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June Hiers

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June Beard Hiers of Bala-Cynwyd and Philadelphia, died August 30, 2013 following a brief illness. June was born in Brighton England in 1927. She was living with her parents, Harold and Winifred Beard, in Hawaii at the beginning of the Second World War, and not only witnessed the attack on December 7, 1941, but also remembered hiding under the house while Japanese planes strafed her father's jeep parked nearby. Afterwards, for several years, June lived with members of her father's family in Oregon, and later with her parents in Washington State. June received her bachelor's degree in 1949 from the University of Washington, where she majored in music, was a member of Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority, and was elected President of Mu Phi Epsilon Musical Honorary Society her senior year. She and her husband, Thomas Sefton Hiers, lived for many years in Bala-Cynwyd, and both were active in the Savoy Opera Company, which over time performed all of the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, both in the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, and at Longwood Gardens, near Wilmington. June played leading roles in many of these performances, receiving rave reviews in the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin and the Philadelphia Inquirer, noting her engaging stage presence, and her rich mezzo soprano voice and perfect enunciation which could easily be heard in the top balconies at the Academy and in the farthest reaches of the outdoor theater at Longwood. Before retiring, June taught music at Girls High in Philadelphia. She was a member of St. Asaph's Episcopal Church in Bala-Cynwyd, and for many years was a member of its choir. She was predeceased by her husband, Thomas, in 1988. For the past ten years, Mrs. Hiers resided at Hayes Manor in Philadelphia. She is survived by several cousins, including L. Patricia Dishman, Janet Bertucci, John Dishman and William Dishman in Oregon; Jane MacMurray, Christopher MacMurray, Louise Atencio, Carol Ann Munson, and other cousins in Maryland, the District of Columbia, California, New Mexico and Oregon; a nephew, Peter Hiers in California; a niece, Rebecca Hiers in Oregon; and her brother- and sister-in-law, Richard and Jane Hiers in Florida. Memorial and graveside services will be held at St. Asaph's Church, Conshohocken Road, Bala-Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, on November 10, beginning at 2:00 PM. Contributions in lieu of flowers may be sent to St. Asaph's Church.

Published in Main Line Media News on Oct. 30, 2013
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