June Faunce

Obituary of June Elizabeth Faunce

Our beloved June Elizabeth Faunce passed away peacefully in her sleep on the morning of Thursday, March 21, 2024 at the age of 86 surrounded by loved ones. June was born on September 18, 1937 in Cortland, New York to parents Dortha and Calvert Gallagher. Her older brother, Bob, was June's hero and role model. Always an animal lover, June was known for collecting all the neighborhood dogs on her walks home from school, and Bob would be tasked with returning them to their loving families. She later "adopted" a cow on her uncle's farm as a child, and rode her around the pasture in the summers. As a teenager, June's family moved to the remote town of Indian Lake, New York, where she was one of just 18 students in her high school graduating class. Her family rented out cabins and lived in a one-room cabin in the summers and in a larger cabin in the winters when the tourists left. June worked as a waitress at a local inn a few miles away. June later moved to Washington D.C. and then Sarasota, Florida, where she worked as a paralegal. She had always said that she wished she could have been a lawyer, but it was the early 1960s, and very few women were able or permitted to attend law school. She married Greg Oliver, who was a member of the circus, and gave birth to her first child, Lezlie in 1961. Greg and June reconnected in their 70s, and June moved back to Sarasota to try their hand once again at the relationship. June was a hopeless romantic, as well as a force of nature. She was never afraid to take chances, make mistakes, and throw herself fully into life. She was beautiful, hilarious, magnetic, and unwilling to settle. June met Herbert Faunce on a blind date back in New York, and they hit it off right away. They married a year later and settled down in Apalachin, New York. June and Herb had two more children together, Michael and Lisa. They raised animals, including horses, ducks, and chickens, on their plot of land. One year for Mother's Day, Herb bought June a manure shovel because "she needed one." June always joked that if Herb died before her, she'd have the manure shovel buried next to him when it was her time to go. She said she'd have her ashes sprinkled in the Atlantic Ocean in York Beach, Maine instead. (Near the end, June changed her mind and decided she did wish to be buried next to Herb, in lieu of the manure shovel). June spent her retirement traveling the world and volunteering her time. She took her grandchildren on many of her trips, including the Grand Canyon, Hawaii, Tanzania, Botswana, France, Russia, Estonia, and Mexico. Her favorite place was Egypt, where she saw the Pyramids with her son Michael. Inspired by her brother Bob's commitment to service and community, June joined the Red Cross in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina and spent over a month in New Orleans. She volunteered for the Red Cross for many years after that, and spoke often about how her experiences on disaster trips shaped the course of the rest of her life. In 2021, June moved with her two dogs from Florida to Rochester, Minnesota to live with her son, Mike, and daughter-in-law, Sharon. As she got older and her abilities changed, June never lost her sense of humor, generosity, and good spirits. She enjoyed spending summer days outside, staying in touch with loved ones over the phone, and having her nails painted. She was blessed with amazing Care Companions -- Carol, Estelle, and Marge -- through Elder Care Network, who loved her just like the rest of us. June will be deeply and forever missed by her loving children, daughter-in-law, Sharon, sons-in-law James and John, grandchildren Jessica, Jade, Tara, and Brett, her bonus grand-daughter, Peyton, and surrogate daughter Shawna, extended family (most of whom she has outlived) and her many, many friends. A celebration of life to honor June's memory will be held at 11AM on Sunday, July 7th at 1723 Forest Hill Road, Apalachin, NY 13732. All are welcome to attend. As pink was June's favorite color, please consider wearing pink to this event. Instead of flowers, please honor June's full and long life by making a donation to the Red Cross.
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