Marjorie June Waters, born in Santanta, Kan., to Homer and Inez Brown, June Waters led an adventurous life. Her father's career followed the railroad throughout western Colorado and Utah, and June and her sister Lea attended small and one-room schools in many towns. The family homesteaded in northwestern New Mexico during the Great Depression, leaving the claim despite their hard work when it could not support them.
June graduated from Red Cliff (Colo.) High School relocating to Denver where she met her husband, JW Waters, while he was in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Using his G.I. Bill, they graduated as teachers from the University of Arkansas, and moved near JW's home place in the Ozarks to begin their careers. June taught typing and business before serving as the librarian at Deer School for many years, where she tirelessly expanded education services to rural children and families, and obtained grant monies for the first computerized library system. June then served as Newton County School Supervisor and Deer School Superintendent to complete 44 years of public service.
There was never a project or task June couldn't organize. Lea says of her sister, "June could have run General Motors from a phone booth!" When women could not even serve on its board of directors, June ghost-wrote a federal grant for the first community water system at Deer, Ark.; one of many grants she obtained for communities and schools. Happy to do good works to benefit others, she was proud but humble about her achievements.
June retired to the Pacific Northwest and when later widowed, she relocated to Walla Walla, where she maintained correspondence and relationships with dozens of friends and family even after losing her vision to macular degeneration. She is remembered fondly for her love of and many gifts of books. June was a lifelong athlete who loved to hike and explore limestone caves, and until her illness with multiple myeloma she walked the legs off her walking partners. She was a very loving, generous, and special aunt and great aunt to many nieces and nephews, and a loyal wife, daughter, and sister. In her old age, June planted trees, steadfastly recycled, supported energy conservation and other efforts to protect Mother Earth.
June is survived by her sister, Lea Yakovac and Lea's life partner, Bill Mays, nieces and nephews Barbara, Aileen, Carolyn and Neil Hetrick; Tim, Murray, and Caitlin Sampson; Philip, Becky, John and Hannah Yakovac; John Cooper; Tony, Helen, Ryan, Kyle, and Brooke Davenport; Bill, Cindie, Evan, and China Davenport; and Sue, Bob, Katie, Lizzie, Maggie and Annie Kinkopf; and Marie and Bill Malloy among many friends.
She leaves a legacy of grace, excellence, perseverance, humility, generosity, and encouragement to all.