June Barnum Richie was born Oct. 28, 1921, and passed away in her sleep in the early morning hours of Dec. 31, 2017. She enjoyed 96 full, good years.
Quiet Sunday mornings were spent reading the Fresno Bee while she enjoyed her waffles and coffee. Her favorites were the comics celebrating the joys of life and the obituaries, celebrating lives well spent. Life was good and full of interesting bits. Her five kids were all doing well and enjoying life having been raised with great attention and encouragement.
Born in Pasadena, she was brought home to La Canada in the newly purchased Model T Ford. Home was an acre where they grew fruits and vegetables throughout the year. Summer months were spent in the Logging Camps out of Jamestown where her father a train engineer brought lumber out of the Sierra to developing California.
As a teenager she helped her dad clear junipers from the land in Antelope Valley using the same Model T that she came home from the hospital in. The wheat grown on this land would generate the income that would allow her to attend UCLA where she double majored and got her teaching credential.
While at UCLA she was introduced to her roommate’s brother, Max, a Merchant Seaman, who took them to lunch in a shiny new red 1941 Chevrolet Opera Coupe. He was smart and interesting. He followed up with interesting letters and seashells from faraway places. Max and June were married Dec. 10, 1944.
After the war they moved to Big Creek when Max began working for Southern California Edison and they began raising a family. In the early 50s they moved down the canyon to Powerhouse #3 where June began teaching at Chawanakee Elementary. She taught there long enough to teach three generations and retired when she was close to 70.
She organized memorable school field trips to the Gold Rush Country and the state capital each year. Weekends were spent leaving the Sierra to work on their citrus groves in the Central Valley. Summers were spent at the groves or going back to school. Summer school at Oxford University in England sounded fun so off she went with the kids. She organized road trips with the kids camping across America for 8 plus weeks and then another summer drove the unpaved AlCan Highway to Alaska to meet up with Max so the boys could go hunting.
In retirement years, she and Max built their adobe home and enjoyed warm afternoons sitting beside the fountain and discussing projects or plans for the next trip. She gardened and Max built cabinets and did blacksmithing. They stayed very active managing the care of their citrus groves and traveling.
We want to thank her son Charles for being the primary caregiver ensuring she stayed in good health, got to her luncheons with friends, and enabled her to live in the home that she loved till she passed away in her sleep. We also thank the ladies from Home Instead that became a part of our lives providing such loving care, with great conversations, that kept her and our lives interesting and fun.
A celebration of June’s life will be held on Saturday, Apr. 28, at 11 a.m., at her home in North Fork. Lunch will be served.
For information please call 877-4474 or e-mail Sequoia@netptc.net