June Ward passed away Friday, May 11, 2012 among family and friends in Homer. June was born and raised in Pontiac, Mich., with her two sisters, Joyce and Jean, who still reside in Michigan.
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Always an adventurous spirit, she moved to Alaska in 1982 at the urging of her oldest son Daniel when he was stationed at Eielson Air Force Base. She worked for the University of Alaska Fairbanks as an administrative secretary until 1990 and then took the opportunity to move to Homer. She worked a couple of part-time jobs with UAF and a local Homer accountant before deciding to retire and pursue her hobbies and other interests full time. She became involved in the community through her church and other friends and lived life to the fullest.
She succumbed to colon cancer after battling it since October 2008 with surgery and later, chemotherapy. The initial optimistic prognosis gradually changed until March 2012 when she decided to discontinue treatments as they had become ineffective and worse than the disease. She moved from the Homer Senior Citizens independent living apartments, where she had lived for several years, to join her many friends across the street at Friendship Terrace. Given a short six-month probability of survival at that time, she made the best of her remaining days by keeping connected with her friends at St. John the Baptist Parish, the Red Hats of Homer, and her compatriots at Pic 'n Pay run by the church.
She was visited by many friends and relatives in her final days, most notably by her sons Larry and John who gave selflessly of their time and resources to make her feel comfortable and safe during her stay at the Terrace. She was a spiritual person who knew what was coming and faced it with grace and ease having made her peace with God and looking forward to his warm embrace. She was blessed by having enough time to say goodbye to friends and loved ones without lingering or suffering. She happily had no serious pain during her illness and was comfortable and well cared for by those who knew and loved her.
She is survived by her sisters, Joyce and Jean; five sons, Daniel, Lawrence, Gerald, and John Ward and Benjamin Thompson; and seven grandchildren. Her loving husband, Leonard D. Ward, preceded her in death in 1959, and she has now been reunited with him to her and her family's delight.
The family wishes to thank her physicians, nurses, caregivers, hospice volunteers, and the staff at both Friendship Terrace and South Peninsula Hospital for their loving and compassionate care and concern. Her last hours at the hospital were tirelessly supervised by a certain EMT who made sure she was able to say her final goodbyes to everyone.
Hers was a life well lived.
Published in Daily News-Miner on May 22, 2012