Tuesday, December 29, 2009

June Austin Finkle 1944 - 2009

On my way home from California - where I had spent Christmas - I received a note from my uncle with the subject line "Some Sad News" and I froze.  Sitting in the Santa Ana airport, I paused before opening the message wondering who had died - my mind immediately went there and not other types of bad news.

Once I learned that my Aunt June had passed, I called my uncle who had all the details about his sister and what had occurred unexpectedly earlier in the morning.

* * *

Here is the obituary for June Austin Finkle from the Times-Herald Record dated 29 December 2009:

June Finkle of Livingston Manor passed away on Monday, December 28, 2009 at home. She was 65.

June was the daughter of the late Alfred and Anna Henneberg Austin, born on July 30, 1944 in Jersey City, NJ.

All that knew June knew she was one-of-a-kind. She was a great person with a big heart. The memories June leaves behind are priceless and will never be forgotten. June was a great person all around. She will be sorely missed.

She leaves behind her three loving children: Judith Camara, Vernon Finkle Jr., and Arthur Finkle; six grandchildren: June, Lee, Christina, A.J., Dakota and Anneliese; three great-grandchildren: Ashley, Amber and Glenn; four brothers: Larry, Lee, Alfred and Lem Austin; five sisters: Joan Toher, Joel Destefano, Judy Froehlich, Jacqueline MacEntee and Jennifer Startup, along with many nieces and nephews and a very close family friend, Paul Tuggle. June was predeceased by two sisters, Patricia May and Julia Jackson.

Donations may be made in June's name to the American Heart Association, 7272 Greenville Ave., Dallas, TX 75231.

On Wednesday December 30, there will be a celebration of June's life at the White Sulphur Springs Fire House at 1 p.m.

Arrangements by Herbert C. Bryant Funeral Home. For further information, please call 845-439-4333 or visit our website at www.colonialbryantfuneralhome.com.

* * *

My memories of Aunt June are many and what I remember most was this: while she had all the same characteristics of most of the Austin siblings, she was unique.  Both gruff and endearing at the same time - if that is possible and it was possible with her.  She often said the things that only people thought but dare not say and often said them in public.  In your heart you knew she was right and you also wished you had her courage to say it.  Pity the poor store owner or anyone else who tried to put one over on Aunt June - not only did they hear about it, but half the county did as well.

And for a woman whose heart just simply gave out, you know it was a big heart, a full heart and one that always gave.

* * *

I want to thank all my genealogy colleagues who have touched me with their condolences and their kind words through emails, Twitter, Facebook and more.  As Denise Olson of Family Matters said today in her post entitled Sympathy, we - the memory keepers, the ones who bear witness to what our ancestors and families once were - know that each and every passing matters.  This is why we work to write their stories, to preserve their thoughts and words, and to bring them back to life if even only for a brief sparkling moment.

Rest well Aunt June and know that you will not be forgotten.

© 2009, copyright Thomas MacEntee


Kathryn Lake said...

I am sorry to learn of the passing of your aunt. What a wonderful photo of her you have posted. That one of a kind quality that everyone remembers about your Aunt June will help to keep her memory alive. Sounds like she was quite a character!

~ Kathryn Lake

Gini said...

A wonderful tribute to your Aunt June. I will be thinking of her tomorrow as her memorial takes place.

Cheryl Fleming Palmer said...

Beautiful picture, wonderful post. As a friend and family genealogist, tears came to my eyes. My heart goes out to you and your family.My deepest condolences.

CMPointer said...

I'm very sorry for your loss. What an outstanding tribute to your Aunt June. Some of my own favorite relatives were the ones who were outspoken, unafraid. I think they lived life to the fullest. Thank you for sharing yours with us.

My Sympathies,

Jack Robinson said...

My condolences to you and your family. You express your love for your aunt June, throughout your comments.
I will say a prayer for your family.

God Bless,
Jack Robinson

Lee said...

I am very sorry for your loss, Thomas. She sounds like a wonderful woman.

Dorene from Ohio said...

It looks like your Aunt June was spunky from the get go! A lovely post!

Lori said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your Aunt June. You have created a wonderful tribute to her. Take comfort in your memories and take time to share them with your loved ones.

Herstoryan said...

My heart is hurting with yours. Thank you for sharing her with us. You are a wonderful memory keeper.

Apple said...

My deepest sympathy. June sounds like a pistol who will surely be missed.

T.K. said...

Sorry for your loss, Thomas.