Robert Harold June, 89, of Bozeman passed peacefully on June 7, 2013. Born Aug. 23, 1923 in Detroit, Mich., the second of four children to Johanna Grunst and Fred C. June Sr. Robert grew up on a farm outside Millington, Mich. receiving early lessons on the value of hard work and frugality during the Depression. Though of modest means, the family always managed to put food on the table and share with others in need.
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The two brothers in the family worked the fields with their horse-drawn plow while barefoot, so they could save their only pair of shoes for school and church. Educated in a one-room schoolhouse through 8th grade, Robert skipped the second grade by listening to the second-grade lessons from his first grade seat. His lifelong passion for knowledge in astronomy, science, music and religion never ceased.
As a teen, he worked as a grocery clerk where he caught the eye of his future wife, Marjorie Harry of Toledo, Ohio. Their budding romance was interrupted, as many of that day, by the outbreak of World War II. In 1942 Robert enlisted in the Navy at the age of 19. During his 3 1/2 years of service, Robert's ship, USS General Mann, sailed over 186,000 nautical miles while ferrying allied troops between six continents. The crew's final mission was to Nagasaki Japan where they were the first Americans to witness the devastation of the atomic bomb, a sobering event in Robert's life.
Soon after his honorable discharge, Robert and Marjorie married in August 1948, the beginning of their 64-year union. Robert earned an electrical engineering degree from Purdue University before moving his new family to southern California to work for the phone company, later joining General Dynamics as a shipboard defense systems designer. The couple raised two children and spent their free time camping, skiing, and enjoying museums. They vacationed often near Bozeman, relocating permanently in 1981 with their income tax business in tow.
Robert was very active in his local Lutheran church serving 28 years as a Sunday school superintendent, elder, historian and groundskeeper.
Robert was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Edna June of Millington. He is survived by his wife, Marjorie; his two children, Sandra June-Degen and Tim June, both of Haines, Alaska, their respective spouses, Drew Degen and Susan Nelson; his brother, Fred June Jr. of Bellingham; his sister, Dorothy Lincoln of Millington and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., Thursday, June 13, at First Lutheran Church of Bozeman, 225 S. Black Street.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any donations be made to the church's food bank fund.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlcares.com.
Dahl Funeral Chapel
300 Highland Boulevard
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on June 11, 2013