We Remember

DEMCHESON, June Harumi (née Chiba)

June 11, 1947 – July 29, 2021

June passed away in the care of the Kelowna Hospice House after a hard-fought battle at home with cancer on July 29, 2021.

Typical of the quiet, resolute person that she was during her illness, June never complained and was always upbeat whenever anyone called to ask how she was. “I’m fine” or “I’m doing well today” were common responses that were her way of confirming that she would never lose hope and her way of comforting those who cared and worried about her. June was a very good person, and the world has suffered a very big loss with her passing.

She will always be remembered in the hearts of her husband of 51 years, Roy; her four sisters Heather Keating, Kathy Stearns, Elaine Tucker, and Geri May Bradford; as well as her sisters’ partners; several nieces and nephews; numerous relatives; and the many friends that she gathered over the years.

June was born in Kelowna in 1947, the first of five girls. Her parents were orchardists in Rutland and June grew up tending to the farm with her parents and sisters and attending Rutland Elementary and Rutland Secondary schools. She then completed a degree in Education at UBC. Roy and June were schoolmates and married in Kelowna in 1969 followed by almost 50 years of living and working on the coast. More recently, June and Roy returned to their roots in Kelowna and June was able to spend the last years once again among family and early friends.

During the years at the coast, June taught English and Japanese at Queen Elizabeth’s Secondary School in Surrey. Her summers were glorious times with fishing and camping trips across BC’s wilderness, and winters spent skiing in the mountains surrounding Vancouver. School Vacation times also became filled with travel as Roy and June crossed the globe seeking new cultures and vistas. Typical weekends at home were spent visiting and sharing dinner parties with a large number of friends and family. In her busy life, June still made time to volunteer at the Vancouver Wine festival and ‘Bard on the Beach’. June also served as a volunteer shopper in Burnaby and then later in Kelowna.

June and Roy complimented each other perfectly in their 51 years of marriage, and this was celebrated in 2019 with a festive dinner party in their home in Kelowna. So many old friends and family members came from all parts to honor them in this major milestone in their life together. Recollection if that day will last forever in everyone’s fond memories of her.

What was June like? The answer to that is that she was so many things to so many people. As the oldest sister of five, June was the responsible team leader. To Roy, she was the loving soulmate who made his world so much better as soon as she entered it. To friends and other family, June was the calm, thoughtful companion who could always be counted on to treat everyone with her own style of quiet dignity.

Due to Covid restrictions, a celebration of June’s life will be held at a later date, while a funeral service will be held with immediate family. Those wishing to remember June can do so by making donations to the Kelowna Hospice House or the BC Cancer Foundation.

Rest in Peace, June. We will miss you.

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