When she was 34, the Cuban Missile Crisis.  At 35, she watched her president, a fellow Massachusetts native, be shot and killed.   A few weeks after celebrating her 40th birthday, Martin Luther King’s assassination. Without a doubt, the first 40 years of June’s life posed the challenge time and time again… fight or flight?  June fought.  She became an incredibly strong, resilient, but distrustful woman with a heart yearning for simple love and peace. 

As her granddaughter, I was lucky that she was able to put down her shield of armor and show her true vulnerable self to me and to my girls.  The woman we knew loved to paint, garden, travel, read, feed the birds, bike, craft, watch old westerns and write letters.  She absolutely cherished receiving cards and letters from family and friends.  In fact, it seemed she saved them all.  When I was cleaning out her home, I found the love letters sent to her from my Grandfather when he was in the Navy, letters from my mother during her years in college and beyond, even a letter from my father introducing himself as Linda’s boyfriend.  Her later years in life were not without heartbreak.  June lost her husband to a self-inflicted gunshot wound while she was in the next room. 

During her final years and days of her life, my family, the caretakers from Brookdale Memory Care and Serenity Hospice surrounded her with love.  On April 14, she enjoyed her final meal alongside her great granddaughters Anna and Lily, my husband Dan, and myself.  I was honored to sit beside her over following week during her passing.  There are only a handful of people that will notice that she is no longer physically with us.  However, to those of us that do, we will miss her dearly.  For anyone that is reading this, if you have a relative, a neighbor or acquaintance with a personality like June’s, please give them a pass.  Take a moment to remember that there is always a reason.  Everyone has a story.  Every journey is different.  This was June’s story.  With her platinum white hair and her beautiful blue eyes, she was a spit fire.  Paving her own way in this world, sometimes with disregard for others, she was a warrior, a true survivor.  I am honored to call her my Grandmother. 

This summer we will lay June’s remains to rest beside her husband, along with their love letters, at Pine Cemetery in Westfield Massachusetts.  We pray she was welcomed into heaven’s gates by those who passed before her.  As Timothy says in the Bible, she fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith.  She will not be forgotten. 

June is survived by her daughter Linda Parsons (Gig Harbor, WA), granddaughter Patricia Gregorich (Vashon, WA), great-granddaughters Sequoia & River Gregorich (Vashon, WA) and Anna & Lily Flaherty (Waukesha, WI) and myself, her adoring granddaughter Rebecca Flaherty (Waukesha, WI). 

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