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June Davie Kassel Klein

June Davie Kassel Klein was born on October 5, 1923, in Houston, Texas. Her parents immigrated from Germany and Hungary after World War I and were very determined to have their only child be an American, speaking only English in front of her. June grew up in Zwolle, Louisiana, where her parents worked in her uncles store. She attended Louisiana State University and received her degree in Spanish and an advanced certification in Social Work. Her parents moved to Port Neches, Texas, where they owned a dry goods store and Junes first job as a social worker was in Beaumont. June began her career as an adoption caseworker, placing hundreds of children into loving and secure homes. While working in Beaumont, she met and married Harold Klein, and they had four children, Lanie, Richard, Susan, and Leah Beth. She worked for Jefferson County and the State of Texas and was promoted many times until she reached the position of Regional Administrator for the Department of Public Welfare, supervising fifteen counties in Southeast Texas. In 1966, her sixteen year old son died suddenly from a heart ailment and her husband, Harold, lost his battle with cancer in 1978. These losses were devastating to June, but her work and family sustained her. Throughout her career, she was a champion for the underserved, tirelessly working to bring dignity and basic services to countless families and children. She was especially concerned about helping abused or neglected children helplessly caught in unsafe conditions and was actively involved in and served on the boards of many non-profit organizations dedicated to the betterment of childrens lives. June continued to work for the State of Texas, managing the regional budget, services to the poor, and hundreds of employees fairly and wisely until her retirement. She was greatly admired and respected by judges, legislators, her colleagues, and most importantly, the people in need whose welfare was always her priority. June firmly believed that most people, when given the opportunity, prefer a hand up to a hand out. She was given many honors throughout her career including the World of Difference Award, but was most proud of the legacy of care and support she gave to thousands of families in need over thirty years of public service. June was a working mother before it was common and was able to excel in her career while being a loving wife to Harold and a wonderful mother to their four children. She is survived by her beloved children and their spouses, Lanie and Joe Gallio; Susan and David Sankary; and Leah Beth and Harold Kolni; her grandchildren, whom she loved with all of her heart, Julie Beth (Sankary) and her husband, Adam Lenfestey; Hannah Kolni; Esther Kolni; Nathan Sankary and Miriam Kolni. She was also blessed with two great-grandchildren, Mara June and Ellis Lenfestey. A memorial service for Mrs. Klein will be 3:00 p.m., Sunday, September 22, 2013, at Temple Emanuel, 1120 Broadway Street, Beaumont, with a graveside service at Hebrew Rest Cemetery, under the direction of Broussard's, 2000 McFaddin Avenue, Beaumont. A reception will follow in the Rosinger Center at Temple Emanuel. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Memory of June Klein to CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Southeast Texas, Inc., 2449 Calder Street, Beaumont, Texas 77702. CASA gives a powerful voice to abused and neglected children from Jefferson County. A CASA volunteer is appointed by a judge to provide factual information on behalf of a child caught up in a difficult legal process through no fault of their own. Complete and updated information may be found www.broussards1889.com @

Funeral Home

Broussard's Mortuary
2000 McFaddin Street Beaumont, TX 77701
(409) 832-1621

Published in The Beaumont Enterprise on Sept. 19, 2013
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