ISHPEMING, Mich. - June Humphreys, age 98, passed away peacefully in her sleep on June 24, 2013, at the place she loved more than any other the family cabin overlooking Lake Chabeneau in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
She was predeceased by her husband of 55 years, Stark N. Humphreys, and by her elder son, Whitten S. Humphreys, and his wife, Nancy.
June was survived by her daughter, Heather Humphreys Ness, and her husband, Gary, and by her younger son, Stark L. Humphreys. June was the proud and loving matriarch of an extended family which included six grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren Cory Humphreys (David) Serrano and daughters Marisa and Erica of Needham, MA; Rachel Humphreys (John) Paluska and sons Wes and Pablo of Mill Valley, CA; Melanie Humphreys (Todd) Baker and daughters Grace and Ellen of New Castle, NH; Andrew (Toni) Ness and son Alexander and daughter Laurel of Glen Allen, VA; Joshua (Cathy) Ness and son Samuel and daughter Elsie of Ballston Spa, NY; and John (Nicole) Ness and daughters Linnea June and Jillian of Brooklyn, NY. Also surviving are members of the Fox family in Texas and New Mexico.
June was born in Springfield, IL, on October 6, 1914, and in her full life, she resided in Chicago and Naperville, IL; Pittsburgh, PA; Chapel Hill, NC; Ishpeming, MI; and most recently in West Palm Beach, FL. At each and every stop, she made many lasting friendships which she nurtured through handwritten correspondence throughout her life; she was an especially eloquent and thoughtful writer and avid reader. Her close relationships with friends and neighbors also included enduring bonds with special folk she and Stark encountered and enjoyed while traveling internationally; extended stays in Scotland and Portugal (Madeira) led to return trips as well as hosting visitors from abroad.
In her outlook and perceptiveness, she truly became a student of the world, and as a conversationalist she could be counted on to introduce that broader perspective.
Edna O. Carpenter, June's mother, visited Lake Chabeneau with friends and decided in 1944 that her daughter and son-in-law and their young family would benefit from having a small place in the North Woods as a respite from the hectic pace of life in Chicago.
In 1945, June, Stark, and children first came to the decidedly rustic cottage, and despite changes in their principal residence across the years, the constant touchstone was the cottage and its surrounding woods and waters. This Upper Peninsula site became the magnet for many family reunions and gatherings of friends from here and abroad. What began as a summer retreat became June and Stark's permanent residence beginning in the 1980s. Not surprisingly, June's newer friends around the lake and in Ishpeming became some of her most cherished folk; she appreciated greatly the friendliness, openness, and candor of her UP neighbors.
Her wishes and instructions to her family were that no formal service or interment occur.
Persons wishing to honor the life and friendship of June Humphreys are invited to make a contribution in her memory to either the Friends of the Ishpeming Carnegie Public Library (317 N. Main; Ishpeming, MI 49849) or the Alzheimer's Association of Marquette County (Team Forget Not; 29241 County Road 581; Ishpeming, MI 49849).
June's obituary may also be viewed at bjorkandzhulkie.com where relatives and friends may leave a note of remembrance.