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June Dunseith

1922 ~ 2012

Doris June Dunseith “June” was the eldest of four children born to English immigrants John and Emma Wilcox on February 27, 1922. She was born in Edmonton as there was no medical care in the small rural town of Lac La Biche where her father worked as an engineer for the railroad. At the age of six the family moved to Wembley; she would later tell her memories of tap dancing at the community hall and the use of slate and chalk for her school work.

After a short year & a half it was on to Hythe where they lived ‘till the move to Dawson in 1931, when the two bedroom railroad house was loaded onto a railway car and transported to Dawson Creek.

June attended the local elementary school where she was on the Honor Roll for her punctuality and attendance; she also won an award for her penmanship.

During summer holidays in her senior year, she worked as a maid in the old St. Josephs hospital that stood where the Selwyn apartments are today.

In 1940 she applied for admission to nursing school, her pastor Rev. T. D. Proctor wrote her a letter of recommendation. She was accepted and entered nursing school August 25, 1941. June delighted in sharing her memories of that period, the high standards that were expected of all students, those that were expelled for breaching the rules, the blacked out windows because of war, and the sailors that came in with rotting appendages! For a young, innocent, small town girl it was all quite an eye opener!

June graduated in 1944 and worked in Vancouver for a short time. It was on a train ride home that she would meet the love of her life, Millard Tibbetts an American soldier.

Their eldest son Gary was born Sept 14 1947 in Boston Massachusetts, son David was born July 19 1953 in Edmonton Alberta and Cathy, the only girl, was born July 27 1955 in Dawson Creek. June and Millard had returned to Dawson Creek and that is where they would settle and finish raising their family.

June’s nursing career spanned thirty five years and as a working mom she always made time for her family and her community. In the early fifties she was treasurer for the Eastern Star.

June LOVED babies and when the grand children started arriving, the first in 1967 and the last in 1984, she was thrilled! Out came the knitting needles and the sewing machine, both of which she was very talented at. One of her favorite things was to splash in the mud puddles with them. As they got older they would spend summers at her house where she always had craft projects to do and of course there was always the garden, with its’ rows of raspberries and peas which, to the kids, seemed to be ten feet tall and a mile long especially if they had been sentenced to “fill the bucket” for being naughty.

There were always cookies to bake, birds to watch, walks to be taken and hugs to share. She loved to sit on the porch and take in all that was around her as she knitted or shucked peas. Moms’ hands were seldom idle. She enjoyed her flowers and the greenhouse that she always started early in the spring. She loved the feel of the soil and the satisfaction of seeing her seeds grow.

In 1983 June & Garnet took an extended trip to Australia and New Zealand, which she recounted to us all in great detail. She had always wanted to travel.After some health issues arose June & Garnet moved from the acreage outside of Peace River into the town itself. Then they moved to Vernon to soak up the sunshine and get away from the northern winters. June rekindled her love of water and her trip to the pool became part of her daily routine. The grandkids would visit on spring break and in the summer to share the sunshine.  After Garnet passed away in 1999  June moved to Prince George to be closer to family, but the big city was not her cup of tea so she moved back to her roots, Dawson Creek.

June was a kind, gentle and caring women of great character, resilience and courage. She was respected by her peers and loved deeply by her family and friends. I have no doubt that you are with loved ones that have gone on before you and were waiting to greet you on the other side, especially dad who I am sure has been waiting to dance with you again.

June passed away on Thursday, April 5, 2012 in Dawson Creek, at the age of 90 years.

A celebration of June's life was held on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 1:00 pm from Reynars Funeral Chapel, Pauline Haycock officiated. June was laid to rest with her first husband Millard Tibbetts in the Dawson Creek City Cemetery.

June is survived by Son; David, Daughter; Cathy (Don), Daughter-In-Law; Linda, Stepson; John (Pattie), Sisters; Gwen, Edie, Numerous Stepchildren, Grandchildren, Great Grandchildren, Great Great Grandchildren, Nieces, and Nephews.

June was predeceased by her Brother; John Wilcox, Husbands; Millard Tibbetts, Gil Stanley, Garnet Dunseith, Son; Gary Tibbetts and Grandson; Jonathon Tibbetts.

For friends so wishing, donations may be made in memory of June to the Dawson Creek & District Hospital Foundation 11100-13 Street Dawson Creek, B.C. V1G 3W8

Very Respectfully Reynars Funeral Home & Crematorium

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