1931 – 2020
June Louise (de Graaf) Heath was born June 24, 1931 in Edam, Saskatchewan to Dorothy and Henry de Graaf. She attended Blackfoot School and Turtleford High School. At the age of 17 she went to Normal School in Saskatoon to become a teacher. Her first teaching assignment was in Emmaville School near Spruce Lake. In 1946 she met her future husband, Lennard Heath. They were married in 1952 and had two children, Vicky Lynne in 1953 and Barbara June in 1954.
One of June’s passions was teaching school. She taught Grade 1,2 and 3 for several years in Turtleford. When Turtleford High School expanded to include a Home Economics Lab she became the school’s first Home Economics teacher. In 1971, after countless summer school sessions, she took a full year’s sabbatical leave from teaching to attend the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. She completed her Education Degree with a major in Home Economics. She was the first in her family to receive a university degree, a fact that made her father, Henry de Graaf, very proud.
Over the next few years she served on the Provincial Math Curriculum Committee and helped co-write the Mathematics Text Books for the School System. She was also a much sought-after teacher to demonstrate the use of microwave ovens in many communities in her area. She also became a popular judge in Community Fairs throughout the northern province. She specialized in judging vegetables, preserves, baking, cake decorating, plants, flower arranging, sewing, and crafts.
When June retired from teaching she focused on her grandchildren, gardening, and one of her other passions – sewing. She began designing and creating wedding gowns, bridesmaids’ dresses and graduation dresses for many young women in the community.
For several years she was Turtleford’s librarian as well as working in the Bloom family’s creative arts retail stores.
Traveling had always been one of June’s great aspirations as well. As well as many trips to Vancouver Island to visit her grandchildren, she was able to make two extended trips to Europe with her friend Leida. They enjoyed the countries of Holland, France, Belgium, Italy, and particularly England.
In 2007 June and Lennard left the farm in Turtleford and moved to Rosthern, Saskatchewan to be near their daughter, Vicky. June quickly developed a close-knit group of friends. She soon became involved in many community activities, including Communities in Bloom. Quilting became one of her new passions, as well as the popular card-making “Stamping Up.” Here in Rosthern, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren became an even more important focus in her life.
After Lennard passed away in 2008 June followed another of her passions – singing. She joined the local choir, the Valley Singers. Her choral debut was made singing “The Messiah” with the Saskatoon Symphony – another accomplishment that would have made her father very proud.
When her health began failing, June moved into Prairie Meadows Assisted Living in Rosthern, and from there to Betty’s Care Home in Saskatoon. June is predeceased by her mother and father, Dorothy and Henry de Graaf, two sisters Minnie (Willard) and Marjory (Joe), and one brother Lee (Jean). Left to remember her are her daughters Vicky Lynne (Phil) Stucky and Barbara (Bill) Cleary; grandchildren Susan Bohl, Greg (Michelle) Spence, Shannon (Aleksi) Cleary Suo, Brendan (Lorelei) Cleary; great grandchildren Zackary Bohl, Leah Bohl, Hiromi Suo; brother Henry de Graaf (Marlene); sisters Dorothy (Larry) Wouters, Alie (Dale) Hunter, Shirley (Fred) Huber, and Linda (Mel) Woyshychyn; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Rosthern Hospital Foundation Inc. PO Box 88, Rosthern, SK S0K 3R0. A Private Graveside Service was held Wednesday, August 19, 2020 Turtleford Cemetery Turtleford, SK officiated by Pauline Steinman.
A Public Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, August 21, 2021 at 2:00 P.M. at Eigenheim Mennonite Church, west of Rosthern, SK.
Arrangements Funk’s Funeral Home, Rosthern, SK http://www.funksfuneralhome.ca